How to Get Rid of Gophers in Your Yard & Garden

Gophers might look cute and harmless, but they can create chaos for homeowners and gardening enthusiasts alike. Despite their endearing appearance, these burrowing rodents are notorious for causing extensive damage to lawns, gardens, and plants. With their intricate tunnel systems and relentless craving for plant roots, gophers can turn a once-beautiful outdoor space into an unsightly and hazardous area.

This blog will equip you with essential knowledge about gophers, their behavior, and the havoc they can wreak. Additionally, we will explore various prevention strategies, control methods, and ongoing management techniques to help you regain control of your outdoor environment and protect your cherished green spaces. Let’s start and learn how to get rid of gophers in your yard and garden for good.

rodents 768x512

Gophers: Description, Behavior, and the Damage Caused

Gophers are small burrowing rodents found in North America, known for their stout bodies, short legs, and strong claws that enable them to excel at digging. Gophers are members of the Geomyidae family and normally measure 6 to 10 inches in length and weigh 4 to 18 ounces. These rodents primarily subsist on plant roots, tubers, bulbs, and other underground plant parts. 

While gophers provide some benefits, such as soil aeration and nutrient cycling, their burrowing activities can result in considerable damage. As they excavate tunnels, gophers create unsightly mounds of soil, disrupting the aesthetic appeal of well-maintained landscapes and creating frustration for property owners.

Furthermore, the gophers’ appetite for plant roots can severely affect vegetation. They feed on trees, shrubs, ornamental plant roots, stunting growth, wilting, and even killing plants. This worries farmers and gardeners who depend on healthy crops and gardens. 

Signs of Gopher Infestations

Gophers can cause significant damage to lawns, gardens, and plants. Detecting gopher infestations early on is crucial for effective control. Here are some sure signs to watch out for:

  1. Mounds of Soil: Gophers create crescent-shaped mounds of soil when they push dirt to the surface while excavating their burrows. Look for fresh mounds with a sealed hole in the center.
  2. Damaged Plant Roots: Gophers feed on plant roots, often causing wilting or death of vegetation. Check for gnawed or severed roots near affected areas.
  3. Feeding Tunnels: Gophers leave behind distinctive tunnels just below the soil surface. Carefully remove a small section of topsoil to observe these feeding tunnels.
  4. Gopher Holes: Larger openings in the ground, known as “gopher holes,” serve as access points to their burrow systems. These holes are surrounded by loose soil or remnants of vegetation.

Gopher Control Methods

If you have a gopher infestation, you must act quickly to limit damage to your yard and plants. Here are a few control measures that can help you efficiently eliminate gophers from your property:


Various types of traps are available on the market, including live traps, box traps, and cinch traps. Select one that truly fits your needs and preferences.

Set traps near active gopher mounds or tunnel entrances, and check them regularly. Remember to wear gloves when handling traps to avoid leaving a human scent, which may deter gophers.


Gopher baits typically contain poison, such as strychnine or zinc phosphide, designed to eliminate gophers quickly. Choose a bait appropriate for your situation and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Wear gloves and keep baits away from children and pets. Dispose of gopher carcasses appropriately to avoid secondary poisoning of non-target species.


While gassing can effectively eliminate gophers in their burrows, it may not be suitable for every situation, particularly in areas near residential homes or with high water tables. Also, gassing may be less effective if the gopher tunnels are extensive or poorly sealed.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific gassing product you choose. Typically, this involves inserting a gas cartridge or smoke bomb into the gopher tunnel and sealing the entrance to ensure the gas remains inside the burrow.

Professional Gopher Control Services

If your gopher problem persists despite your efforts to control it, or if the infestation is extensive and causing significant damage, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Engaging professionals provide the expertise, know-how, and specialized tools to eradicate gophers from your property efficiently. Moreover, they can offer valuable guidance on preventive measures to minimize the likelihood of future infestations.

A professional service usually commences with a thorough inspection to evaluate the scope of the infestation and identify the most suitable control methods for optimal results. They will then implement the chosen method, such as trapping, baiting, or gassing, to eliminate the gophers. Finally, they may offer advice on prevention strategies and ongoing management to keep your yard and garden gopher-free.

Tips For Ongoing Gopher Management

By implementing the following ongoing management strategies, you can minimize the risk of future gopher infestations:

  • Regularly inspect your yard and garden for signs of gopher activity, such as fresh mounds or tunnel entrances. 
  • Continue to employ prevention strategies, such as proper garden maintenance, physical barriers, and natural repellents.
  •  If you notice signs of a new gopher infestation, take immediate action using the control methods outlined in this guide. 
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest gopher control techniques and best practices. This knowledge can help you adapt your management strategies and use the most effective methods to protect your yard and garden.

Final Thoughts

Managing gophers in your yard and garden can be irritating, but with the proper approach, you can reclaim control and revive the splendor of your outdoor space. You can effectively eliminate these pesky rodents by recognizing the signs of gopher infestations, understanding their behavior, and taking appropriate measures.

At Facility Pest Control, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and thriving yard and garden. Our exterminators are dedicated to providing professional and efficient gopher control services tailored to your specific needs. With our extensive knowledge and experience in pest management, we can help you eliminate gophers and protect your landscape from further damage.