What Attracts Gophers To Your Yard


Here in Southern Utah, our lawns and gardens are our private outdoor sanctuaries. Whether you are celebrating a holiday or an informal gathering of friends, your lawn is an extension of your home. Homeowners put a lot of time, effort, and money into maintaining a healthy lawn so when something goes wrong, you want to fix it immediately.

One of the most common lawn-destroying pests in Utah is the gopher. Gophers dig large tunnel systems under your grass and feed on the tender roots of your plants. Gophers can easily turn a pristine yard into a warzone with mounds of dirt all over your grass.

You may be wondering, what attracts gophers to my yard in the first place? There are a few reasons you might be visited by these destructive rodents. Things that attract gophers to your yard include:

  • Vegetable roots
  • Tubers
  • Bulbs 
  • Grassroots
  • Tree roots

Are Gophers Bad For Your Yard?

Yes, gophers are bad for your yard. Gophers can create havoc in your yard above ground and below. While they build their tunnel systems it exposes the tender roots of your plants. These hungry rodents will eat almost any root that they encounter. 

On the surface, gophers are destructive lawn pests. When they breach the surface they not only create holes in your yard, but the soil can kill the grass underneath if you don’t fill it in quickly. Gophers are not only destructive to your plants and yard. They can also damage underground sprinkler pipes or cables. This can cause you a major headache when it comes to repairs. 

Is a Gopher the Same as a Groundhog?

A lot of people wonder whether a gopher is the same as a groundhog. While groundhogs and gophers are both rodents that are the enemy of any gardener, there are some differences. The differences between gophers and groundhogs include:

  1. Size: Groundhogs are much larger and stockier than gophers. 
  2. They are solitary: As soon as they are old enough, groundhogs leave their burrow in search of their own.
  3. Tunnels: Where gophers build extensive tunnel systems, groundhogs build burrows with several chambers.
  4. Hibernation: Groundhogs hibernate in the winter while gophers don't hibernate and are active year-round

Another common mistake that homeowners make is confusing mole activity with gopher activity. Like gophers, moles live most of their lives underground but when they breach, their mounds are circular and hill-shaped. Gopher mounds are fan-shaped or pushed out on one side with a plug covering the entrance. 

How to Get Rid of Gophers

Ever since the first gopher was spotted in a yard, inventive homeowners have come with a plethora of ways to control gophers and prevent gophers from coming into their yard. Some methods are effective while most have proven only to fail. Many methods involve killing the gophers but we try to use natural methods when necessary. Here are some natural ways to prevent and control gophers: 

  • Netting: A good way to prevent gophers from ruining gardens and flower beds is by first putting down a protecting netting. This can be achieved by burying poultry netting on the bottom and sides of your planting area.
  • Noise: Gophers are sensitive to loud noises. Try installing windchimes, a radio, or some other noise-creating method. 
  • Barn Owls: Owls are a natural predator to gophers. If you live in an area with barn owls, you can encourage them by putting up owl nest boxes.
  • Plants: Plants such as the castor bean, crown imperial, narcissus, and gopher surge are known for being effective for keeping gophers out of your yard.

Professional Gopher Control

If you are having trouble with gophers in your yard and want to get rid of them fast, then contact the professionals at Western Pest Control. Our specialists have years of training and experience dealing with gophers and other rodents that want to tear up your yard. Our gopher control is designed to safely and efficiently eliminate gophers from your property so you can go back to enjoying it the way it was meant to be.

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