Identify And Managing A Gopher Infestation In Your Edible Garden

Posted on: 6 May 2015

If your thriving edible garden suddenly comes under attack by critters eating fruits and vegetables, you may have a gopher infestation. These rodents are voracious vegetarians and will feed above and below the surface of your garden. After you identify a gopher infestation, you should take action to rid your yard of the pests.

Identifying Gophers

Gophers are small, brown rodents with long front teeth. The furry pests resemble moles. However, they are larger than moles, have soft fine hair and usually grow between five to ten inches long. They have food pouches around the outside of their mouths for carrying their food.

Dozens of gopher species exist in North America. The pests can be found all over the country.

Signs of an Infestation

In addition to eating your plants, gophers also make their presence known by leaving fresh mounds of dirt in your yard. The mounds of excavated soil indicate that the rodents have been tunneling and building burrows in your yard. The mounds are breeding grounds for weeds that compete with your vegetables and fruit for nutrients in the soil.

Gopher will also eat through tree roots and chew on underground pipes and utility cables.

Because gophers can burrow into the ground and build tunnels in your yard, it may be hard to get rid of them without professional help. Plus, they breed year round. Female gophers can give birth to three litters each year, with an average of five to six babies.

The pests live up to three years. An acre of land can support about 60 gophers.

Gopher Pest Control

Instead of spending money on over-the-counter products like toxic baits, sonic repellents and traps, invest that cash in hiring a rodent control specialist. Otherwise, you will end up feeling like you are playing a futile game of whack-a-mole, as the gophers continue to reproduce and eat up your vegetables.

Licensed exterminators (such as those from will conduct a thorough inspection of your yard to find out the extent of the infestation. Professionals have access to strong, restricted-use fumigation products to kill gophers. Within two to three visits they can get rid of the rodents and provide you with tips on how to keep them from returning.

After the exterminators complete their treatment, level any remaining soil mounds and clean your yard. Keep garden areas free of debris like fallen vegetables and fruit as well as leaves and tree branches.

To protect new plants from gophers, use raised boxes and containers for your edibles.


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