Gopher Control

Gopher Trapping, Removal, and Prevention

Call us now at 1-888-488-1415 or contact us online.

General Gopher Facts

Gophers are rodents about the size of a small rat.  They burrow underground and are often mistaken for moles. Using their teeth, front claws, or a combination of these, gophers act as rototillers under your lawn, golf course or in your fields. Then gophers use their hind feet and a somersault action to push away dirt and rocks that are in the path of their tunnel.

Gophers have small ears and small eyes, so their sense of touch must make up for their poor hearing and vision. Their tails and whiskers are very sensitive to touch and assist them when they burrow through the dark earth. Pocket gophers are capable of swimming, though it is not a common activity for them.

Gopher teeth grow constantly; therefore, they have a great need to gnaw in order to keep their teeth ground short.

Gophers can be anywhere from five to 14 inches long, and their fur color ranges from black to brown to white.

 

Frequently Asked Gophers Questions

Where do gophers live?

When are gophers most active?
What foods do gophers eat?

I heard gophers carry diseases. Is that true?

Gophers are in my lawn, garden, grass, golf course, or fields. What other damage is there?

Why should I learn how to get rid of gophers under my lawn, golf course, or field?

I heard insects live on gophers. Is that true?

•Will a gopher hurt my dog or cat?
•I want to trap or kill a gopher myself. Is that ok?

•How can United Wildlife's gopher pest control help me get rid of my gopher problem?

•What are United Wildlife's payment options for gopher removal or to get rid of gophers?
•What should I do after United Wildlife gopher control exterminates the gopher?

 

Q-1. WHERE DO GOPHERS LIVE?
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A. Thirteen species of gophers, pocket gophers or geomyidae, are found in the western two-thirds of the United States. Gophers are only found in the Western Hemisphere of the earth, but may live anywhere from low coastal areas to places above 12,000 feet. Gophers prefer light-textured soils with much vegetation, though they have been located in areas with rocky soil as well. The smaller the gopher, the more likely it will be able to tolerate different soils, whereas larger gophers have to be more picky.

To avoid or trick predators, the gopher will close the opening of his tunnel with a dirt mound or sometimes just a dirt plug.

Q-2. WHEN ARE GOPHERS MOST ACTIVE?
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A. Gophers are not known to hibernate. They are active all year round. Some believe they are more active at night, but research more often shows they are busy all throughout the day, with rest periods in between. Spring and fall are the seasons where gopher mounds are most often seen, and the gopher mounds seem to slow down in the summer. In the winter, gophers still dig, and gopher tunnels are found in the snow—that’s where they deposit their excess dirt. 

Some gophers have only one or two litters per year, and others are known to breed throughout the year. Litters can contain from one to 10 gopher pups, but usually they have three or four. The months of March through June are the typical gopher birthing times.

Q-3. WHAT FOODS DO GOPHERS EAT?
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A. The majority of the gopher diet is made up of vegetation, and any animal matter they do eat is thought to be an unintended side effect of the manner in which they find their food.

Gophers locate food in various ways. They will either feed on roots they run into while they dig, or they will pull above ground plants into their tunnel from below. Sometimes they will emerge above ground, venturing a small distance from their holes in order to snag grass and plants from yards or fields. Gophers eat flowers, bulbs, grass, roots and garden materials.

Almost all species of gopher seem to especially enjoy alfalfa, bamboo, rose bushes and dandelions.

In both their attempt to find food and to sharpen their teeth, gophers girdle trees and shrubs. This means they go to a tree and chew around the bottom circumference of it, much like a ring around a finger. Gophers thrive in more lush areas, such as well-watered lawns and gardens.

Q-4. I HEARD GOPHERS CARRY DISEASES. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Yes, gophers can be carriers of rabies. Rabies, a virus, progressively paralyzes and can kill any mammal, including humans. Rabies is generally contracted through contact with an infected gopher through biting. Though humans should avoid contact with any gopher, if a gopher seems especially fearless around humans, it could be infected. Call United Wildlife Gopher Control immediately for professional gopher removal at 1-888-488-1415.

Gophers also carry monkeypox, a virus that causes lymph nodes to swell and brings on fever, backache and exhaustion. Eventually, monkeypox sufferers develop raised bumps on the face and other parts of the body.

Q-5. GOPHERS ARE IN MY LAWN, GARDEN, GRASS, GOLF COURSE OR FIELDS. WHAT OTHER GOPHER DAMAGE IS THERE?
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A. Gophers in your lawn, golf course or fields will chew up water lines, which can lead to expensive flood damage. Gophers chew and break cables, which can affect phones or any other utility you receive through underground lines. Gophers destroy sprinkler systems by uprooting sprinkler heads and warping underground water lines.
 
Gopher tree damage is a huge concern. Their burrowing can expose tree roots, girdle and clip trees—all great ways to kill a tree in your yard or golf course. They will also prune tree roots with their teeth, which can lead to tree damage. Gophers come in like plagues, affecting small areas where people take good care of their landscape. It’s important to get on top of a gopher pest problem before gophers hit root systems and kill trees, shrubs and ornamentals. Gophers have been known to devour a tree’s entire root system, so that the unsupported tree falls over.

If gophers are in your lawn, golf course or field, a plethora of other harmful animals will also be attracted to your property. Weasels, skunks, badgers, poisonous snakes, coyotes, foxes and bobcats all prey on gophers and will enter your yard or golf course and cause their own pest problems in search of gophers. Gophers can destroy storage retainer ponds and cause flooding.

Q-6. WHY SHOULD I LEARN HOW TO GET RID OF GOPHERS UNDER MY LAWN, GOLF COURSE OR FIELDS?
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A. If you see fan-shaped mounds of dirt in your yard, golf course or field, you most likely have a burrowing gopher on your property. .

All in all, gophers in your lawn, golf course or field can do a lot of expensive damage to your landscape. You may wake up in the morning to find your whole front lawn has served as a gopher feeding lot and playground, with dirt and grass uprooted and thrown about. Gophers can do damage to your lawn and flower beds that is beyond repair.

Gophers are root destroyers. In their efforts at digging and finding food, they will not only hurt vegetation by uprooting it, but also by eating it. They eat tree roots, flower roots and bulbs. Lawnmower blades can be mangled and destroyed when they move over gopher tunnels and gopher mounds. Horses and other livestock can suffer broken legs when they run through fields full of gopher holes. Gophers plow through bamboo roots, destroying them in their wake. Rose bushes are also killed by gopher activity.

Gopher tunnels are intricate underground systems that wreak havoc on your lawn, golf course or field. They usually dig a few deep burrows off their tunnels which they use as resting places, with even more tunnels branching off of those. Some portions of the burrow can be up to six feet deep. Some accounts have estimated the rate of gopher activity as high as 70 mounds per month in a specific area. And that’s just one gopher! People often think they have many gophers, when in reality, it is actually unusual for one yard area to have more than one male. Gophers are territorial and they like to spread out.

If gophers should choose to die near your home or business, the dead gopher odor may emanate into the living quarters, causing headaches and nausea. Gophers also fall down into window wells and mechanical boxes and die.

Gophers will tear into areas of your yard or golf course and haunt it for years to come. All these gopher pest problems will affect the value of your property. It is difficult to sell a home that has a gopher infestation and actually, it’s required by law that you fix the gopher problem before you sell your home. Property value can decrease between five percent and ten percent due to gopher problems.

Q-7. I HEARD INSECTS LIVE ON GOPHERS. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Gophers are heavily infested with pests, which can spread into your home or business searching for hosts. Lice, fleas, ticks and mites are all known carriers of disease.

Several cases of mites biting humans indoors have been reported.

If gophers bring fleas near your home, most likely the biting bug will hop onto your house pet’s back. Once inside, large flea populations can build up quickly. Fleas live on the outside of their hosts’ bodies and need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs.

Ticks are very mobile and have been known to crawl into buildings that gophers are living near, and travel great distances to attach themselves to people.

Gophers carry two kinds of lice—one bites its host and the other sucks the host’s blood. Lice can cause hair loss and itching, and can transmit parasites.

A bug living in a gopher tunnel can become an infestation in your pantry, kitchen or carpet in no time. One or two mites may stray from the gopher burrow and crawl along your kitchen table. But if the gophers abandon their tunnels for any reason, the whole caboodle of gopher bugs may enter your home, looking for a new host. This is why it’s especially important to have our gopher control experts remove all dead gophers and do any gopher cleanup after all the gophers have been removed.

Q-8. WILL A GOPHER HURT MY DOG OR CAT?
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A. Gophers can bite with their strong jaws and teeth, and because of gopher illnesses and gopher pests, a gopher lurking on your property can pose a danger to domestic dogs and cats. Your dog or cat will likely be tempted to dig gophers to the surface in your yard, which will also cause more lawn damage.

Q-9. I WANT TO TRAP OR KILL GOPHERS MYSELF. IS THAT OK?
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A. We understand the desire to take care of a gopher problem yourself. It may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, but in the long run you could put yourself, your family and your home at risk of damage, distress and disease. You must have special licensing to use gopher poisons or repellents. Live-trapping gophers is not a very effective option.

There are several myths regarding how to get rid of gophers. These include funneling carbon monoxide or water into gopher tunnels, or leaving chewing gum in their dens. These are all ineffective myths for getting rid of gophers and will only waste your time and money.

Because of the unique behaviors of gophers, it is very difficult for an amateur gopher trapper to know how to get rid of gophers. Shooting is not a good option to get rid of gophers. The gopher removal experts at United Wildlife will humanely trap any existing gophers, and then offer gopher prevention ideas and techniques. 

Q-10. HOW CAN UNITED WILDLIFE’S GOPHER PEST CONTROL HELP ME GET RID OF MY GOPHER PROBLEM?
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A. United Wildlife’s specialty is the removal of gophers from lawns, golf courses, fields and other hard-to-reach locations through special trapping and bait techniques. Gopher poisons are successful about 25 percent of the time, but United Wildlife’s special gopher trapping techniques are 100 percent effective. Depending on city, county, federal and state law, the gopher will either be relocated or euthanized once it is taken away. No matter the course of action, the gopher will be treated in a humane manner.

It’s important to trap or kill gophers immediately. Gophers can be controlled and United Wildlife’s gopher exterminators have huge success in trapping them.

If a gopher has already died in your yard or golf course, our professional gopher trappers offer dead gopher removal services and can also help clear odors caused by dead gophers.

We’re professional gopher trappers who will travel to any location to get the gophers out.  We can do professional phone and Internet coaching for those who live in remote areas, but who want to perform pest control for gophers by using digital pictures sent by e-mail. Either way, we will work with you to solve your gopher invasion. There is not a gopher problem that can’t be solved with United Wildlife’s professional gopher trapping service. Call 1-888-488-1415.

Q-11. WHAT ARE UNITED WILDLIFE’S PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR GOPHER REMOVAL OR TO GET RID OF GOPHERS?
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A. Call United Wildlife’s gopher extermination specialists at 1-888-488-1415 and we’ll give you our rates. We charge incrementally per gopher and number of service calls. Prices will vary depending on severity of the gopher problem. Depending on the amount of gophers and where they are living, you may be able to assist us with the gopher problem as we are dealing with it. There is no free government service that takes care of gopher control. The good news is, insurance companies will often pay for some, if not all, of the costs incurred to get rid of gophers.

United Wildlife gopher experts accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also take purchase orders and cash.

Q-12. WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER UNITED WILDLIFE GOPHER CONTROL EXTERMINATES THE GOPHERS?
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A. Don’t entice other gophers to return. We will help you make sure your lawn, golf course or fields are in proper repair to deter any future burrowing gophers from entering.

United Wildlife’s gopher blockers can install special products which block gophers from burrowing in your yard or golf course. United Wildlife gopher control can help you install underground gopher slick fences to keep gophers out.

Do remember that gophers are wild and unpredictable. Though we have years of experience in the gopher extermination field, a particular gopher situation may require that we return more than once to get the job done right and to prevent gophers from entering your yard or golf course in the future. Incremental pricing will apply for our professional gopher removal and all gopher solutions are custom made and custom priced.

Our mission at United Wildlife is to help identify your gopher pest damage. We will remove the existing gopher-pest and develop a custom-wildlife solution to stop or control the gopher problem from occurring again.

In the end, if you’re happy with our experienced, professional gopher trappers, any referrals are always appreciated.

 

 


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