Gophers are solitary animals that burrow under homes. They start burrowing on the exterior and dig until they create massive tunnels and denning areas. Gophers create particular areas inside their burrows to live, store food, give birth, and defecate. Gophers, such as leaky pipes, are clever and access water sources under your home. They even dig their way into your home from underneath, making your foundation unstable. Please keep reading to learn about gophers, including their appearance, infestation signs, and the problems and damage they create. In addition, learn how to get rid of gophers under the house.

What Does a Gopher Look Like?

Gophers are brown-furred rodents between six inches and a foot long. Their unique features, like long, sharp claws on their front paws, make them excellent burrowers. One of their most intriguing characteristics is the fur-lined pouches on each side of their head for storing food. They have small ears and eyes that help with navigation underground. Their large incisors allow them to chew through most materials, including wires, plastic, vinyl, wood, plants, and roots. Gophers’ tails are hairless and act as probes to help them find their way through the many tunnels they create.

Gophers appear similar to squirrels, small groundhogs, and moles. However, they are different from squirrels in that their bodies are more stout. Additionally, groundhogs have bushier tails, darker-colored feet, and smaller front teeth. While both animals are rodents, groundhogs derive from the same family as squirrels and gophers as rats. When it comes to moles vs gophers, moles have longer bodies, larger claws, and more absent-looking eyes.

Do Gophers Live Under Houses?

Gophers dig tunnels underground and, when possible, under homes. They create a system of tunnels; usually, each tunnel leads to an area with a specific living purpose. They make an area where they store food for the winter months since they do not hibernate. They create latrines where they leave feces and urine. Female gophers create areas to give birth to their young.

How Do Gophers Get Under Houses?

Gophers spend much of their time digging their way under your house. Some start in your lawn and dig towards your foundation, while others find spots directly against it to begin their burrow. The gophers dig down under the ground first. Some burrows are deeper than others. The layer of soil above them serves as a ceiling for their tunnel. Most tunnels are close enough to the home’s foundation that noticeable damages occur due to the soil changes they create under it.

Signs of Gopher Infestations

Gophers engage in underground activities that leave behind specific signs of their presence. Homeowners are most likely to notice infestations by the presence of the dirt mounds they leave after burrowing, which are crescent-shaped and typically between four and six inches high. Additional common signs of gopher activity include the following:

  • Damaged or dead grass and vegetation.
  • Ruined aesthetic of landscaping.
  • Three-inch wide holes in the ground.
  • Small sinkholes or cave-ins in the ground due to burrows.
  • Pets sniffing or searching specific areas on the ground.
  • Cracks in a home’s foundation.
  • Electrical problems due to gophers chewing wires.
  • Cracks in driveways and sidewalks.
  • Squeaks, scratching, gnawing, and other gopher noises.

Problems Caused by Gophers

Gophers cause many problems for homeowners. A single gopher burrow can have 200 yards of tunnels and stretch anywhere from 200 to 2,000 square feet. These nests can be anywhere from six inches to six feet below the surface. Due to this, gophers under houses can severely weaken the structural integrity of the building, causing the land beneath to cave in. This can become a problem at any time of year as the pests don’t hibernate and can easily dig through hardened ground.

The dirt mounds they create by digging underground create hazards for humans and animals who may trip on them. When gophers burrow, they eat grasses and roots along the way, killing the vegetation and making your lawn’s appearance unsightly. Gophers will burrow under gardens and steal your crops.

Gophers are mammals, which means they can carry rabies, among other diseases like monkeypox, hantavirus, and plague. Their fur may also contain ticks, fleas, and lice; if they are near your home, you and your pets are at risk.

Gophers create fire and flooding hazards by chewing electrical wires, pipes, and plumbing under your home.

Can Gophers Damage Foundation?

Burrowing under your home or any building weakens its structural integrity. When gophers dig, they move the soil, causing it to build up in some areas and create empty spaces in others. Built-up dirt causes walls and foundations to swell and shift, leading to significant cracks. Gopher holes hold water after rain or irrigation. The more water that gets into the soil, the more likely bricks and concrete will crumble and break. Even small cracks in your foundation are opportunities for gophers to enter your home.

How to Remove Gophers Under the House

There are several answers to the question, “How do you get rid of gophers?” Gophers living underneath a home are difficult to remove because they rarely travel far from their burrows. Traps and poison baits can be effective, but proper use requires considerable knowledge of gopher behavior and biology. Are you wondering, “How to get rid of gophers in your yard? Homeowners can try limiting the pests’ access to food sources to keep them out of yards by putting up fences. However, these must be buried far enough into the ground for use.

You can deter gophers by digging trenches around flower beds, gardens, or other landscaped areas. In the trench, bury wire mesh. Gophers typically will not create new trenches and will go elsewhere. Certain smells like mothballs, coffee grounds, castor oil, and peppermint will deter gophers. Gophers also avoid pine, lavender, eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, and thyme. You can also place pet waste in their burrows. Gophers’ ears are sensitive to loud or annoying noises. Try putting a loud radio, windchimes, or other noisemakers near dens to get rid of gophers in your yard.

Homeowners should avoid removing gophers without professional help from a wildlife expert.

Professional Gopher Removal Services

Gophers are smart and quickly learn an untrained person’s removal tactics. Working with experts, like Critter Control technicians, ensures the gophers are removed correctly and permanently. They can identify all burrow entries, assess damages, and remove the animal safely and humanely.

Critter Control services include a thorough inspection, installation of underground barriers, trapping, removal, and relocation. We have the correct equipment and gear to keep you and the animals safe. Our experts are certified and extensively trained in gophers’ habits, which helps them remove the animals quickly and prevent them from returning.

If you have a gopher problem, don’t wait to get help. Contact Critter Control today for the most efficient removal and prevention services.

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