Pocket gophers are commonly referred to as gophers and are burrowing rodents. Gophers weigh about half a pound and are around 6-8 inches in length with a 1-2 inch tail. The males are larger than the females and can be double the weight. There are about 35 species of gophers that live in Central and North America and are to blame for extensive tunneling activities. The fur color of a gopher will closely resemble the color of the soil they are living in, making brown the color of most gophers. The word “pocket” refers to the large cheek pouches that gophers have. These pouches are lined with fur and can be turned inside out and can extend from their mouth and on to their shoulders. Along with having small eyes, gophers have short, hairy tails that help them get around in their tunnels as they walk backwards. Pocket gophers have been known to be carriers of external parasites.
What Time of Year are Gophers Most Active
Pocket gophers are active 365 days out of the year however, gophers are most active in the spring when they may construct up to three mounds a day. Additionally, they seem to be more active around dusk and at night. Damage is caused when gophers build extensive tunnels to store food and protection. They can become quite the hoarders as they use their cheeks to transport food. Gophers like moist soil and will appear in gardens, lawns, or farms. You will find evidence of where their entrances are by the small pile of loose soil that covers the openings. Fan-shaped mounds with an entry hole off to one side. They will create a complex system of tunnels that can run up to several hundred feet. They create chambers of the main tunnel to store food and to breed. Most of the burrow system id just below the surface but another parts can reach depths of six feet.
How Do You Get Rid of Gophers in Your Yard?
Traps can be used to control gophers or you can try to flood them out by putting a hose into the entrance of the burrow. There are gopher bombs that can be effective but with tunnels running as long and as deep as they do, the gas may not reach them all. Another technique that has been found to be effective is the use of castor oil granules. These granules will not kill the gophers but will lead them away to another area (not your yard) after using a spreader to distribute the granules. You can wait for the rain or take a hose to dissolve the granules which will release a scent that will repel the gophers. These granules contain soap and corncob granules along with the castor oil and can be helpful to the lawn making this method a win-win scenario! Do this in stages, if needed, moving the granules closer and closer to an exit out of your yard. There is gopher wire that can be installed to prevent them from burrowing into your property. It is imperative that this is installed properly. It needs to be placed at least two inches below the soil with the sod laid on top. Going deeper will allow the gophers to tunnel between the sod and the wire.
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Assuming there is no disease or predation, gophers have a lifespan of one to three years allowing them to be pests in your yard for too long. Contact Effective Pest Services to remove gophers and stop their destruction of your yard.