Gophers can drive you crazy. While definitely adorable, the habits of a gopher are anything but adorable. These mid-sized animals dig holes in your yard, create mounds of dirt for you to spread out onto your grass, eat the plants in your landscaping, and invade your garden. They are terrible guests. If gophers are ruining your yard, we have some great facts and tips to share with you.

Join us as we look at what a gopher infestation looks like, what attracts gophers to your yard, natural gopher control, and professional gopher control methods. If you are currently at the end of your rope with gophers and you want immediate service, you don't have to wait. Jump to our contact page for pest control in Orange County.

Our friendly, experienced and highly-trained pest management professionals can help. If you don't have a gopher problem driving you up a wall yet and you are just looking for some fun and informative facts, read on to learn all you need to know about gophers in Orange County. We've put together some great information for you. 

Do You Have Gophers In Your Yard?

Often, property owners don't know if they have a gopher problem. You may find mounds of dirt and not know if they're from gophers or some other pest. You may have seen plant damage but you don't have any holes or mounds to confirm a gopher problem.

Here are a few tips to help you tell whether or not gophers are your problem:

  • Gopher mounds are composed of loose dirt and are usually in a fan shape. In rare cases, you might find a mound more like a volcano shape. If so, the loose dirt will help you successfully identify it as a gopher mound. The dirt is loose because of how gophers excavate the soil from their tunnels. Moles push dirt out with brute force which makes it appear clumpier. Gophers dig the dirt out of their tunnels, making it more granular.
  • Some gopher holes don't have mounds, or the amount of dirt is minimal. You may find several of these holes in one area and it can make the ground look like swiss cheese. When gophers make several holes in one place, they don't have to push a lot of dirt out because the tunnels aren't very long. Since gophers dig dirt out of their tunnels, a small tunnel will not produce as much dirt.
  • Gophers come above ground and may explore your yard in the daytime. If you see a gopher in your yard, it is a good indication that you have a gopher problem. A gopher isn't likely to wander into your yard from your neighbor's yard. They don't want to spend much time above ground because of predators.
  • Dead patches are evidence of a gopher problem. Lawn mowing spreads dirt mounds out onto the grass around them and chokes the grass. If your son or daughter mows the lawn, you may not see the mounds and only see the dead patches on your lawn. These dead patches can be quite extensive. There may also be dead areas due to gophers eating the roots of your grass. In both cases, your yard is going to look like a mess. If you visit a property and see these dead patches, there is a good chance they have a gopher problem.

There are a few signs you can look for that will let you know you're dealing with some other pest. Seeing these signs will help you to rule gophers out:

  • Voles are tiny, mouse-like rodents that create runways in grass. If you see paths in your turfgrass, voles are likely eating your plants.
  • Moles are burrowing animals that make mounds in your yard. The mounds they create are always a volcano shape, and the dirt is more chunky than the dirt found in a gopher mound. 
  • Mole holes are farther away from each other than gopher holes. You can find several gopher holes near each other.
  • Moles create tunnels near the surface and push the ground up. Gopher tunnels are deeper underground and will not appear as raised.

Do you think you have a gopher problem but you're unsure? We can help. We can inspect your property, evaluate the damage, and offer gopher control services to address the problem. For assistance in Orange County, reach out to us.  

a gopher peeking out of a ground hole

What Attracts Gophers To Your Yard?

Gophers are mostly herbivores and they are attracted to yards with lots of plants. They'll eat food sources above and below ground so you may not immediately recognize the food source that is attracting them. Some of the foods you can't expect gophers to eat are:

  • seeds
  • Bulbs
  • Roots
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other tubers 
  • Alfalfa
  • Dandelions
  • Flowers
  • Grass
  • Trees roots
  • Bark
  • Juicy vegetables

They can come above ground for short foraging missions or secretively tunnel under plants and suck them down into their tunnels.

One way to deter gophers is to protect potential food sources. While not able to provide 100 percent deterrence, natural gopher control methods like this are the only way to prevent gophers without using traps and other gopher pest control products. Install fencing material to protect plants and vegetables at least a foot below ground to prevent gophers from tunneling underneath.

Another natural method for deterring gophers is to plant things that gophers don't like. Some experts suggest nandina, lilies, salvias, garlic, and verbascum. As a burrowing animal, a gopher will prefer your property if you have sandy soil or soil that breaks apart easily. A gopher wants to be able to excavate lots of soil with ease. There isn't a whole lot you can do about this attractant.

Gophers are always looking for shelter. They may burrow under the roots of a tree, get under fences, or hide under foundations. Once again, it is hard to stop gophers from tunneling under objects on your property. The only recommendation we can make is to remove objects that gophers would want to hide under, if it is at all possible.

The best solution for gophers is gopher control. There's just no way around it. You're going to have little success convincing a gopher that your yard isn't the most wonderful place in the world. 

Can Gophers Cause Irreparable Damage To Your Lawn?

Gophers can do a number on your lawn. While it may be costly to repair, and it may be more than a year before your lawn looks beautiful again, the damage is not irreparable. All it takes is some loving care - and no more gopher activity.

The damage gophers do to your landscaping can also be repaired but it can cost you a pretty penny. If you maintain a property with expensive landscaping plants, proactive gopher control is essential. Gophers can damage crops. Do you have a vineyard? If so, you can't afford to have these destructive pests around. You need to get routine evaluations and ongoing trapping services to stop gophers in their tracks.

What Is The Best Way To Keep Gophers Away?

You can't convince gophers to stay off your property, and it can be nearly impossible to keep food sources out of the reach of gophers. Since there is no effective way to deter gophers, you need ongoing, proactive gopher management. It is best to have a licensed and experienced pest management professional handle this for you.

If you need professional gopher control in Orange County, let the service team at HomeShield Pest Control help you get on top of gopher problems and stay on top of them. You can expect our experienced service professional to use the following treatment options:

Carbon Monoxide Treatments

Gophers hide in their tunnels, making them hard to remove. Carbon monoxide treatments quickly eliminate rodents hiding in their tunnels without impacting the soil or causing vegetables or fruit to taste funny.

The smoke rising out of gopher tunnels allows our technicians to tell how extensive the tunnels are, and they work to fill in holes to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Best of all, this treatment method can help to address other common yard pests such as moles, voles, squirrels, rats, and prairie dogs.

Gopher Bait

We use a unique baiting formula that draws gophers away from your vegetation, garden, flowers, and shrubs. The gophers take the bait and are eliminated underground. There is no need for trapping and removal services. When applied by a trained and experienced applicator, bait is a great solution for particularly difficult gopher control issues.

Integrated Pest Management

An IPM pest control plan for your yard helps to address the attractants and other conditions that promote gopher activity and it works to prevent future infestations.

Are you in Orange County? Have you had all you can take of gopher problems? We can help you protect your yard, garden, sports field, golf course, orchard, vineyard, and any other location where these irritating pests have invaded. You can count on our team for industry-leading gopher management and control and the highest level of service. Reach out to HomeShield Pest Control to learn more or to request service.