I think all gardeners must grow to hate rodents. In general I hold no ill will towards animals, but just don’t be a nuisance to my garden. I’ve even, in the past, naively, encouraged their habitation in my yard. My how I’ve changed.
In the picture you see my 3 year old, Finn, and what was to be his flower. A mammoth sunflower, he planted it, and watered it, and watched it grow. Then, one day, an evil fat groundhog made it into my yard and tried climbing it and broke it off at the soil line. I had previously completely blocked off my yard with fencing and stone and cement blocks, this creature burrowed under my fence and under some cement blocks which, because of some quirk in that spot, didn’t fall down into the hole he made to block him, and he got into the yard. He is lucky the city frowns on shotgun pest control. The thing also got into my raised beds, which I also had fenced (which means he climbed a 4 foot fence) and ate carrot tops and kale.
Meanwhile chipmunks steal my strawberries and grapes and dig and burrow, voles dig and burrow, and moles dig and burrow, all over my yard. Oh ya, and then, one of the above, or maybe a squirrel, keeps digging out the replacement sunflower seeds I keep planting.
So I have a water feature that attracts wildlife, and I’ve been watering and letting my kids play in the sprinkler which means my yard is still alive when most of the soil around is dry and dead, so I can see why they come, but I don’t like it.
I’ve really changed quite a bit from a few years ago, I’ve had just too much damage caused by rodents, to garden and house, to really care about them anymore. I know someone will comment complaining about habitat loss, I don’t really care. I grew up in the woods a mile from my mailbox on a dirt road and we never had ground hogs, did not have many squirrels or chipmunks, and I never saw signs of mole or vole activity. Now I live in the city and have copious amounts of all of these. I think the city has too many trees and not enough hunters.