Pocket Gophers are burrowing rodents, named for the fur-lined pouches or “pockets” outside of their mouth, which are used for carrying food and nesting materials. They have a short neck with a small, flat head and large front teeth (incisors).
- There are more than 40 species of gophers in North and Central America.
- Lips can be closed behind front teeth to exclude dirt from mouth while digging with incisors.
- Length: 7”-10”.
- Weight: 3-5 oz.
- Colors range from light to dark brown.
- Burrows can cover 200 to 2000 sq. ft.
- Tunnel diameter is 2.5” to 3.5”.
- Feeding tunnels are approximately 6” to 12” deep.
- Nesting and food caches may be as deep as 6 ft.
- Gopher mounds are usually identifiable by their by fan-shape and tunnel entrances are plugged to keep intruders out of burrows
- Gophers do not hibernate.
- They lead a solitary life except during breeding.
- Gophers are herbivores, feeding on plants, shrubs, trees, roots – they do not eat insects.
- Several studies have identified a measurable economic loss of forage due to gopher activity
- Gopher burrows cause damage in many ways, including destroying underground utility lines and irrigation pipe .
- Gopher mounds may cause damage to machinery or equipment
- Mounds can choke off forage or provide seedbeds for invasive plant species
- Gophers damage trees by girdling, pruning roots, and possibly exposing roots due to burrowing.
- In irrigated areas, gopher tunnels can channel water runoff, causing loss of irrigation water.
- Reach sexual maturity at 1 year old and live for about 3 years.
- Females produce 1 to 3 litters per year in irrigated sites, averaging 5 to 6 pups.
- One mating pair can produce 18 pups per year.
- Can be effective, but only on small populations.
- Requires extensive maintenance and monitoring.
- Proper technique and knowledge of the animal are critical to success.
- Control typically requires multiple traps, which is costly.
- Can be extremely dangerous around children and pets.
- Include water-in types, fumigants, mechanical and ultrasonic devices.
- Completely ineffective.
- May show some initial, short-term results, but the animals typically return in a few days.
- Poison Baits
- Rodenticides are the most effective and economical choice for Gopher control
- ZP AG is an acute product registered for use on gophers
- Contains 2% Zinc Phosphide as the active ingredient
- ZP Ag is a Restricted Use Pesticide - see product label for complete application details & species
- Baiting Techniques
- Bait must be applied directly into Gopher’s underground burrow system.
- Hand baiting: 1 teaspoon applied at 2 to 4 locations using a probe into the underground runway.
- Mechanical baiting with a burrow-builder: Drop a teaspoon quantity of bait at 4 to 5 foot intervals into artificial burrow (approximately 2 to 3 pounds per acre).