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Gophers: What You Need to Know

Need to get rid of gophers? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Is A Gopher?

Gophers are one of many different types of burrowing rodents. They are known for their large-scale tunneling and are generally considered pests due to the fact that this extensive tunneling can cause great damage to farms and gardens. This damage is most acute during the spring and fall because these are the seasons when gophers are most active near the soil’s surface. 

What Do Gophers Look Like?

Gophers are about 6 to 8 inches long and have a 1 to 2 inch tail. The males are larger than the females weighing about two times more. Gophers have brown fur, often matching the color of the soil where they make their homes. You can tell gophers from other rodents by their characteristically large cheek pouches which they use to horde food. These pouches are actually lined with fur, extend back as far as the shoulders and can even be turned inside out. It is due to these “pockets” that gophers are often referred to as “pocket gophers.” 

The Life Of The Gopher

Gophers can live up to three years, but the average life span is from 1 to 5 years. Gophers are active at all hours of the day and at all times of the year. They eat plant roots, shrubs and any vegetable that has juice like carrots, lettuce and radishes. 

During the breeding season gophers are more social, but outside of that they live solitary lives in which each gopher makes and lives in its own tunnel system.

Why Should I Worry If I Think I Have A Gopher?

A gopher’s individual tunnel system can traverse hundreds, up to thousands, of square feet. This can become problematic when you factor in the fact that gophers create individual tunneling systems and around 60 gophers can live within a single acre of land. 

How Can I Get Rid of Gophers?

The course of action taken to control the gopher population in your garden or lawn will depend on the size of your property, what type of plants you have and what surrounds your yard or garden.

Barrier methods that aim to prevent gophers from getting into your yard in the first place are another approach to gopher control. Certain plants are repellant to gophers like lavender, rosemary, salvia, catmint, oleander and marigolds. These plants can be planted around your yard or garden as another type of barrier. If you only have a few gophers on your property, one simple means of control is setting traps. There are products on the market that can be used to ward off gophers in chemical or biological ways. These are best applied by pest control specialists for the most effective solution.

The sooner you contact a pest control specialist for gophers the easier it will be to completely get rid of gophers in your yard or garden.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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