As a medium-sized rodent that lives in the ground, gophers have a bad reputation for being difficult pests. Here’s what Phoenix homeowners should know about whether you have gophers in your yard, whether they can cause damage, how to prevent them, and how gopher control can work with pest control in Phoenix.

gopher hole in a lawn
gopher in a dirt hole

Signs Of A Gopher Infestation In Your Yard

You may not spot gophers while they’re in the midst of causing issues or damaging your lawn, but you can see evidence of their destruction. There are a couple of major ways to tell that a gopher has taken up residence on your Phoenix lawn: 

Damaged Vegetation

A gopher could be the culprit if there seems to be random or sudden damage to your garden and vegetation. This is especially true when gophers venture over from someone else’s lawn, and some of your plants seem to disappear or become damaged within days. 

Gophers like to dig tunnels into the ground and usually eat plants from the roots up. Larger plants may have damage near the roots, while small plants completely disappear when gophers pull them into their tunnels. 

Along with eating plants from their tunnels, gophers may sometimes forage for vegetation above ground. You may notice chewing and gnawing in plants and even small trees, where gophers have decided to take a few bites. 

Dirt Mounds

In addition to damaged or lost vegetation, another major sign of gophers is dirt mounds. This is usually one of the first signs of a gopher problem, and you may even notice it before damaged vegetation. 

When building tunnels, gophers will get rid of the excess soil by letting it pile aboveground. Dirt mounds can vary in shape, with more active mounds looking fan-shaped and older mounds being round or oval-shaped. 

The Extent Of Damage Gophers Can Cause To Your Lawn

Unlike some rodents, gophers aren’t social creatures, so you’re more likely to deal with one or two gophers at a time than an entire infestation. However, even just a single gopher can cause plenty of damage to your lawn. 

A gopher tunnel could be as much as six feet deep, and they may create multiple dirt mounds on your lawn. These tunnels can be difficult to fix and may make it challenging to mow or maintain your lawn. 

Depending on where they dig, gophers could also damage underground pipes or cables with all their chewing, which can end up costing you big money in repairs. 

Beyond underground damage, gophers can also cause irreparable damage to your beautiful garden. Plants that you’ve been growing for years could disappear in a gopher meal – and the presence of these pests could make it challenging to regrow your garden or some of your beautiful plants.

Are gophers dangerous or aggressive? As with any rodent, you may have concerns about how dangerous or aggressive gophers can be. Generally, gophers aren’t aggressive towards humans, but they may try to bite if they feel cornered or threatened. 

A gopher bite won’t be medically dangerous to humans, but it can still hurt – which is why you should avoid interacting with gophers at all costs. Trapping or trying to deter gophers on your own could end poorly for some homeowners, but professionals have the right gear and training to deal with these bothersome pests. 

What attracts gophers to your lawn? The biggest attraction for gophers is a food source. Since they like to eat vegetation, the roots of potatoes, carrots, radishes, shrubs, and certain types of flowers are most attractive. Homes that have rich gardens and vegetation are more susceptible to gopher infestations

Even if you don’t have a lot of vegetation in your yard, gophers may still use trees, bushes, and grass as a food source. 

Besides food, some other gopher attractions include soil composition and shelter. Because they live underground, gophers have an easier time creating tunnels if the soil is loose and sandy. Homes with sandy soil may attract more gophers, while houses surrounded by clay or other hard-to-move soils may not. Generally, the healthier your lawn is, the more attractive it is to potential gophers. 

Homes with bushes, trees, or fence lines could also become a convenient shelter for gophers. More than just food, gophers need protection from potential predators and may take shelter under a fence or tree if your home is nearby. 

Gophers can make almost any yard into their home, so it’s entirely possible to get rid of possible attractions and still end up with a gopher problem. Gophers may invade your yard just because it happens to be convenient and use nearby food sources. 

The Trick To Getting Rid Of Gophers In Your Yard

The best gopher control method is working with a professional pest control company like Overson Pest Control. With years of gopher and mole control experience, we can humanely remove any gophers destroying your lawn and provide treatment to keep them away. Since gophers can be destructive and may lash out if you try to interact with them, it’s always safest to let the professionals handle these prickly rodents. 

If you are seeing evidence of gophers around your Phoenix yard, there’s no reason to keep letting them cause destruction to your property. Contact us today at Overson Pest Control to learn more about how gopher control near you can ensure these pests don’t cause more damage to your lawn. 

Simple Tips To Prevent Future Gopher Infestations

Are there ways to prevent gophers and the need for gopher pest control companies? While you may not always be able to stop gophers from finding your lawn, here are some simple tips to reduce the risk of a problem:

  • Plant gopher-repellent plants: This may not always be a quick solution, but if you’ve got the time, certain plants may be able to help you keep gophers away long term. Plants with strong smells such as sage, thyme, iris, and daffodils, may deter gophers from your garden.
  • Place scents around your garden or lawn: In addition to plant repellants, you can also use materials with strong scents to deter gophers. This can include coffee grounds, fish oil, or peppermint oil.
  • Use exclusion fencing: Since gophers like to burrow into the vulnerable parts of your lawn, you may be able to use exclusion fencing to prevent them from getting to those spots. Exclusion fencing uses fine wire mesh, and you can place it around your entire lawn, or just areas that you think will be vulnerable to gophers – like the garden.
  • Try plastic netting: Along with exclusion fencing, you can also use plastic netting to protect specific plants or seedlings. Plastic netting won’t be as durable as exclusion fencing, but it may deter gophers from making certain plants into food sources.
  • Make a raised garden: If you’d like to plant a garden, but you’re afraid it’ll become gopher bait, you can always use a raised garden. As the name suggests, raised gardens are higher than ground level and much harder for gophers to access.
  • Try ultrasonic repellents: Ultrasonic repellents can work for rodents of all kinds, including gophers. They’re not always effective for extensive rodent infestations, but if you just need to deter gophers, they might be the solution you need. Ultrasonic repellents deter gophers by emitting high-pitched sounds that are bothersome to these pests. Humans won’t be able to hear these sounds, but gophers can and will likely try to avoid them.

While the tips above can work to prevent gophers from hanging around your yard, there are also some tactics you shouldn’t try to use – such as these:

  • Flooding gopher holes: Some homeowners may try to flood gopher holes to lure the gophers out of the hole and prevent them from going back in, but this usually doesn’t work. Instead, flooding the hole will damage your lawn and loosen the dirt, making it easier for gophers to burrow through. And since most gophers can just retreat until the water recedes, it won’t deter or prevent gophers.
  • Blowing up gopher holes: Some people may try to blow up underground gopher holes, but once again, you’ll just be causing excess damage to your lawn. And, if you’ve got children or pets, blowing up the gopher hole runs the risk of harming someone else too.

Ultimately, if the prevention tips aren’t keeping gophers away, you’re better off hiring the pros than trying to stop them on your own. Most DIY gopher control tactics are ineffective and risk creating more damage to your Phoenix lawn, not less. 

Working with Overson Pest Control is the most effective and nonlethal gopher control in Phoenix. If you’ve got rodents trying to damage your lawn or burrow into the yard, contact our technicians today to learn more about how we can help. 

 

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