Test Your Pest Knowledge: Gopher Fact or Fiction?

Even if you’re a lover of all creatures great and small, no one wants to deal with a pest on their property. But if you aren’t overly familiar with yard-dwelling creatures, you might not realize that the one messing up your lawn is actually a gopher. The best way to remove these animals is to call a gopher exterminator. Before you do, you might want to familiarize yourself with some facts about gophers. Test your knowledge with our little test below and be sure to contact us with any questions you might have.

GOPHER FACT OR FICTION?

    • Pocket gophers were named as such because they’re small enough to fit in your pocket.

      ANSWER: FICTION. Your gopher exterminator might inform you that while these creatures are relatively small (weighing anywhere from eight ounces to two pounds, typically), that’s not why they’re called pocket gophers. Their name actually comes from another physical feature — their cheeks! They have large, furry pouches there that they use to hold lots of food (i.e., plants and roots from your lawn) to bring back to their burrows.

 

    • Gophers don’t live very long, but they waste no time in becoming independent and productive.

      ANSWER: FACT. A gopher’s average lifespan in the wild is one to three years. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about hiring a gopher removal service. These animals may breed only once or twice per year, but young gophers are weaned and ready to make their own burrows by the time they’re five weeks old. That means you could experience even more yard damage from gophers in a little more than a month’s time!

 

    • Gophers hibernate during the winter.

      ANSWER: FICTION. Some homeowners assume they don’t need to worry about calling a gopher exterminator in the colder months. But unlike some other yard pests (like groundhogs), gophers are actually active all year round. They can eat up your yard during any season and at any time of day. Just because you don’t see them all the time doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They rarely come out of their burrows when they’re busy eating up your yard!

 

    • Like moles, gophers are blind.

      ANSWER: FICTION. They aren’t blind, but their eyesight is pretty poor. Their hearing isn’t great, either! But to make up for it, they have a highly attuned sense of touch. Their tails and whiskers help them to navigate their environments — and their shortcomings definitely don’t hold them back from creating extensive tunnel networks underground!

 

    • Gophers are ravenous eaters.

      ANSWER: FACT. They may be small, but they can eat up to 60% of their body weight in vegetation each and every day. That means bad news for your garden or yard! Although they love tubers and roots, they aren’t incredibly discerning when it comes to their diets. They’ll eat herbs, shrubs, trees, forbs, bulbs, seeds, berries, grass, and leaves.

 

  • Because gophers are rarely spotted, it’s tough to tell when they’re in your yard.

    ANSWER: FICTION. They are a rare sight, but they do leave evidence behind. They create gopher mounds, which are piles of soil in crescent or kidney shapes with a distinctive “plug” that marks the entrance to their tunnels. Mole hills are somewhat similar in appearance, except that those are often symmetrical and cone-shaped. Gophers may also clip trees and shrubs just above the ground’s surface, damage roots of trees and saplings, or gnaw through electrical or water lines. But if you’re ever in doubt, you should contact a gopher exterminator to determine exactly what you’re dealing with.

Getting rid of gophers is no easy feat; many homeowners find out the hard way that they’re no match for these clever creatures. That’s why it’s important to contact an informed and experienced professional to handle the job. To learn more about gophers or to determine what pest might be plaguing your yard, get in touch with us today.