Gopher Identification

What are gophers?

Gophers are large rodents, with short necks, blunt noses, and stout bodies. Their powerful front legs and sizable claws help them to dig through the soil. A gopher’s body has tan or brown fur. A unique feature of the gopher is their external cheek pouches, which they use to carry the food they gather as they tunnel through the earth.

gopher peaking out of hole in ground

Gophers are a pest no homeowner wants to find in their lawn or garden. These pests spend most of their lives beneath the ground, meaning people rarely see them, but they do leave behind signs that help alert homeowners of their presence. Common signs of gophers include finding horseshoe-shaped mounds of dirt at their tunnel entrance and exit holes, seeing damaged grass, trees, and plants in your yard, and having problems with water lines or cables.

Are gophers dangerous?

Gophers aren’t directly dangerous to people, but their feeding habits, holes they create in lawns, and tunnels are all things that cause us problems. Gophers are herbivores and therefore have a diet that consists only of plants. As they dig through the soil, they feed on grass or plant roots and bulbs, causing serious plant damage or even plant death.

A gopher’s tunnels may extend under driveways, cement slabs, and foundations, causing structural damage. As they tunnel their digging and chewing can damage wires, pipes, and cables. As gophers tunnel under the ground, they loosen the soil, pushing it to the surface and create unsightly mounds across the yard.

Why do I have a gopher problem?

The unfortunate truth is that gophers are on your property because your lawn is healthy and lush, and your gardens have plenty of plants for them to eat. Things like dandelions, alfalfa, peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes are things that gophers can’t resist.

Where will I find gophers?

Gophers live outside in wide-open spaces like yards, wooded areas, fields, parks, and golf courses. Properties with irrigation systems are often prone to problems with gophers as the moist soil is easy for them to dig through.

Their burrowing systems are 4 - 12 inches underground and may contain hundreds of tunnels. When the weather becomes colder, gophers will tunnel deeper, below the frost line.

Like most rodents, gophers do not hibernate and remain active throughout most of the year; however, the spring and summer seasons when food is plentiful is when they are most active.

How do I get rid of gophers?

If you are ready to get rid of gophers from your yard, reach out to the local pest control experts at Patriot Pest Management. Our customized services performed by our knowledgeable and friendly experts eliminate pests and stop them from coming back.

At Patriot Pest Management, we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy and their properties are free of pests. For exceptional home pest control or commercial pest control services in the Greater Bay Area and surrounding counties of California, contact Patriot Pest Management today!

How can I prevent gophers in the future?

Below are some easy to follow tips that will help you keep your yard free of destructive gophers:

  • To protect garden plants from gopher damage, instead of planting them in the ground, use planting boxes.
  • Protect flower beds from hungry gophers by burying fencing at least 18 inches into the ground with at least 6-12 inches visible above the ground.
  • Do not overwater your lawn. The moister the soil, the easier it is for gophers to dig.
  • Contact Patriot Pest Management at the first sign of gophers living on your property.
 

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