Racoons wreaking havoc with lawns in Belwood and east Los Gatos

Racoon Lawn damage Has your yard been hit by racoons yet? For the last month or two, many Belwood and nearby residents have been awakening in the morning to damaged landscaping, particularly front lawns.  One home owner phoned the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police to complain about his vandalized front yard. But this time, it’s not human caused damage.

On several social media sites, neighbors vent that they have been victims of wild pigs or boars.  But that’s not it – at least not for most of us.  Boars do far more destruction and they are further in the hills, though perhaps if you are in the east Los Gatos foothills around Santa Rosa, or in parts of Almaden near open space that could be a risk.

Although sometimes the damage is quite extensive, involving a large percentage of one’s front lawn, the guilty parties are usually hungry racoons.  Crows may be assisting too, but they don’t create problems on as large of a scale.

They are after a meal in the form of tasty lawn grubs.  Grubs find their way into the soil to eat the roots of the grass, and those grubs seem to be the best eating in town for some of the local wildlife.

If that’s not enough,  squirrels like to bury food in lawns, too (someone used to give out peanuts in the shell near us – the squirrels kept burying them in our lawn – I’ve watched them!).

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Deer resistant landscaping

Two deer - Belgatos Park, Los GatosAs plums fall from our neighbor’s trees, the deer come to assist in the cleanup.  We walk our dog past this area daily and are noticing the distinct hoof marks left by the deer as they come to claim their dessert each night.

On Alerche Drive, many homes have wrought iron fences and gates installed to keep the deer from devouring their expensive landscaping.  For most of Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont, though, a 5′ tall fence of this sort is not feasible, nor would the local rules and regulations permit them anywhere close to the street.  Aside from big barriers, what can be done to protect plants and trees from our voracious friends?

Deer Resistant Gardens for the South Bay

A number of websites include information on deer resistant – or possibly “deer proof” – landscaping.  Here are some helpful resources:

Yerba Buena Nursery in Half Moon Bay offers landscaping tips and a list of plants less likely to make the favorites list for the deer:
http://www.yerbabuenanursery.com/DEER1a.php

On the Central Coast area of California, the Las Pilitas Nursery suggests that most ideal is to target plants which less susceptible to both deer and fire:  http://www.laspilitas.com/easy/deerfire.htm

The Deer Friendly website shares information on landscaping to avoid attracting deer as well as hints on barriers to them. https://www.deerfriendly.com/Deer-Resistant-Plants-and-Repellents (and more links too)

 

Bobcat spotted on Bacigalupi Drive near Belgatos Park in Los Gatos

Bobcats in Belwood of Los GatosThis last week, a neighbor saw a bobcat come out of the gate on Bacigalupi Drive in Belwood of Los Gatos and head uphill along the road, toward the top of Bacigalupi.  Nearby, another resident’s house cat was killed, presumably by the same bobcat.

Please be aware, especially if you are close to Belgatos Park or any big expanses of open space that wildlife may harm you, your children and your pets and take the necessary precautions.  In addition to bobcats, we also have racoons, possum, and more significantly, mountain lions and coyotes.

See homes for sale in the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods here, or call/email me for updated info as I sometimes also know about houses coming on the market soon.

Deer on Bacigalupi Drive

Yesterday we were walking our dog, Bella, to Belgatos Park (as we often do) and spotted some deer. Interestingly, we were inside of the park, and they were outside of it!  Below please see some images from those few minutes when they high-tailed it back into the park.

View from inside Belgatos Park - deer on a Bacigalupi front yard!

It was more obvious in person – next see a closeup:

View from inside the park - a closer look

The deer watched us carefully as we approached but eventually decided they needed to head back to the park. In the photo below, you may be able to see one of them on the right side of the road and another deer on the far left by the tree (there were 2 babies but none of the photos show all of them, unfortunately).

Deer crossing Bacigalupi Drive

Here’s a clearer image of two of the deer.

Deer in the road

Back into the park (they went around to the side where the fencing ends to get it).

Two deer in Belgatos Park, Los Gatos

A clear shot of two of the three deer just inside the park again.

Heading out to the open space

Heading back into the open space!

Deer back at home in Belgatos Park, Los Gatos, CA

Away from the fence, the street and the houses, this deer looks to be back where it is most comfortable.

Beware of rattlesnakes, especially in Belgatos Park and trails!

Caution in the grassSummer time and the rattlesnakes are out, so be cautious when walking or hiking – especially in Belgatos Park or in the nearby east Los Gatos trails of the Heintz Open Space Preserve or Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. Someone reported to the Belwood Facebook group that there have been 3 sightings in the last 2 days alone.

These rattlers sometimes crawl out from under the brush to sun themselves in an open space. Unsuspecting joggers can land on one and catch its furry in return if not looking.

Stick to the paths! You’ll be less likely to run into not only rattlesnakes, but ticks, poison oak and other unpleasant reminders of your day communing with nature.

Want to learn more about rattlesnakes? The San Diego Zoo’s website has lots of cool facts and photos.