Gophers are disruptive to many lawn and garden areas in the in
the United States and their impact is noticeable in the mounds
left behind and the plants they eat. Many landscapers,
homeowners, and gardeners wondering what exactly gophers eat and
what can be done to stop them from destroying their yard. We
will go over what these pesky critters eat and what you can do
to stop them from ruining your yard.
Gophers are Herbivories and prefer eating plants. Here
are a gopher’s favorite foods: roots, tubers (like potatoes),
grasses, and seeds. They are drawn to alfalfa, dandelions,
bulbs, carrots, onions, garlic, perennial ragweed, sweet clover,
pricky pear cacti, and many types of flowering plants.
If you have issues with these pesky and have one or more of
the above plants, then you might consider protecting your lawn
or garden by blocking their ability to burrow below your
landscape. Using a physical barrier called Gopher Wire below
your lawn or garden will provide excellent protection and make
gophers unable to access your yard.
View our Selection of Gopher Wire >
Here is a map of where Pocket Gophers proliferate in various regions
in the United States.
Photo credit https://icwdm.org
Preventing Gophers in California
California is a hot spot for gopher activity and one of the best
ways to get rid of gophers in your area is to prevent them in the
first place. Using a high quality dipped galvanized or stainless
steel ¾” hexagonal mesh will ensure that they don’t bother your
plants or landscape for the next 6-15 years.
interested in exactly what kinds of plants gophers eat and want to
remove these from your yard then read on.
Plants Gophers Prefer to Eat:
Needle and thread grass, is a perennial that
grows in bunches and is perfect for dry, sandy soils. It looks
similar to dry tangle beard. Needle and thread grass is considered a
species that is on the edge of becoming extinct in the very near
future according to the International Union of Conservation of
Nature. It's a favorite grass in land reclamation and
Scouring Rush, is a native
grass in North America and looks very much like long, green reeds.
It grows in rangelands and is at home in hot, sunny climates and
pastures. Scouring grass grows in dunes, open wooded areas, roadside
ditches, and pastures. It's in the horsetail family and grows dense
clusters on its stems. Many years ago, people used this plant, due
to its thick clusters, as scouring pads which is how the plant got
Mosquito Grass, is a small grass
that's grown in the central United States. This is a lovely grass
with graceful blue and gray striped leaves and small purple flowers
that appear during the summer months. It flourishes in dry soil and
is an important food source in the wild. There are many people who
grow this grass for ornamental purposes.
Prickly Pear Cactus,
is a succulent that has striped leaves
and produces flowers. This is the largest array of cactus in the
United States. It grows in dry, open ground, and can withstand
extreme heat as well as cold temperatures. You can find them in
rocky, outcrops, dunes, and hedgerows. Hedgerows are closely spaced
shrubs, and in some cases, trees are planted to form a barrier or a
According to a study out of Nebraska, researchers
found that prickly pear cactus is the most important food source for
gophers in the Midwest.
is a variety of grass found in North America. It also grows in the
United Kingdom but is called crested hair grass. It grows in dry,
sandy environments. This is a tall perennial plant that flowers in
the months of June and July with red and green striped buds. These
perennial flowers in June and July. This plant is often used to
prevent erosion and is an important food source for many animals.
Kentucky bluegrass, It grows low to the ground
and is native to the northeastern area of the United States. It's
usually found in pastures and can tolerate frequent grazing along
with different soils and weather conditions. Kentucky bluegrass is a
favorite food among many animals, especially cattle. It got its name
because of its blue-green color.
What Do Gophers
Gophers eat a variety of foods including all plants
including grass, trees, roots, seeds, shrubs, and tubers. They have
also been known to eat vegetables, especially peas, sweet potatoes,
carrots, onions, and garlic. Although they have eaten insects from
time to while eating grass, in general, they do not hunt for them.