Why a Gopher’s Diet is Bad News For Your Garden

If you’ve got a green thumb and live in an area where pocket gophers are prevalent, it’s important to take precautions. While these little critters may be cute in theory, they’ll wreak havoc in your yard. But what can you do about it? First, you must know thine enemy — starting with what they eat. In this post, we’ll discuss a bit more about what kinds of foods gophers love and what actions you need to take to ensure your garden isn’t taken over by gophers.

What exactly do gophers eat?

The short answer is: a lot. They’re plant-lovers through and through, and they’re not all that discerning. They’ll eat grass, roots, shrubs, seeds, bulbs, and flowering plants. They don’t care whether their food sources are underground or above. This makes it even harder to tell whether you need to consider gopher trapping because you won’t even see all the damage they’ve done!

Gophers will really take a shine to your vegetable garden, if you have one. They tend to like plants with high water content. In particular, they’re drawn to carrots, beets, potatoes, parsnips, asparagus, lettuce, onions and artichokes. They’ll also eat cabbage, broccoli, cilantro, and Brussel sprouts. In addition, they love tulips and most varieties of clover (which means the yard outside your veggie patch isn’t safe, either!).

Are there plants gophers won’t touch?

Gophers consume approximately 60% of their whole body weight in vegetation every single day. That means that most of your garden and yard are vulnerable to these little guys. However, there are certain plants that gophers will avoid.

They’ll usually stay away from sage, lavender, and other plants or herbs with aromatic oils. They don’t particularly like geraniums, amaryllis, marigolds, daffodils, snapdragons, dahlias, or irises either. In general, they don’t like plants that have a strong smell or taste. For example, they may have an aversion to garlic and sour clover.

Gophers will usually stay away from grains like corn or oats, and they don’t have an affinity for squash, peppers, berries, or tomatoes. However, they still might munch on the root systems of your tomato plants if they’re really ravenous. And while the roots of young fruit trees are appetizing to them, mature fruit trees aren’t on their grocery list.

How can I keep gophers out?

Our gopher removal service can be an excellent solution for an infestation, but no gardener wants to have to get rid of gophers after they’ve already destroyed the fruit (and vegetables) of their labor. Being careful about your selection of flowers, fruits, and vegetables can detract gophers from the start, as can physical barriers both underground and above.

However, sometimes these efforts simply aren’t enough, leaving you with no other choice than to trap gophers who try to move in and gorge themselves on your garden buffet. In that case, it’s always better to leave gopher trapping to the professionals. This is especially true when you eat or sell the produce in your garden, as conventional poisons could present a hazard to the environment or even to your family and customers. Plus, gopher trapping is a tricky business; trying to go the DIY route will likely result in frustration and limited results.

For avid gardeners, gophers can be real trouble. But we’ve made gopher trapping our mission so that you can take back your rightful yard. For more information, please contact us today.