Gopher Control and Removal
Rodents about the size of a small rat, gophers are underground burrowers that are often mistaken for moles. With teeth and front claws adapted for extreme digging, gophers use their hind feet and a somersault action to push away dirt and rocks that are in the path of their tunnel. Although their eye sight is limited, a keen sense of touch seems to work in their favor since their tails and whiskers are very sensitive to touch and assist gophers when they are burrowing through the dark earth.
Gopher teeth are constantly growing, hence their natural need to gnaw and chew in order to keep their teeth ground to a short enough length. These animals can be anywhere from five to 14 inches long, and their fur color ranges from black to brown to white.
There are thirteen species of gophers, all of which are found only in the Western Hemisphere of the earth. They prefer light-textured soils with high densities of vegetation, although they have been located in areas with rocky soil, as well. The smaller the gopher, the more likely it will be able to tolerate and adapt to different soils. Generally larger gophers have to be more picky.
Diet and Feeding Tendencies
Fairly strict herbivores, any animal matter they do eat is mostly considered an unintended side effect of the manner in which they find their food. Gophers will locate food in various ways. They will either feed on roots they run into while they dig or pull above-ground plants into their tunnel from below. Although it is rare, gophers will sometimes go to the surface in order to eat grass and plants in yards or fields. Gophers eat a variety of flowers, bulbs, grass, roots and Staple foods for most all species of gophers are alfalfa, bamboo, rose bushes and dandelions.
Gopher Damage and Control
In their attempt to locate food as well as sharpen and grind their teeth, gophers girdle trees and shrubs. Since gophers thrive in more lush areas, such as well-watered lawns and gardens, they can cause damage when they begin to burrow and make homes in a given area. Golf course and field damage can be extensive and pricey to repair.
While digging and finding food, gophers will not only hurt vegetation by uprooting it, but also by eating it. They eat tree roots, flower roots and bulbs. Lawn-mower blades can be mangled and destroyed when they move over gopher tunnels and gopher mounds. When mounds go unattended, horses and other livestock can suffer broken legs when they run through fields full of gopher holes.
Gopher tunnels are intricate systems that can cover a lawn or field in a fairly short amount of time. Some portions of the burrow can be up to six feet deep with reports as high as 70 mounds per month in a specific area by one gopher.
When gophers become a pest control problem on your property, they can be both difficult to remove, and to discourage from returning. Professionals in your area that are trained with removal and deterrence techniques can help you to control gopher populations and take steps necessary so that they won't come back.
Animal Control - Interesting Facts
The total weight of all the termites in the world is greater than the total weight of all the humans in the world.