One of the questions we get all the time at Gopher Stop is: “How can I tell if I have a gopher, a mole or a squirrel in my yard?”
This question is very perplexing until you understand a little bit about animal behavior. Let’s look at the clues that help you to be an expert at identifying gophers, moles and ground squirrels.
1. How to Identify Gophers in Your Yard
Gophers live their lives under the ground, typically only about 6 inches below the surface. They are herbivores and love to eat plants. Their lives are lived digging tunnels and hunting for food. They eat roots, grass and the delicious other plants you grow in your yard.
Gopher mounds look like a crescent or horseshoe shape with a hole in the middle. Gophers create large mounds of dirt as they excavate their tunnels and push dirt up to the surface of your lawn or garden.
Gophers also create numerous small “pop holes” that are small, circular mounds of dirt about 2″ to 3″ in diameter. Gophers tunnel up to the surface to collect food and scope out their next move. After they are done, they plug these pop holes up leaving a little bit of dirt at the surface
Keep in mind: gophers are very tidy animals and do not like to leave any holes unplugged. If you see an actual hole in the ground and no evidence of fresh activity, it’s likely an old gopher hole.
2. Identifying Moles in Your Yard
Moles are carnivores – their favorite thing to eat is grub worms. Grub worms turn into emerald beetles and June bugs. Mole mounds are very different from gopher mounds and can be spotted by looking for pyramidal shapes.
You can also spot a mole by how it tunnels in the ground. Do you remember how Bugs Bunny burrows underground? You see a trail of raised dirt above his tunnel. Moles do the same thing and unlike gophers you can see their tunnel system from above ground.
Since grubs live only a few inches below the surface, you can expect to find mole tunnels in the same area. Moles dig through the ground hunting grubs and the ground raises up as they dig. If you stick your finger in the ground where it is raising up, your finger will actually go right in the mole tunnel.
3. What Do Ground Squirrel Holes Look Like?
Ground squirrels love to eat grains. They like seeds and fruit. They are the easiest of the three to identify because they create the largest openings into their burrows.
Where a gopher hole is a perfect 3″ circle, ground squirrel holes are 3″ to 5″ across. are not perfect circles and they leave scattered dirt up at the surface while they dig out a nice burrow underground. Squirrel burrows are open and exposed so any predator can easily gain access.
Gopher Stop is here to help you identify the pest you have making mounds and holes in your yard. We offer free estimates over the phone and can come over same day, typically, to solve your gopher, mole or ground squirrel problem.