The Do’s and Don’ts of Pocket Gopher Pest Control

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pocket Gopher Pest Control

Do you have pocket gophers on your property? Even though these critters may seem cute and cuddly, they’re actually yard-destroying pests. If you suspect these burrowing rodents are the culprits behind your landscape losses, take a look at the do’s and don’ts of residential gopher control.

Do Correctly Identify the Pest

Is a gopher really at fault for your yard issues? If you see a rodent-like creature in the yard, don’t necessarily assume it’s a gopher. The pocket gopher may look like other animals or have similar behaviors. The top ways to identify a pocket gopher include:

  • The size. According to the University of California, the common Botta’s pocket gopher (or T. bottae) is six to 10 inches long.
  • The tail. The total adult length also includes the gopher’s short tail. If the animal has a long, wide, or bushy tail, it isn’t a pocket gopher.
  • The burrows. The gopher creates burrows with a crescent-shaped mound of dirt on top.

If you’re still not sure whether the animal in your yard is a gopher or not, contact a pest control professional. The expert knows what to look for, in terms of appearance and mound-building behavior, and can correctly identify a gopher.

Don’t Try to Catch a Gopher Yourself

Are you tempted to run after the gopher, catch it, and move it to another yard? Before you try a do-it-yourself catch and release gopher elimination, consider:

  • The burrow system. A gopher’s underground lair can cover 200 to 2,000 square feet and extend down to six feet below the surface, according to the University of California. Your presence is likely to scare the gopher into its underground home.
  • The possibility of disease. Like any other wild animal, the gopher could carry a disease. Without proper safety precautions, you might put your health in jeopardy.
  • Other gophers. Do you only have one gopher? If you catch one gopher, you may still have a problem left over in your yard.

Even though some states (such as California) don’t prohibit homeowners from catching these animals and don’t require a trapping license to do so, you should still call a professional for pocket gopher control.

Do Contact a Contractor

Why should you contact a contractor for gopher extermination? The top reasons to call a professional immediately after you notice a problem include:

  • Technique. Do you know how to eliminate gophers from your yard? A professional pest control contractor knows what works and what doesn’t.
  • Time. How much free time do you have to catch and rid your yard of this pest problem? If you don’t want to spend your weekend with the gophers or worry about a post-workday extermination, call a professional.
  • Ongoing treatment. A one-time-and-you’re-done approach won’t always work for this and other pest problems. You may need the ongoing maintenance treatment that only a pest control professional can provide.

While one or a few gopher mounds might not seem like a major issue, you still need to hire a professional for this pest problem.

Don’t Ignore the Damage

What types of damage can a gopher cause? Exterior property damage from these pests may include:

  • Waterline damage. A gopher can chew throw or damage underground waterlines, flooding your yard or causing major plumbing problems.
  • Plant damage. Did you pay a professional to landscape your yard? A gopher can destroy the plant life and ruin your landscaping.
  • Overall yard damage. Not only can a gopher eat your plants and their root systems, they can also ruin grassy areas.

Along with these issues, gopher burrows can cause irrigation issues in your yard. The resulting changes can divert water towards your home or cause soil erosion.

Do you need a pest control professional? Contact Eary Termite & Pest Services for more information.

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