Gophers are small, furry rodents that burrow underground and build tunnel systems to travel to different areas of a property. They have large yellow incisors that they use, along with their claws, to dig out dirt. Gophers live underground as a form of protection against other hunters above them in the food chain. 

Unlike their carnivore eating predators, they, themselves, are considered vegetarians eating mostly grass, shrubs, trees, and your garden. Gophers can be extremely dangerous to the health of your yard or property because of how destructive they are naturally. 

They are extremely protective of their tunnels and food, so gopher removal may take some patience. They’re active all year long and all day, they only really come out to get food. 

Why are Gophers on Your Property? 

Gophers eat a strict vegetarian diet, so finding them in flourishing yards and gardens is extremely common. They will eat mostly roots, grass, shrubs, and other plants, setting no boundary from your plants, fruits, and vegetables. If your yard has some livelihood to it then you will be a good target for a gopher’s new ideal home. 

Gophers travel underground by digging out tunnels, very rarely coming to the surface except to forage for food. They can very easily create a tunnel that goes right under your fence and then quickly dig their way around your property. Unfortunately, for your underground irrigation or any other lines you may run, they don’t have a problem cutting through them.

Most Common Type of Gopher in California 

The most common type of Gopher in the United States is called the Pocket Gopher. There are 35 different types of Pocket Gophers spread across the western hemisphere, the most common type in California being the Botta Pocket Gopher. 

Some say the Pocket Gopher’s tunnels are beneficial for the dirt because they build a way to aerate the yard and may forget that their tunnels appear randomly throughout the property. A property with a lot of holes in it won’t be of much use to anyone. 

What’s the Difference Between Gophers, Squirrels, and Moles?

All of these rodents are related along the species line in some way, but they are actually very different from each other. Both gophers and moles hardly spend any time on the surface due to their poor vision and hearing, unlike a squirrel who spends most of their time above ground. 

Gophers and moles, however, are often mistaken for each other because they are similar in a lot of ways. They are both ground travelers, but moles typically leave the famous perfectly round mole hills when they begin to burrow down. A gopher does make a hill, but it’s going to be more of a fan-shaped “C” and not so perfectly round. 

Moles have longer noses and paddle-like feet and claws, where gophers have more squirrel-shaped heads that have 4 sharp incisor teeth that constantly stick out. 

Tips to Prevent Gophers in Your Yard 

Trying to prevent gophers from ever entering your yard is not an impossible task, but it is quite difficult. Here are some gopher removal tips to help keep gophers out of your yard. 


Physical barriers for them to come across may require you to really work for it, but it is a step to take. You can take the route of setting some form of fencing a few feet deep around the property line.

If you are by chance going to be remodeling your whole property then perhaps placing a screen a few feet under the yard would work. There is no promise they still won’t find a way in, and this is a pretty physically daunting task. 

Types of Plants

Since gophers are such strict vegetarians, it may be possible that the plants, trees, fruits, or vegetables on your property are their favorite. If you still want to plant these specific herbs or plants then there are other plants you can place around the property to veer them off.

Plants such as lavender, rosemary, or catnip tend to steer them away which could be effective if strategically placed. 

Contact Pacific Pest Control 

Pacific Pest Control has been performing gopher removal services across the LA and Orange county area for over a decade. Using all of our gained knowledge and experience, Pacific Pest technicians are trained to handle gopher infestations using humane and effective tactics that produce results. 

Contact a Pacific Pest representative today to receive a free consultation if you have any questions or think you might have a gopher infestation.