Common Signs of Gophers – What to Look For

February 15, 2023

Are You Seeing Mounded Dirt on Your Property? Here’s how to determine if it could be a gopher!

Gopher Mounds

The most common sign of gopher activity will be the crescent-shaped mounds of dirt. These mounds will often be grouped together and have the dirt collected mostly to one side and will be finer in texture. There will also be a circular plug of dirt in the center.

The mounds are shaped this way because gophers push the dirt behind them as they dig. They will then plug the hole as they return to their underground tunnel system. This is to prevent predators from following them into their tunnels.

Examples of Gopher Mounds:

      gopher garden damage     


Damage to Plants

Another common sign will be plant death or even plants completely disappearing. This is because gophers are herbivores which means they consume plant matter. Gophers will typically go after the root system first which will cause your plants to die off but gophers have been known to pull entire small plants underground. They are especially fond of our tomato plants and rose bushes!

A Gopher Mound by a Plant:

shrub with damage from a pest


Gopher Appearance

You will sometimes see gophers pop their heads out of their mounds very briefly but it is very uncommon for them to travel above ground. They are large rodents (anywhere from 6-10 inches long in adulthood!) that are brown in color. They are recognizable by their very large exposed front teeth. They also have small ears and large claws that help them dig more efficiently.

gopher peeking his head out of a hole     


Gopher Activity

Gophers are native to North America and are active all year long. This means they do not hibernate but you will find them on your property less often in the wet, winter months. This is because they tend to remain in the more lush open space where there are plenty of food sources for them. Come dry season though they will creep into our more irrigated yards and landscapes in search of food.

Gophers are territorial creatures so they tend to not want to share their space with other gophers. They do cohabitate during breeding season (late winter to early spring) but return to their own burrows afterwards. This means that it is uncommon for properties to have more than 1-3 gophers at a given time.


What Can You Do?

You can find a number of DIY solutions for gopher removal online but we have found our gopher control service to be a more effective option. We utilize lethal traps and our expert technicians will continuously monitor your property until there is no more new activity.

You can read more about our service here!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call or submit an online form!