When Do Gophers Come Out Of Their Holes?

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Have you ever been bothered by rodents that are always waiting to destroy your vegetable garden? Even if you don’t have flowers for them to destroy, they leave ugly tunnels and holes in the garden’s lawn. For example, the annoying gophers!

If so, then you are in the right place! In this article, we’ll give you the answer to the question “when do gophers come out of their holes,” as well as provide a few ways to get rid of them. Read on gardening101.net!

What Are Gophers? Do They Come Out?

Gophers also referred to as pocket gophers, are one the burrowing rodents. 

They are most abundant in North and Central America. These squirrels have the scientific name Geomyidae and are medium in size. The animal lives underground, and a gopher tunnel can extend between 200 and 2000 square feet deep with many dirt mounds. 

do gophers come out

So do gophers come out? Gophers do come out, and they can carry plague and other harmful diseases such as hantavirus or leptospirosis. While they don’t have regular contact with humans to spread these diseases, they are highly likely to transmit fleas and ticks to pets outdoors.

Besides, they also cause serious problems to facilities such as destroying underground electrical cables, water lines, irrigation pipes, or sprinkler systems. The damage they cause is more severe in the spring – when they work closest to the surface.

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When Do Gophers Come Out Of Their Holes?

Although they rarely extend beyond the length of gopher mounds, these rodents can come out at dusk or night. Usually, they will come out when in need of food, moving shelter, or pushing dirt out of the gopher burrow.

Signs Of Gophers In Your Garden

These fluffy but harmful animals spend most of their time under their gopher holes, so you’ll hardly see them most of the time. However, in addition to the above reasons, they still go out occasionally and are most active in the spring and autumn.

They rarely come out of the holes because doing so puts them at risk from predators, including wolves, hawks, snakes, and the like.

Furthermore, living underground and in vegetable gardens allows them to access more nutrients such as the roots of plants and larvae as their food source. Last but not least, the ground will be much warmer for them than it is on the surface.

Besides, gophers can come out of their tunnels when they need nesting material. They can also be seen on the outside of the nest when trying to close an exit or gopher entrance hole.

Signs Of Gophers In Your Garden

Gopher’s Mounds

You can tell signs of gophers by the appearance of mounds of dirt. This is their first and most noticeable sign. The gopher probe suddenly appeared due to the process of bringing excess soil to the surface to build tunnels for this animal.

During the stage when the rodents are removing soil to form tunnels, the mounds will have a fan shape. This is the best time to call in gopher removal experts. Once that phase has been completed, the mounds will be round and oval.

Vegetation Damages

However, if, in some cases, the mound cannot be detected some cases, but there is damage to the vegetation, that is also a sign of this rodent. In some cases, for example, a single gopher invades the next house’s garden, and it will be difficult to detect the mound.

Signs Of Gophers In Your Garden

So if you plant some prized plants and find them damaged, it could be explained by the presence of these squirrels. Plants that can be eaten from the roots, or small plants, can be dragged down the tunnel by these animals.

How To Get Rid Of Gophers In Your Garden?

First, at the stage where the gophers’ tunnels are forming, you can call in a specialist to remove them, and this is the easiest way. If not, you can refer to the following methods: 

Live Trap

Get gopher traps at your local store or online and place them near the caves’ entrance. This is one of the effective and effortless ways to get rid of these animals. You can also put some bait in the trap to increase efficiency; some lettuce or anything similar will do.

Remember, after catching a gopher, you need to fill the tunnel and its hole to prevent other gophers from running to that space.

Chemical Treatments

Disguising gopher baits as a delicious, tempting grain containing toxic substances such as zinc phosphide and bait. However, it should be remembered that this method carries potential risks, especially for pets and children.

Gophers Repellents

Using a repellent is a more humane way to get rid of this pesky rodent. Place pellets like castor oil or peppermint oil in the cave closest to your home and start working your way in slowly.

Put more insect repellent in the deeper burrows for a day or two, and the squirrels will be driven out of the source. Before you begin, however, choose an exit for them and make sure it’s away from your garden.

The downside to this method is that it can’t drive the squirrels too far, and they can invade your neighbor’s garden!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Flood A Gropher’s Hole? 

You can, but this doesn’t always work. Moreover, flooding the tunnels also means supplying too much water to the soil and easily leads to waterlogging. This will harm your lawn and plants more than it does keep these rodents away. 

Besides, the water only loosened the soil and made burrowing easier for the squirrels. They can simply dig to higher ground and wait until the water recedes.

What Plants Do Gophers Hate?

This is also a benevolent way to prevent the risk of being invaded by these rodents. You can plant a hedge of plants that the squirrels hate to block their way into your garden. Plant other plants inside that fence, and they will be safe.

How To Get Rid Of Gophers In Your Garden

Some plants you can opt for are lavender, daffodils, marigolds, and oleander. You can also choose to grow rosemary, salvia, and catnip. They also work to repel these animals well!


Above is information for “when do gophers come out of their holes” and some tips to prevent them. You can refer to these methods, but carefully consider the limitations of the method. 

The best way is to notice the first sign and call a professional to deal with it promptly! 

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