How to get rid of gophers under the house and in your yard

how to get rid of gophers
You can get rid of gophers by removing any sources of food or shelter, using natural repellents like castor or peppermint oil, or planting daffodils and thyme. Exclusion fencing, ultrasonic repellents, and live traps are other options you can use for gopher control.

Your garden and lawn are your sanctuary. Whether you’re entertaining friends, grilling, or relaxing after a long day’s work, your outdoor space should be your haven.

However, gophers can rapidly wreak havoc on your property and landscaping. They create ugly holes and can damage your flowers and plants.

Fortunately, this guide will show you how to get rid of gophers and salvage your property. We’ll look at the best gopher control tips and help you pick the best ones for you.

How to identify Gopher Damage around your house

You can quickly tell where gophers live as they usually dig tunnels on your property. They also will push any excess soil to the surface.

This creates long horseshoe-shaped mounds that you can easily spot in your vegetable garden, lawn, and around your house. These fresh soil piles are the best sign of gophers’ presence in your home.

To tell a gopher apart from other burrowing critters such as voles, you’ll see a sealed soil depression, the gopher’s entryway to the main tunnel on one side of the gopher tunnel or mound. They plug the entrance with soil to keep off predators and block out light.

Unlike other pests, pocket gophers don’t hibernate and are active throughout the year. However, you’ll notice most of their activities in fall and spring when the soil is best for digging.

gopher standing tall in a field of medium grass

What attracts gophers to your house

Wondering why are gophers in your yard or house? Below are a few things that attract gophers to your property:

Food sources

These herbivorous puffballs love to eat and will live where they can easily access food.

Pocket gophers love tubers, roots, seed acorns, lawn grass, clover, alfalfa, dandelions, and other snacks. So, if you have these varieties on your property, you might experience a gopher infestation.

Soil composition

Gophers love excavating and prefer areas with loose, sandy soil that’s stress-free to navigate.


Gophers will seek shelter as they are prey for many other wild animals. They need a safe and secure haven and may build gopher tunnels along fence lines, under bushes, or trees.

A few gophers in your home will result in a real gopher problem as they will rapidly reproduce. Female gophers give birth to between one and three litters annually, with every litter having five to six pups.

The pups stay with their mother for several weeks before venturing out on their own to construct their burrows and tunnels. Being aware of this, it’s wise to take care of your gopher infestation fast before they become difficult to manage and get rid of.

gopher standing up near a rock in tall grass

How to Get rid of Gophers Humanely & Naturally

There are many options for getting rid of gophers without killing these cute critters, including poison-free methods. Below is a breakdown of each:


One of the most natural and humane ways to deter gophers from your property is using some ingredients you probably do already have in your home. Repellents, just as the name suggests, make the area unpleasant to gophers forcing them elsewhere.

While there are many organic repellents, some can be chemical, electronic, or mechanical. For successful results, plan an exit route for gophers and place the repellents in and around the tunnels closest to your vegetable garden, flower bed, or home.

Over time, add more repellents in gopher holes all around your property, and this will eventually kick them out of your home. Now that you’re aware of how these repellents work, below are some of the common gopher repellent options:

  • Castor oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Mothballs
  • Sage plants
  • Daffodils
  • Iris
  • Thyme
  • Geranium
  • Exclusion fencing
  • Ultrasonic acoustic repellents

Instead of removing and trapping gophers, exclusion fencing helps keep them off your property. Since they like feeding on tubers and roots, install these exclusion fencing made from fine metal or wire mesh.

The wire mesh openings should be less than half an inch by one inch for successful results. The right fencing can prevent gophers from burrowing into the vulnerable places of your property or pushing soil to the surface.

What about gopher traps

Live traps, known as no kill traps, are the best poison-free solutions for your lawn and yard.

Practical and affordable, live traps are easy to acquire and set. While you can set gopher traps throughout the year, they work best in fall and spring when gophers are most active.

For effective results, set the traps in the main tunnel and use baits such as apples, peanut butter, lettuce, or carrots. If your trap doesn’t catch a gopher in two days, move it to a new location.

After trapping it, relocate the gopher to at least half a mile from your home. After this, fill the tunnel and repair the gopher holes to discourage new critters from moving in.

gopher near the entrance to a burrow

Do gopher bombs work?

The chemicals present in gopher bombs can be toxic to your house pets and even humans. You must place them in confirmed gopher holes a minimum of six inches.

Once you light them up, close the open burrow. Although practical, gopher smoke bombs actually do not eliminate the pests long-term.

Should you be using poisoning as a solution?

Poisoning is the most effective gopher control method for quick extermination, especially when you have a massive infestation. Specific pellets in the market have been specially formulated to entice gophers.

The poison will work within a day of ingestion, and sometimes less. A slow, drawn-out demise will send the message to other gophers around that something is amiss.

Tricks and tactics to avoid

A misconception among most homeowners is that you can use flooding and fumigation to control gophers. Flooding will only destroy your lawn and loosen the soil under your grass, making it easy for gophers and other rodents to tunnel through.

Gophers can seal the tunnels and avert the gas fumes if you decide to fumigate. If unsure how to go about it, you can call a pest control expert for assistance.


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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