Rodents Family Blog Image


Gopher poop, also known as gopher droppings or scat, can provide important clues about the presence of gophers in your home or yard. Understanding what gopher poop looks like can help you identify and address gopher infestations effectively. In this article, we will explore the different types of gophers, how to identify their droppings, signs of gopher infestation, the effects of gophers on your home and yard, ways to prevent gopher damage, safety concerns, and proper cleanup techniques.

Understanding Gophers

What Are Gophers?

Gophers are small burrowing rodents that belong to the family Geomyidae. They are known for their extensive tunneling systems and their ability to cause significant damage to lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields.

Types of Gophers

There are several species of gophers, but the most common ones include:

  • Pocket Gopher
  • Botta’s Pocket Gopher
  • Plains Pocket Gopher
  • Mazama Pocket Gopher

Each species has its own unique characteristics and habitats.

Identifying Gophers

Physical Characteristics

Gophers have stout bodies, small eyes, and powerful front limbs that are adapted for digging. They usually range in size from 5 to 14 inches long, depending on the species.

Gopher Droppings

Gopher droppings are small cylindrical pellets that are typically dark brown or black in color. They are often mistaken for squirrel poop, but gopher droppings have a more compact and elongated shape.

Size, Shape, and Color

Gopher droppings are typically around half an inch to an inch in length. They have a curved shape and are tapered at both ends. The color can vary slightly depending on the gopher’s diet, but they are generally dark brown or black.

Differences Between Gopher and Other Rodent Droppings

While gopher droppings may resemble those of other rodents, there are some key differences to look out for. Gopher droppings are usually larger and more elongated than squirrel or mouse droppings. They also tend to have a firmer texture due to the gopher’s herbivorous diet.

Differentiation of Gopher Poop from Dirt and Debris

It is important to distinguish gopher droppings from dirt or debris to accurately assess the presence of gophers. Gopher poop is typically found near or on top of mounds of loose soil, which are created as the gophers excavate their tunnel networks.

Signs of Gopher Infestation

Droppings as an Indicator

Gopher droppings are one of the key signs of gopher infestation. If you find gopher poop near these critters’ burrows or on mounds of loose soil, it is likely that you have gophers in your area.

Lawn and Plant Damage

In addition to droppings, gophers can cause visible damage to lawns and plants. They feed on the roots and underground portions of plants, resulting in wilting, yellowing, or dying vegetation. Gophers can also create extensive tunnel systems that can undermine the stability of your yard.

Effects of Gophers on Your Home and Yard

Impact on Lawn Health

Gophers can inflict severe damage to the health and appearance of your lawn. Their feeding habits disrupt the root systems of grass and other plants, causing yellowing, thinning, and even the death of the affected vegetation. This can lead to patchy, uneven lawns and increased vulnerability to weeds.

Impact on Soil Composition

Gophers create extensive tunnel systems underground, resulting in loose soil and mounds on the surface. This disrupts the composition and stability of the soil, making it prone to erosion. It can also affect the drainage, water retention, and nutrient availability for plants in your yard.

Preventing Gopher Damage

Planting Gopher-Resistant Plants

One way to protect your yard from gopher damage is by planting gopher-resistant plants. These plants have natural properties that make them less appealing to gophers, reducing the likelihood of infestation. Some examples include daffodils, marigolds, and lavender.

Implementing Trapping Techniques

Trapping can be an effective method for controlling gopher populations. There are various types of gopher traps available, such as box traps and jaw traps. It is important to follow the proper trapping techniques and guidelines to ensure humane capture and removal of the gophers.

Safety Concerns and Cleanup

Gopher Droppings and Human/Pet Health

Gopher droppings should be handled with caution as they may carry bacteria and parasites that can pose a health risk to humans and pets. It is recommended to wear gloves and a mask when cleaning up gopher droppings to minimize the risk of transmission.

Proper Handling and Disposal of Gopher Droppings

When cleaning up gopher droppings, it is important to use a shovel or scoop to collect the droppings and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Avoid direct contact with the droppings and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Dispose of the bag in a trash bin or follow local waste disposal regulations.


Gopher poop can provide valuable insights into the presence of gophers and their impact on your home and yard. By understanding how to identify gopher droppings and recognizing the signs of gopher infestation, you can take proactive measures to prevent gopher damage and ensure the health and aesthetics of your lawn and plants. Remember to prioritize safety when cleaning up gopher droppings and follow proper disposal procedures.


Q: How can I differentiate gopher droppings from other rodent droppings?

A: Gopher droppings are usually larger and more elongated than droppings from squirrels or mice. They also tend to have a more compact and firm texture due to the gopher’s herbivorous diet.

Q: What should I do if I find gopher droppings in my yard?

A: If you find gopher droppings in your yard, it is advisable to take action to address the gopher infestation. You can consider implementing trapping techniques, installing barriers, or seeking professional help from pest control experts.

Q: Can gopher droppings transmit diseases to humans?

A: Gopher droppings may carry bacteria and parasites that can pose a health risk to humans. It is important to handle gopher droppings with caution, wear gloves and a mask when cleaning up, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards to minimize the risk of transmission.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *