Gophers are burrowing rodents that belong to the top rodent family Geomyidae. They are known for their burrowing habits and extensive tunnel systems. Gophers have stout bodies ranging from 6 to 10 inches long with short legs and strong claws, which enable them to dig complex networks of underground burrows. These burrows can extend for several feet and typically include separate chambers for nesting, food storage, and waste disposal.
Gophers are primarily herbivorous, feeding on plants, roots, bulbs, insects, and tubers. They have large cheek pouches that they use to carry food back to their burrows. Gophers are active year-round and are most active during the early morning and late afternoon.
Gophers can be found in various regions, especially those with loose, well-drained soil. They prefer habitats such as grasslands, meadows, gardens, and agricultural fields. Gophers play an important ecological role in food, by aerating the soil and promoting nutrient cycling, but their burrowing activities can also cause significant damage to crops, lawns, and landscaping.
It’s important to note that gophers should not be confused with moles or rats, although both are burrowing rodents. Gophers are larger, have external cheek pouches, and create mounds of soil near the entrances to their burrows. Moles and rats, on the other hand, have a more streamlined body, and powerful forelimbs, and create ridges or raised tunnels in the soil.
While gophers are primarily outdoor creatures, they can find their way into homes through their extensive tunnel systems. Gophers usually enter homes through their yards, and identifying their access points is crucial to preventing them from invading your living spaces.
Here are a few areas where you might find gophers in and around your home:
1. Yard and Garden:
Gophers are most commonly found in yards and gardens. Look for fresh mounds of soil or gopher holes in your lawn, flower beds, or vegetable patches. These mounds are typically crescent-shaped and can be a sign of gopher activity.
2. Crawl Spaces and Foundations:
Gophers may burrow under crawl spaces, decks, or foundations, seeking shelter and protection. Inspect these areas for signs of gopher tunnels or entry points.
3. Utility Access Points:
Gophers can exploit utility access points, such as gaps or cracks around pipes, conduits, or other utility lines or boxes. Check these areas for any signs of gopher activity or burrowing.
4. Basements and Garages:
In some cases, gophers can accidentally find their way into basements or garages if there are entry points or gaps in the foundation. Inspect these areas for any signs of gopher presence, such as burrow openings rodent droppings or soil disturbances.
Gophers, while not known to directly transmit diseases to humans or animals, can indirectly contribute to the spread of certain diseases through their burrows. It’s important to note that the primary concern with gophers is not the diseases they carry themselves, but the potential secondary infestations of mice and other pests that can transmit diseases. Here are some diseases associated with gophers and the secondary pests they attract:
Also known as LCM, is a viral disease that is most commonly found in rodents, such as gophers. LCM is mainly transmitted through contact with infected rodent urine, feces, or saliva. Although gophers may carry LCM themselves, there is little risk of direct transmission of this disease to humans. Gopher burrows can also attract other rodents that can carry LCM, which increases the risk of exposure to this virus.
Hantavirus is another viral infection that can be associated with rodents. It is primarily transmitted through inhalation of dust or particles contaminated with the saliva, urine, or droppings of infected rodents. Gophers’ burrows can potentially harbor the virus, increasing the risk of exposure.
Fleas and Ticks:
Gopher burrows can attract fleas and ticks, which are known carriers of various diseases. Fleas can transmit diseases such as bubonic plague, tularemia, and murine typhus. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. While gophers themselves may not carry these diseases, their burrows can create a favorable environment for these disease-carrying pests.
Preventing gophers from entering your home is essential to protect your property from damage. Here are some effective preventive measures you can take:
1. Install Wire Mesh Barriers:
Place wire mesh barriers around vulnerable areas, such as utility access points, crawl spaces, or gaps in the foundation. The mesh should be buried at least 2 feet deep to prevent gophers from burrowing through. Ensure the mesh has small enough openings to prevent gophers from squeezing through.
2. Maintain a Tidy Yard:
Regularly mow your lawn, trim shrubs, and remove excess vegetation. Gophers are attracted to tall grass and dense foliage, which provide hiding spots. By keeping your yard well-maintained, you reduce the appeal for gophers to settle in your property.
3. Eliminate Food Sources:
Gophers primarily feed on plants, roots, bulbs, and tubers. Remove or relocate plants that are particularly attractive to gophers, such as certain flowers, vegetables, or ornamental plants. Consider using raised beds or containers for vulnerable plants.
4. Remove Debris:
Clear away any debris or piles of organic materials, such as logs or brush piles, which can serve as hiding spots for gophers control rodents. By eliminating potential food sources and shelter areas, you make your property less attractive to these rodents.
5. Create a Barrier:
Bury a sturdy mesh barrier around the perimeter of your property, extending at least 2 feet below the surface. This barrier can help deter gophers from tunneling into your yard.
6. Natural Repellents:
Some plants are known to have strong scents that repel gophers. Consider planting castor bean plants, daffodils, or garlic around your yard to discourage gopher activity. However, keep in mind that repellents may not be 100% effective and should be used in conjunction with other preventive measures.
7. Regular Inspection:
Periodically inspect your yard for signs of gopher activity, such as fresh mounds of soil or new burrow openings. Early detection allows for prompt action and prevents gophers from establishing themselves on your property.
By implementing these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of gophers entering your home and causing damage. However, if you notice persistent gopher activity or require assistance, consider contacting a professional pest control company specializing in gopher control. They can provide tailored solutions and expert advice to protect your home effectively.
Knowing the right time to call a pest or rodent control company for gopher control is important to address the issue promptly and effectively. Here are some situations when it is advisable to contact a pest or rodent control company poisonous gopher bait:
Persistent Gopher Activity:
If you have noticed ongoing gopher activity in your yard, despite attempting preventive measures, it may be time to seek professional help. Gophers can be persistent and challenging to eliminate on your own, especially if the infestation has become established.
If gophers have caused significant damage to your lawn, garden, or landscaping, it’s a sign that the infestation has progressed. In such cases, a pest control company can assess the extent of the damage and provide appropriate solutions to eliminate the gophers and restore your property.
Multiple Entry Points:
If you have identified multiple gopher entry points around your property or suspect that they have gained access to your home, it is crucial to seek professional assistance. Pest control experts have the knowledge and tools to identify hidden access points and implement targeted control strategies.
Risk of Secondary Infestations:
Gopher burrows can attract other pests like fleas, ticks, or other rodents, which can pose additional health and safety risks. If you are concerned about the potential for secondary pest infestations due to gopher activity, it’s best to consult with a pest control company for comprehensive eradication and prevention measures.
Lack of Success with DIY Methods:
If you have tried various do-it-yourself methods for gopher control without significant success, it may be time to bring in professionals. Pest control companies have access to specialized tools, techniques, and products that can effectively address the infestations and provide long-term solutions.
Getting get rid of of gophers requires a combination of preventive measures, deterrents place traps, rodent removal, and effective control methods. Here are some strategies you can use to eliminate gophers from your property:
1. Flooding: Flooding gopher tunnels with water can be an effective way to force them out of their burrows. Close off all escape routes by packing soil around the openings before flooding. Keep in mind that this method may not be suitable for areas prone to flooding or if you have underground utilities.
2. Vibrating Stakes: Gophers are sensitive to vibrations in the ground. Installing vibrating stakes or devices near gopher nests or activity areas can create vibrations that discourage them from tunneling in those specific locations.
3. Natural Predators: Encouraging natural predators that feed on gophers can help keep their populations under control. Some natural predators include snakes, owls, and cats. Creating habitats that attract these predators, such as providing nesting boxes for rats and mice, or rats and planting suitable vegetation, may help reduce gopher activity.
4. Trapping: Trapping is an effective method to trap, catch and remove gophers from your property. There are different types of traps available, including box traps and tunnel traps. Live traps allow you to trap and capture gophers without harming them, allowing for their safe release away from your property. Follow local regulations and guidelines for trapping and releasing wildlife.
5. Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Implementing an Integrated Pest Management approach involves combining multiple strategies for gopher control. This includes preventive measures, various trapping methods, and natural deterrents. IPM focuses on long-term solutions and considers the specific needs and conditions of your property.
6. Professional Pest Control: If gopher infestations persist or become overwhelming, it’s advisable to seek professional help from a pest control company experienced in gopher control. They have the expertise, tools, and knowledge to effectively address the many new gophers infestations and provide appropriate control methods.
Remember to always follow local regulations and guidelines regarding gopher control, trapping, and the use of pesticides. If you are unsure or need assistance, consult with a local pest control professional who can provide guidance based on your specific situation.
By combining these methods and being proactive, you can successfully get rid of gophers, rats and mice and protect your property from their damaging activities.
A professional pest control company specializing in gopher control can be a valuable resource in effectively managing gopher infestations on your property. Here’s how they can help:
1. Expert Assessment:
They will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to assess the extent of the gopher infestation. They will identify active gopher tunnels, entry points, and the areas most affected by gopher activity.
2. Tailored Solutions:
Based on their assessment, they will develop a customized plan to address the gopher infestation specific to your property. They will consider factors such as the size of the affected area, the severity of the infestation, and any unique circumstances that may require special attention.
3. Professional Techniques:
They have access to specialized tools, equipment, and techniques for gopher eradication. They can employ a range of effective methods such as trapping, baiting, or tunnel fumigation to target gophers and eliminate them from your property.
4. Safe and Humane Practices:
They prioritize the use of safe and humane practices to address gopher infestations. They are knowledgeable about local regulations regarding pest and rodent control programs and will employ methods that are environmentally friendly and considerate of other wildlife and pets.
5. Preventive Measures:
In addition to gopher removal, they can offer recommendations and implement preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of future gopher infestations. This may include modifying the landscape, installing barriers, or advising on habitat modifications to make your property less attractive to gophers.
6. Expert Advice:
They have extensive knowledge about gopher behavior, habits, and biology. They can provide valuable advice on how to deter gophers, maintain your yard to discourage gopher activity, and address any concerns or questions you may have about gopher control.
Gophers can be a nuisance, causing damage to your property and disrupting the aesthetics of your lawn or garden. By implementing preventive measures, seeking professional assistance, and using natural rodent pest control methods, you can effectively manage and control their infestations. Remember, early intervention is key. If you suspect a gopher problem, don’t hesitate to contact Heat Wave Pest Control for a consultation or inspection. Their expert team will help you safeguard your home, pet food, or business from these persistent pests.
Remember, the team at Heat Wave Pest Control is ready to assist you in preventing or controlling pest infestations in your home or business. Contact them today for a consultation or inspection.