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Drought Forcing Critters Into South Bay Backyards, Causing Pricey Problems For Residents

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- San Jose homeowners are dealing with an influx of unwanted visits from critters that may be distraught due to the drought.

Opossum sightings and complaints have been on the rise in the city, where the animals find easy meals in the suburbs with soft dirt and abundant food.

"You see how he's been eating the fruit and stuff that's on the ground," pest control expert Richard Serrato explained in a backyard where an opossum had been captured.

For homeowners and landlords the opossums can cause pricey problems.

"This was a new lawn when they moved in. I wanted it to be nice for the little girl," landlord Linda Ferraris said as she stood in her rental's backyard next to a torn up lawn.

The lack of water from the state's drought has dried up normal food sources for the animals, forcing them into more populated areas to survive. Raccoons and opossums are finding shelter below decks, and causing other problems for residents.

Karen Keegan of San Mateo says the animals were causing problems for her cat. "He's an indoor cat, he doesn't go outside but he showed up with fleas."

Serrato says the problems are becoming more common.

"A lot of people are asking why are we having problems where we have never had problems before. It took us a while to figure out but it's because we're not getting water where we used to get water."

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