Gopher & Mole Wildlife Pests in Your Yard
The wildlife in your yard is a joy to watch and can be an important part of gardening. However, if you find animals like gophers or moles are causing problems for you, it’s time to learn about these and what steps you can take to prevent them from getting out of control.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about how they behave, the damage they cause, and how you can get rid of them once they’re in your yard.
What You Need to Know About Gopher & Mole Wildlife Pests in Your Yard
It is important to know how to tell the difference between these two types of wildlife, as they require different control methods. Moles are shy and harmless, but they can be a nuisance when they are in your yard. Gophers are aggressive rodents that will bite! They will eat your plants and tree roots, causing major damage to your property.
Moles are small, furry rodents best known for their unique appearance, including a tiny mouth and an extremely elongated snout.
Moles have poor eyesight, but they make up for this with their fantastic sense of touch. Their fingers can feel their way through dark earthy tunnels made up of soil and vegetation. This allows them to easily separate the earth, leaves, and other organic matter they want to eat from stones and other inorganic substances that they do not want in their burrows.
Gophers are larger than moles and don’t look like moles at all! Instead, they have rounder bodies and shorter, sturdier legs. As a result, they look like a cross between a ground squirrel and an armadillo.
They are also known as pocket gophers. They have fur-lined pouches that they use to store food for their young between meals. Gophers are nocturnal animals, meaning they mostly come out at night to search for food, but they can be seen above ground during the day in early spring or late fall when it’s warm and dry.
Pocket Gopher Damage to Landscaping & Lawns
Most people don’t think about pocket gophers until they start digging up your lawn and landscaping. That’s because these small mammals – usually not more than 12 inches long – prefer to burrow underground or hide under rocks, logs, and vegetation. They also stay away from humans as much as possible, which is why you rarely see one outside of its burrow unless it’s nearly dead.
Pocket gophers are rodents; the name “pocket” references their fur-lined external cheek pouches, which they use to store food. They get their other common name, “prairie dog,” from their resemblance to these small ground squirrels.
Like prairie dogs, pocket gophers spend most of their time underground; they are known to create extensive tunnel systems not only for shelter but also in search of food. Damage their tunnels, and you’ll see the results in your garden.
Pocket gophers eat roots of plants, bulbs, tubers, and the corms of sedges and grasses. This can cause damage to both landscaping and gardens, though it’s more an aesthetic issue than a danger to the homeowner. Sometimes pocket gophers feed on tree roots, but they tend to leave fruit trees alone.
If you have an infestation of these rodents, there are several things you can do to get rid of them humanely, without using pesticides or other chemicals. First, identify the entrances to their underground tunnels. This is easy because gopher mounds, which you can see aboveground, always have a tunnel leading away from them. Once you’ve located the holes, fill them in with dirt and any other debris.
You also need to change your landscaping so that it’s less inviting to pocket gophers: avoid planting bulbs and plants whose roots they like to eat, and replace them with less tasty plants.
Voles Damage Grass & Lawns
A vole is a small brown animal that is found in the Northwest United States. They are mostly found near the woods but not always. The vole has four feet and a long tail with fur on it. They eat nuts, bulbs, seeds, roots, insects, and fungi. Voles make mounds of dirt or grass clumps like they are eating or nesting in them. They also tunnel through some softer soils like they were searching for food too.
Voles create tunnels throughout lawns and gardens, resulting in dry patches of ground created by tunneling that can be mistaken for drought damage.
The voles chew on plant leaves, creating small holes in the leaves, which will kill these plants if left unchecked. A common misconception is that voles eat bulbs and roots, but they eat and damage leaves and stems. Their tunnels burrow through the soil and thus cut off airflow to plant roots, often resulting in wilting of stressed plants or cause them to die. They also create multiple paths for water runoff which can contribute to erosion.
How to Get Rid of Voles and Gophers
Voles and gophers are rodents that can cause serious damage to your garden or lawn by destroying the roots of plants and foraging on vegetables. In addition, they burrow holes under the ground, which can make it difficult to walk in certain areas.
To avoid them, we need to put wire mesh around our plants and fruit trees. We must also use copper wiring to deter them from getting near your vegetable garden. We must water the land and keep it moist, and if we find any holes in our yard or fields, we should fill it with dirt or sod.
It will also help if we put some bait around the grounds. We can use chemical poisons, but it is best to use herbal ones because they are not harmful to animals and humans. Many types like strychnine, warfarin, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), bromethalin (chocolate), zinc phosphide, anticoagulants, and others can kill voles.
If you find many of them in your garden, it would be best to call an exterminator because they know how big the infestation is, making sure they are exterminated efficiently.