While gopher infestations are a serious problem and exterminating them is an equally serious undertaking, it is important to determine what you are actually dealing with.

What does gopher infestation look like?

Often, what looks like a gopher infestation is actually a case of having several common moles. While both animals create mounds on the grounds surface, it is easy to tell them apart when you know what to look for.

Mole mounds are circular in shape and have a “volcano” top. There is typically not a visible indent on top of the mound and appear to be roughly conical.

Closeup image of a gopher sitting on the grass.

Gopher mounds are similar in size but have a distinct crescent shape in the center of the dirt. Any openings or large indents that you see are the plugged holes found in lateral gopher tunnels that to and from the main burrow.

Methods for gopher control

The most common method for gopher control that are possible for you to do at home are to use poison baits or traps. In order to be successful, a gopher probe must be bought that allows you to locate burrows. It may be difficult at first to find the main burrow, but it is typically about ½ ft. – 1 ft. below ground near the opening side of the mound.

Both pincher and box traps are available for use with gophers. For beginners to gopher trapping, a box trap is easier to set up; however, box traps require more excavation and can require you to do further damage to your lawn or garden. Wire your traps together so that they are easy to retrieve. Gopher pinch traps can be left covered or uncovered. Uncovered traps lure gophers in to seeking out these trap areas in order to close up their tunnel system. Box traps must be covered in order to ensure that the trip wire is engaged when a gopher enters the trap.

Gopher probes, baits, and traps can be bought commercially, but needs depend on the size and type of gopher that you are dealing with.

Use a gopher removal service

While it is possible to take steps by yourself to help eliminate your gopher problem, it is important that you consider using a gopher removal service. Gopher extermination methods can be dangerous to try at home without the right equipment. Gopher populations multiply fairly quickly and gopher control methods can be extensive depending on how severe your infestation is. Properly locating gopher burrows and effective trapping and baiting is best done by a skilled worker with experience in getting the job done the best way.


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