Pocket Gophers are fossorial ( tunnel dwelling) pests that can cause damage to levee banks, underground wiring, living plants as well as creating safety issues for humans and livestock. Cosmetically, the can ruin beautiful landscapes, while disrupting growth potential for struggling orchards and vineyards by root pruning and demolition of succulent underground plant life. They well even climb limbs in snow buried vegetation to reap nutrition. Their crescent shaped earthen mounds are randomly distributed across the landscape. The tunnels typically follow the curvature of the soil, down about 6-10”.
Their territory is about 2,000 sq. ft. They use their clawed feet and large incisors to saw through the soil, sometimes pushing several mounds a day. Tons of soil will emerge during their digging year.
The pocket gopher tunnels in pursuit of fresh vegetation to meet its field capacity to survive. Typical domains are determined by accessible feed. Poor vegetation dictates larger tunnel range, as well as few gophers per given acre. Inversely, higher concentrations of feed promote gopher overpopulations.
Litters size and frequency are also products of feed availability. Warm climate alfalfa growers can witness multiple litters of approx. 3-6 per litter during the year. Irrigated fields with succulent tap rooted vegetation are a maximum draw to the gopher. Gophers work throughout the year. Food caches can be found in several tunnel locations to assist them through periods of inclement weather. Tunnels act as harborage, food source and rearing areas for young. Above ground activity is tied to finding new tunnel sites, visiting a distant girl friend, gathering food or nesting materials or immigration to a new venue to search for food. High soil moisture is avoided. They want ideal situations, but can exist in rather tough areas at almost any elevation.
Their life spans last about 2-4 years, barring disease, predation or human intervention. Direct population control involves locating the main, not the lateral “driveway” from their main tunnel if you are planning on using baits or gases. Traps can be placed in either location. Avoid wholesale destruction of their tunnels when baiting or trapping. These aggressively defensive pests will push a lot of soil to rebuild what you so willingly disturb. Follow directions on the RCO Gopher Labels to improve and enhance high levels of control in quick fashion. Strychnine baits, our first line gopher agent in the Omega Bait is the industry standard for quick, economical and highly effective gopher control. It is a single injestion, quick kill method of solving major issues caused by this pest.