Do I have gophers in my yard?
Many homeowners aren’t sure whether or not they have a gopher or a mole problem. That’s what makes an exterminator from Anteater Exterminating Inc. when combating pests. Many pests have similar modes of operation. Ground squirrels, rats, and voles all tunnel as well. Determining whether or not you have a pocket gopher infestation is the first key. There are some signs that can help you distinguish one from the other, though.
How are pocket gopher mounds different than mole mounds?
The primary difference is the shape of the cone and where you’ll find the exit hole.
Gopher mounds – Because gophers surface diagonally, they have diagonal shaped cones. Look for cones that are crescent shaped. These will have an opening coming out of the side. Other holes you may find are feeder holes. These occur when a gopher pokes its head out to feed on vegetation. It will fill the hole back in afterward, so you’ll typically find a recessed indent in the hole.
Mole mounds – When moles surface they do so vertically. Coming straight up out of the ground means they leave a volcano shaped hole in their wake. Moles feed beneath the ground on grubs and other insects. They do not leave behind the same types of feeding holes that gophers do. Moles may also leave tunnels. These typically follow around blocked areas, so they may run parallel to a path or building foundation.
What kind of damage do pocket gophers cause?
Aside from tearing up your yard, pocket gophers are perfectly happy to feed on bulbs and underground root systems. As herbivores, they stick to greens. If you’re trying to grow a garden of any type or maintain your existing fauna system they can be a serious menace. In addition to eating plant roots, they’ll often pull an entire plant into their burrow so they can eat it in safety.
Gopher holes cause serious irrigation problems. Not only do they steal your plants, they cause soil erosion as well. Gopher holes funnel water and can damage soil stability. If a hole is next to your foundation it can also cause water to wear it away, leading to cracks in a property foundation that are expensive to repair.
Gopher holes and be a serious tripping hazard. One of the biggest dangers of a gopher hole isn’t to adults, it’s to pets and small children. These family members have a much easier time getting their feet and legs caught in gopher holes. That can lead to trips and falls if their lucky, and leg or ankle breaks if they aren’t.
Do pocket gophers hibernate?
Unfortunately, pocket gophers are active all year. They do not hibernate and tunnel systems can cover thousands of square feet. Because they are active 24 hours of the day and have irregular sleeping schedules, it means your problem will only get worse until it is taken care of.
What can I do about pocket gophers?
There are a variety of options for treating gopher infestations. These are best discussed with a pest control expert. Because they live underground it makes treatment particularly sensitive. Improperly treated gopher infestations can contaminate the water and soil. When the goal is to regain your landscape, DIY gopher control can be disasterous.