Easy Ways to Stop Gophers and Moles from Destroying Your Garden

This year has been quite the garden experiment for me so far, with more experimenting to come! I’ve learned a lot about vegetables and herbs, soil, and the animals that were here before I started planting. Let’s just say some creatures I can appreciate more than others.

Easy Ways to Stop Gophers and Moles from Destroying Your Garden! #gardening #gardenpests Click To Tweet

Every gardener’s nightmare is the presence of animal pests that uproot plants from the garden, ruining all the hard work you’ve put in, and damaging your crops. Sometimes, these animals also harm your pets, and the holes they create can lead to several accidents. Gophers and moles are in this category, making animals of interest.



These are small animals that get their name from their fur-lined cheeks that serve as pouches through which they carry small bits of food. If you are not sure a gopher is the pest you are dealing with, there are ways on how to identify it is a gopher. Gophers have adaptations for burrowing underground. These include clawed forelimbs for digging, eyes, and ears that are smaller than that of regular animals to avoid sand and dust, and sensitive whiskers and tails that help them to navigate dark burrows. 

Gophers are herbivores, and they live in lawns and crop fields, close to food sources.  They destroy cables, piping systems, and foundations as they navigate underneath decks and porches. They feed on roots and tubers while they dig and make many tunnels underground. Gophers are a threat to farmers and homeowners because they feed on ornamental plants and deface the yard. 


Many homeowners confuse moles with gophers since they look quite similar, but they have distinguishing differences that can help one differentiate them. Moles have small and almost hidden eyes and ears and hairless, pointy snouts. They also live in burrows and have deep underground tunnels. The fun fact about moles is that they hardly use the same burrow twice and have a maze of tunnels.

Moles feed on insects and grubs. They feed on earthworms, slugs, and insects that are usually below the earth’s surface. You can identify their holes by the volcano-like sand around them. They prefer loamy, moist and loose soil to dry clay soil because this makes their digging very easy.

Both gophers and moles are antisocial animals and live alone in their underground homes. They only come together during the mating season, after which the female takes care of her young in breeding nest chambers.


To get rid of gophers and moles, here are a few tips you can employ:

  • Fencing: Moles and gophers are underground diggers, so high fences may not have the effect you desire. It would be wise to place fences that are at least 3-4 feet deep into the ground around your yard and garden.
  • Live Traps: To trap moles and gophers, first locate their main exit and entrance to the burrow. Place a two-door trap that effectively cages the gopher without room for escape and utilize various mole traps to capture moles. Relocate the mole or gopher far away from your yard. To do this, however, you must be abide by the animal and wildlife laws in your state.
  • Call a professional: Every state has professional personnel for wildife control that have knowledge, skills, and equipment for animal removal and relocation. They also advise on ways to prevent pest infestations.

Always put measures in place to avoid animal pest infestations because it is easier and more cost-effective to prevent an infestation than to control pests in your yard.

What’s the pesky animal that’s give you the most trouble in your garden?

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