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California Gophers: Friend or Foe?

by | Jul 5, 2024 | 0 comments

California gophers are rodents with a surprising talent for digging. Their bodies are long and slender, perfectly built for navigating underground tunnels. These little burrowers come in shades of brown or gray, with fur so fine and short it repels wet soil as they dig. Their most impressive tools? Their front legs—strong and muscular with large, curved claws for efficient tunneling.

Despite spending most of their lives in complete darkness, California gophers find their way around intricate tunnel networks with the help of their sensitive whiskers. These tireless diggers have a unique adaptation for keeping dirt out of their mouths while they gnaw with their four large front teeth. Their lips can close firmly behind the teeth, creating a clean separation between digging and dining.

What attracts gophers to your yard?

For gophers, your yard can be a four-star resort packed with all the amenities they crave. As herbivores, they’re drawn to a vegetarian feast—root vegetables, tasty grasses, and even your prized flowers and shrubs.

A lush yard is basically an open invitation for these underground dwellers to set up shop, complete with an elaborate network of tunnels that serve as their private gopher condo.

How deep do gopher tunnels go?

Imagine an underground labyrinth—a series of narrow tunnels branching out from wider chambers. This elaborate network is a gopher’s domain.

The main tunnel, like a subterranean highway, runs parallel to the surface and is a mere 6 to 18 inches deep. Branching off are special rooms: a spherical nesting chamber lined with cozy dry grass, a pantry stocked with pilfered plant treasures, and even designated waste disposal tunnels.

The entire complex can sprawl over a vast underground territory, ranging from 200 to a whopping 2,000 square feet! Gophers tend to build more extensive networks in drier areas with abundant food sources, making your lovingly landscaped yard prime real estate for these industrious burrowers.

What are the common signs of California gopher infestation?

Unless you catch them making a rare daytime dash, California gophers are masters of disguise, spending most of their lives underground. But their secret activities leave a telltale sign: fresh mounds of loose soil. These horseshoe-shaped piles of dirt erupt from their extensive tunnel networks as they push earth aside.

If you see these mounds popping up in your yard, it’s a strong hint you’ve got gopher residents. The damage they cause will also become more evident. Chewed-up lawns, wilting plants, and even damaged sprinkler lines can all be signs of gopher activity. So, while you might not see them directly, the evidence of their tunneling ways will be hard to miss.

How do you get rid of gophers?

Unlike some unwanted guests, gophers won’t leave on their own. But the good news is you can take steps to make your yard less appealing. By addressing their needs for food, shelter, and water, you can encourage them to relocate. Additionally, deterrents can help create an unwelcoming environment. Let’s explore some methods to transform your yard from a gopher getaway into a place they’d rather avoid.

Seek Help from Gopher Control Experts

Corky’s Pest Control offers QualityPro-certified gopher control treatments like fencing, trapping, and flooding tunnels with water to eliminate gophers. We also use safety-compliant fumigation and rodenticides, if necessary. Learn more about our Gopher Control & Removal Service.

Call Corky’s Pest Control at 800-901-1102 to schedule a FREE inspection and estimate!


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