In San Diego County, our lagoons, beaches, and reserves are rife with the most beautiful animals in our part of the world. While most of us love to admire wildlife from afar, it’s a different kind of situation when they come onto your property and threaten your safety and wellness. Some wildlife poses more of a danger to residential dwellings than others, so what kinds of animals should you be wary of, and when does investing in professional pest control treatments for wildlife problems become a necessity?

ground squirrel on a rock

Home-Invading Wildlife Species In San Diego County

Some wildlife in San Diego County simply can’t resist the temptations a residential neighborhood may bring. Some are harmless, but a few need to be watched and controlled to prevent damage to your homes and threats to your health and safety.


  • Generally nocturnal and hard to detect.
  • Have a preference for wetlands and areas near streams but will invade porches, sheds, attics, and garages.
  • Nests are stacked sticks and other debris.
  • Garbage cans, pet food, compost piles, and gardens are tempting food supplies.
  • Not generally aggressive but will hiss, growl, emit a noxious smell, or play dead when cornered. 
  • May start fights with pets and leaves feces around the home.
  • Carriers for ticks, lice, mites, and fleas, all dangerous pests in their own right, opossums can also transmit tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, and a handful of other diseases.

While not as threatening as an opossum, squirrels in the San Diego County area are still a common nuisance to residents with trees and fertile ground.


While not as threatening as an opossum, squirrels in the San Diego County area are still a common nuisance to residents with trees and fertile ground.

  • Both ground squirrels and tree squirrels are common in the San Diego County Area.
  • Ground squirrels can heap up dirt in lawns, making it hard to mow. They may also rack up damage to decks and buildings by burrowing underneath them.
  • Tree squirrels can nest in chimneys and attics and generally make a lot of noise. They may chew wires, ruin insulation, or get stuck in the walls.
  • Gardens and outside fresh food are a ground squirrel’s dream, while tree squirrels will stick to nuts and fruit, making the occasional venture into pet food.

House Sparrow:

Though California’s birdlife is one of its greatest assets, some pesky species make homeowners miserable. The house sparrow is one such species.

  • Small and brown, these birds are aggressive toward other native birds who may wish to nest around your home. They will kill nestlings and adult birds for a chance at their nest site.
  • May nest in crevices around the home but also can target your curved Spanish roof tiles, dragging grass and trash in for the nest.
  • Pet and livestock feed, as well as small seeds, are tempting food.
  • They have been known to carry salmonellosis, West Nile virus, and the highly contagious New Castle disease, among other diseases.

What Should I Do About Wildlife In & Around My Home?

These three pests are just a sampling of the animals known to invade homes and properties in the San Diego County area. Though they are relatively common, it’s never a good idea to try and handle the issue on your own. Some wildlife species become aggressive when confronted or cornered, and I’m sure you’d rather call a professional like HomeShield Pest Control than make a doctor’s visit.

HomeShield Pest Control is your best option in Southern California for dealing with invading wildlife. Our process is comprehensive and preventative. When you call HomeShield Pest Control, we will inspect for signs of infestation, identify potential entry points, seal weaknesses that might allow them into your home, clean up infested areas to prevent re-infestation, and give you peace of mind with ongoing monitoring as part of our service. To learn more about the San Diego County, CA pest control plans we offer, get in touch with us today!