How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Why Do I Have a Gopher Problem?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Why Do I Have a Gopher Problem?
Why Do I Have a Gopher Problem?

Gophers do serve a purpose in the wild with their extensive burrowing. It’s likely that your landscape does not require this degree of aeration and the digging may be upsetting your plants, shrubs and trees, however. As you survey your yard, if you see evidence of gophers, take fast action to protect your landscape from damage.


Gophers multiply so rapidly and burrow so extensively, the damage they can create can be devastating to a landscape. As you determine why you have a gopher problem, find effective methods for controlling and eradicating the gopher population in your landscape.

  1. While gophers will happily desecrate the roots of a young fruit tree, after the third year, these trees are resistant to gophers.

    1.Plants That Attract Gophers

    Just like many animals, gophers have certain plants that they prefer. If you grow these plants in your landscape, you may attract a colony of gophers in your yard.


    • Tuberous Plants – Any plants that produce tuberous growth beneath the soil are favorites of gophers.

    • Leafy Garden Plants – Gophers love lettuce and other leafy plants in the garden.

    • Artichokes – Gophers enjoy munching on fresh artichokes in the garden.


    Unfortunately, in addition to these plants, homeowners often find that the more lush and healthy a lawn, the more attractive it is to gophers. The dense root system of a healthy lawn will give gophers abundant food to munch.

  2. 2.Plants that Repel Gophers

    Some plants have proven resistant to gophers. Other plants actually seem to repel them.


    • Squash – Both summer and winter squash varieties are resistant to gophers in the garden.

    • Grains – Gophers usually leave all types of grains alone because the roots of these plants are exceedingly dense.

    • Rhubarb – Rhubarb seems to have the ability to repel gophers. Some gardeners plant rhubarb strategically to keep gophers at bay.

    • Fruited Vegetables – Most fruit-bearing vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and berries are resistant to gophers. If food is scarce, a gopher may not be able to resist munching on tomato plant roots, however.

    • Fruited Trees – While gophers will happily desecrate the roots of a young fruit tree, after the third year, these trees are resistant to gophers.

    • Legumes – Gophers don’t enjoy the taste of peas and beans, so they generally leave them alone in the garden.

  4. 3.Indications of a Gopher Problem

    As you examine your landscape to determine what is digging, it shouldn’t be difficult to discern a gopher’s activity. Unlike moles, gophers do not create surface tunnels. Gophers dig deeper under the surface of the soil. Gopher mounds are also crescent shaped and you will generally find more than one mound located in a small vicinity. Gophers also created plugged holes near their mounds. Plugged holes are the holes a gopher is not currently excavating. Instead, the gopher uses this hole to travel up to the surface of the soil to eat in relative safety. After using this hole, the gopher will plug it to ensure safety. If you find an open hole, this means the gopher tunnel is either abandoned or another animal is using it.


    While it does take a little detective work, you should be able to determine when you have gophers in your yard and you should also be able to arrange your garden so it doesn’t attract gophers.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.