Pocket Gophers


    Pocket Gopher

    Pocket gopher (Ian Silvernail, Wikimedia Commons)

    Pocket Gopher mounds

    Pocket gopher mounds (USDA Forest Service,

    Gopher Burrow

    Gopher burrow entrance (Ryan Davis, Utah State University Extension)


    • 6 – 13 inches long
    • light brown to brownish-black fur
    • short, hairless tails
    • incisor teeth always visible in front of mouth

    Nesting Habits

    • construct underground burrows and leave fan-shaped mounds of excavated soil at the surface with a soil plug in the middle of the fan
    • active year round
    • usually only one individual per tunnel system except during mating season or when females have offspring


    • prefer dandelion roots, alfalfa, grasses, shrubs, roots and trees


    • damage lawns, gardens, sports and agricultural fields
    • damage underground utility cables and irrigation pipes
    • harm trees by stripping bark and chewing on roots

    IPM Recommendations

    • Trap pocket gophers using two-pronged pincer traps in lateral burrows and closed box-style traps in main burrows.
    • Surround trees and shrubs with 3/8-inch hardware cloth.
    • Consider flood irrigation to help control gopher populations, if applicable.
    • Bait larger populations by placing bait directly into burrows using a probe applicator.
    • Monitor problem areas to assure trapping and baiting were successful and to quickly control new populations.