6 Signs of a Gopher Infestation and What to Do Next

While gophers may look slightly comical in their appearance, they are certainly no laughing matter. They can decimate a garden, and if left unchecked, can even undermine the structure of your home and outbuildings. The first step to preventing gophers is identifying whether you actually have them. This is why today we will show you X signs of a gopher infestation. If you have got a problem, we will also tell you what to do next. 

Gopher Infestation | 6 Signs That You May Have a Problem 

Gophers are often confused with other garden pests like moles. However, there are a few telltale signs that you may have unwanted guests. Here’s what to look out for if you think you may have a gopher infestation. 

Dirt Mounds 

The most obvious signs that you have gophers are the mounds of dirt that are formed. Gophers live in subterranean tunnels and will push dug material out of these tunnels, creating fan-shaped mounds.  

In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to tell you have gophers and not moles. Mole mounds look vaguely volcano-shaped, whereas a gopher mound will spread dirt in one direction, creating a crescent shape. 

Mounds are often only visible in relatively flat uniform areas like lawns. They can be easily missed among tree roots and plant beds.  

Damage to Trees and Plants 

Speaking of trees and plants, here is something else to look out for. This is much more subtle. However, especially in the case of trees, it can take a little time to become noticeable. 

Gophers burrows can go quite deep, and when they encounter tree roots, they can chew through them, damaging the system that the tree needs to survive. Often, this will affect one side of the tree only. So if you’ve noticed that you’ve got a tree that only blooms or has leaves on one side, a gopher infestation could be the cause. 

Gophers will also chew through plants and will emerge to feast on things in your garden, so, provided that you can rule out any other causes if you’ve noticed damage in your garden, then there could be a team of gophers at work. 

There are plants that gophers refuse to eat, such as these. 

Increased Pet Interest 

Your four-legged friends can be much more in tune with what is going on in your garden, and often it pays to watch their behavior. 

If you have pets, such as dogs or cats, and they seem to be showing particular interest in a certain section of the garden, then there is a good chance that there may be furry pests lurking beneath. 

The good news is that gophers are very risk-averse, and if they are constantly plagued by a dog or cat, they will tend to pack their bags and head elsewhere. However, this is not guaranteed, and if you have treated the area with poisons, pets should be kept away. 

Electrical Problems 

To an underground gopher, tree roots and electrical cabling are all the same. They will chew through cables they encounter when burrowing. While this might spell the end for this gopher, there could be more. 

You may notice that your garden lighting isn’t working. Flickering, dimming, or intermittent problems could all indicate that your underground wiring is damaged, and a gopher could be the cause.  

You’ve Seen Them! 

Gophers are nocturnal and quite timid creatures; however, if there is a proliferation of them in your garden, you might occasionally spot them.  

For many, this will be their first time seeing a gopher. Here’s a quick guide so that you can identify the problem: – 

  • 6 – 8 inches in length 
  • They will regularly stand upright on their back legs 
  • Dark to light brown fur (depending on the soil in which they live) 
  • A set of large front teeth (that look similar to a beaver) 
  • Small ears 
  • A very small stubby tail 

Gnawing Damage 

Gophers, being rodents, have to constantly gnaw and chew to wear down their front incisor teeth. Any hard surface will do, and yes, this does include items in your garden such as furniture. If you’ve noticed chips or chunks have been taken out of wooden items at floor level, there is a good chance that you have a gopher infestation. 

I’ve Got Signs of A Gopher Infestation | What to Do Next? 

There are a few techniques you can use to deal with isolated gophers; however, if you suspect you have an infestation, you might have a bigger issue.  

You can take a few initial actions, such as removing potential food and water sources. But this is a lot easier said than done. Gophers are also averse to strong smells, so this is a technique that you may wish to try. 

You could also consider flushing the burrow with water. However, this can be ineffective if your garden is porous and easily soak up liquids.  

Considering that gophers can produce at least three litters per year, and each litter will contain 5 to 6 young, if even a few remain, you will find that you may well have a recurring gopher problem. The best and quickest solution is hiring a pest control company to provide a more permanent solution to your gopher problem. 

Pest controllers use various techniques to completely eliminate gopher infestations from your property. This could include: 

  • Gopher traps 
  • The use of poisons (which does require professional knowledge) 
  • Using gas or a fumigant – This can include either the use of carbon monoxide or aluminum phosphate.

Facility pest control, based in California, are experts in gopher removal and control. Not only will we rid your property of gophers, but we will also make sure that they don’t come back. We are so confident in our abilities that we guarantee the effectiveness of our work for a month after our initial appointment. We also offer discounts to our regular readers. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.