Gopher Inspection Guide

How To Inspect For Gophers In Your Yard

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff


What To Look For

Gophers live underground and are active all year round. They spend almost all of their time in underground tunnel systems, and you might be unaware that gophers are living under your turf unless you see a gopher hole and mound.

Gopher holes and mounds are the main indications of gopher presence in your yard, although they can cause some other damage as well.

Step 1

Recognizing Gopher Holes & Mounds

Since gophers live and spend most of their time underground in tunnels, you may have no idea there are gophers living under your turf.

Often, the presence of gopher holes and mounds is the only indication of gopher presence, so it is important to know how to identify them:

  • Gopher mounds are fan or kidney shaped, which differentiates them from mole hills, which are round.
  • The mounds can be up to a foot tall, and about a foot to two feet in diameter.
  • There will be no surface tunnels connecting the mounds, like with moles.
  • Mounds are at the end of lateral tunnels that extend out from the main runways, and are plugged with soil to keep intruders out.
  • Gophers are solitary, but their tunnel systems can be very extensive, even covering an acre underground. Tunnels can be a couple inches under the turf, or several feet deep in the soil, depending on the soil, available plants, and terrain.

Step 2

Other Possible Damage & Signs

Gophers eat plants, and feed mainly on underground plant structures, like roots, tubers, rhizomes, etc. Because of this, they can damage plants and also eat through utility cables or irrigation tubes.

They also can damage your turf (from eating the roots) and other plants that they may encounter underground.

They sometimes eat plants above ground, especially in the spring when plants are succulent.

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