Gophers are vegetarians. They only eat roots, trees, shrubs, grass and plants.
Gophers are known for building complex underground tunnel systems. They use their front legs and long teeth to push dirt out of their tunnels and onto the grass above. Gophers like to be alone and only one gopher will be found in a tunnel system.
Gophers can be responsible for ruining lawns, killing trees and destroying gardens, but they can also be an important part of the local ecosystem. They increase soil fertility by mixing plant material and fecal wastes into the soil. Their burrowing aerates or tills the soil. They can help speed up the formation of new soil by bringing minerals to the surface and they also serve as food for a variety of animals including owls, coyotes, weasels, and snakes.
- Use underground netting or screen fencing to protect gardens.
- Build gardens in raised plant boxes to prevent gophers from being able to dig into the garden.
- Gophers do not thrive on annual grains because the roots of these plants do not provide them with enough food, so try planting annual grains as a buffer strip to protect other crops that are preferred by gophers.
- If you do not want to plant grains, you could try a buffer of bare ground or a barrier of six inches of coarse gravel.