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Gophers are small mammals that are known for their burrowing behavior. They create intricate tunnel systems underground, which can cause damage to your yard and garden. It’s important to understand why gophers dig holes and how to deal with them to protect your property. In this article, we’ll explore the behavior and characteristics of gophers, identify signs of their presence, discuss prevention methods, trapping techniques, and provide expert tips for controlling gopher activity.

Gopher Behavior and Characteristics

Understanding Gopher Tunnels: What Lies Underground?

Gophers are well-known for their elaborate tunnel systems that they create underground. These tunnels, also known as burrows, serve various purposes for these animals. Gopher burrow systems typically consist of a main tunnel that leads to multiple branching tunnels. At the end of each tunnel, you’ll find a pocket where the gopher stores its food. These burrows can extend up to hundreds of meters and provide shelter, protection, and a place to raise their young.

Identifying Gopher Activity

Recognizing Gopher Signs in Your Yard

Identifying gopher activity in your yard is crucial for effective control and prevention. Common signs of gopher presence include the appearance of fresh mounds of soil on the surface of the ground, partially or completely covering the entrance to their tunnels. Gophers are herbivores and will feed on plant roots, so you may notice wilting or dying plants, and chewed stems. Other garden pests, such as voles and moles, may also leave similar signs, so it’s important to differentiate their activities.

Dealing with Other Garden Pests

In addition to gophers, your yard may be susceptible to other garden pests such as voles and moles. Voles are herbivores like gophers but tend to stay closer to the surface, leaving shallow tunnels and runways. Moles, on the other hand, primarily feed on insects and create tunneled networks just below the surface. It’s important to correctly identify the pest causing damage in your yard to implement the most effective control strategies.

Preventing Gopher Damage

Effective Ways to Stop Gophers from Digging

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with gophers in your yard. There are several effective methods to deter them from digging in your property:

  • Install gopher-proof fencing around your garden or specific areas where you want to protect your plants.
  • Plant gopher-resistant plants that are less likely to attract these animals.
  • Regularly remove excess vegetation and debris from your yard to discourage nesting.
  • Use organic repellents specifically designed to deter gophers.

Trapping Gophers

Expert Tips for Trapping Gophers When They Come Out

Trapping is an effective method for controlling gopher populations. Here are some expert tips to help you with trapping gophers:

  • Locate active tunnels by checking for freshly dug soil and open entrances.
  • Set up humane box traps in the main tunnels and bait them with fresh produce.
  • Regularly check the traps and relocate captured gophers to a suitable habitat far from your property.

Understanding Gopher Behavior

Gopher Activity Patterns: When are Gophers Most Active?

Gophers are active throughout the year, but their activity patterns may vary depending on the region and climate. They are typically more active during the early morning and late afternoon. Understanding their behavior patterns can help with your control efforts.

Do Gophers Frequently Come Out of Their Holes?

Gophers are primarily subterranean animals and spend the majority of their time underground in their burrows. However, they do occasionally come out to gather food or move between tunnels, especially during their active periods mentioned earlier.

Is Gopher Activity More Common During the Night?

Gophers are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active during the day. While they can be active at night, it is less common. If you’re experiencing gopher damage, it’s more likely to occur during daylight hours.

Identifying Active Gopher Holes

Active gopher holes are typically identified by freshly disturbed soil surrounding a newly dug tunnel entrance. These holes may be partially or completely covered by the gopher, depending on its activity level at the time.

Attracting Gophers Out of Their Holes

If you need to attract a gopher out of its hole for control purposes, placing a juicy fruit or vegetable as bait near an active entrance can entice the gopher to emerge. Be patient and monitor the area closely.

Professional Gopher Control Solutions

Benefits of Consulting a Gopher Pest Control Company

If your gopher problem persists or becomes overwhelming, it may be beneficial to consult a professional gopher pest control company. These experts have the knowledge, experience, and tools to effectively manage gopher populations, ensuring the long-term health and safety of your yard.


Gophers are fascinating creatures known for their burrowing behavior, but their activities can cause significant damage to your yard and garden. By understanding gopher behavior, recognizing signs of their presence, implementing prevention methods, and utilizing trapping techniques, you can effectively deal with gophers and protect your property. Remember, if the problem persists, it’s always best to consult a professional for expert assistance.


Q: Are gophers harmful to humans?

A: Gophers are generally not harmful to humans. However, their burrowing activities can cause damage to structures, gardens, and landscapes.

Q: Can gophers be relocated?

A: Yes, gophers can be safely trapped and relocated to suitable habitats away from your property.

Q: How do I know if I have a gopher or some other pest in my yard?

A: Look for specific signs such as fresh mounds of soil and chewed plant roots to determine if gophers are present. Different pests may leave similar signs, so it’s essential to accurately identify the culprit for appropriate control measures.

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