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Gopher Signs to Watch for This Spring

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

As the weather (finally!) starts to warm up here on the Front Range, you may be getting out to plant your garden. You may be imagining all the tasty vegetables you’re going to grow, thinking about all the dishes you’re going to get to enjoy. Salads taken entirely from your garden. Corn on the cob, grilled to perfection alongside those beautiful purple peppers. Salsas, pickles, pestos, and let’s not forget the butternut squash and pumpkin dishes in the fall.

Unless a gopher eats your garden first. Unlike moles, which can be moderately helpful and eat some insect pests, gophers are wholly destructive to your garden. They will nibble on the roots, eat the seeds and sets, and even pull entire plants down into their burrows.

Here are the signs you have gophers so you can get rid of them before they do irreparable damage to your garden.

Signs in the Snow

Gophers aren’t known to hibernate—they keep busy all year round. So even when you’re not around, they’re out there, eating up bulbs and chewing on the roots of your perennials and bushes. If an evergreen bush that has always been healthy suddenly loses its green or if your bulb garden is coming up curiously thin this year, it may be gophers.

Gophers burrow through the snow, but it’s unlikely you’d see their snow burrows. Instead, look for curious streaks of dirt running through the melting snow. Also look for aboveground damage to bark on trees, which may be gophers.

Mounds and Meals

You should also look for signs that gophers are active in your garden right now. Most gopher mounds have the characteristic “C” shape with the burrow in the middle. The exception is gopher feed holes, which gophers use to chomp on vegetation aboveground without leaving their burrows. These will just be open holes surrounded by clipped vegetation.

For more help distinguishing gophers from other garden pests, please see “What’s Eating Your Garden?

Get Rid of Gophers Now

Gophers typically breed in early spring, which means that if you don’t take care of your gopher problem now, you will soon have a much larger gopher problem. You can check out Home Remedies for Gopher Problems, but in most cases professional control is the best way to get rid of your gophers.

For help with gophers in the extended Denver metro area, from Evergreen to Castle Rock, please contact Animal Pest Control Specialist today.



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