There are 23 species of Kangaroo rats in the genus Dipodomys in North America, and can become serious problems for agriculture due to their habit of gathering large numbers of seeds and caching them for winter feeding. They are so thorough in their seed gathering that they can impact newly planted fields by digging up seeds, as well as removing seeds from grasses and reducing the crop for the next year. They will also feed somewhat on new sprouts of plants, clipping the plant off at the base. They do not hibernate, but may remain in their burrows when weather conditions are poor. They will breed throughout the warm months of the year with up to 3 broods per year and up to 6 young per brood. Breeding will be heaviest during wet periods and may drop to almost no breeding during periods of drought. They are nocturnal and will develop an intricate system of burrows below ground, favoring sandy soils. Within the burrows will be chambers for food storage, sleeping, and living quarters. They are well adapted for living in dry, sandy areas where they obtain their water from the seeds that they eat. They are solitary animals, but many kangaroo rats may be living in one area with intertwining burrow systems.
Generally speaking, kangaroo rats are not pest problems, although their consumption of seeds and vegetation may be unwanted. Some species are on the endangered or protected species listings, and care must be taken before attempting any control programs to ensure the proper identification is made. Zinc phosphide baits may be available in some areas, fumigation with aluminum phosphide may be possible, and trapping of small populations can be effective.