Actual Size: 6-8 inches in body length
Characteristics: Dark brown to black in color with small eyes and large front paws with sharp claws.
Habitat: Found throughout North and Central America, but generally remains underground.
- Often moves backward through their tunnel, using their tails for navigation.
- Has pockets in their cheeks to store and carry food.
- Typically lives between 1 and 3 years.
GOPHERS IN YOUR AREA
There are roughly 13 different species of gophers found throughout the United States, and they are most common in the Midwest and western regions. These pests are herbivores that feed on plant matter – primarily roots and tubers – and a single gopher will eat roughly 60% of its bodyweight in vegetation every day. Though these rodents rarely show their faces above ground, they are known for causing significant damage to properties by digging extensive tunnel systems. Some gophers have even been known to damage underground utilities, electrical wiring, or drain lines while building their homes, which can be very costly to repair.
Because gophers primarily live underground, they generally prefer to live in moist and porous soil with good drainage. These rodents are also drawn to areas with plenty of vegetation, as they primarily feed on plants and will use organic matter for structure in their tunnels. These two factors make the midwest and western regions of the United States a great place for these pests to thrive. Though gophers are solitary creatures that generally do not live in groups, a single gopher can cause significant damage to property by digging and chewing up vegetation.
GOPHER BEHAVIORS, THREATS, OR DANGERS
Gophers are most notorious for wreaking havoc on lawns and other properties. A single gopher can dig up to 15 feet in a single day, which generally equates to a fresh dirt mound ever 4 to 5 feet. In addition to the displaced soil, these rodents are also capable of transmitting dangerous diseases such as rabies. Though these pests generally remain underground, they will bite if they feel threatened, which can put you at risk of developing a serious infection. If gophers are invading your property, your local pest control company can help you safely remove these tricky pests.