It’s that time of year where the snow melts and the ground becomes soft, and unfortunately moles and gophers also begin to infest some of our yards! But, you may be wondering what the difference between moles and gophers are.  Are they moles, or gophers?

How They Look

Moles and Gophers are known for digging through the dirt, but there are numerous differences between these two. The easiest way to tell them apart is by the way they look.  Moles have gray fur with stocky bodies, short legs in the front, large claws, small eyes, pointed noses, and ears that you can hardly see because they’re so small.  Gophers are kind of like small groundhogs, but with small ears and eyes and brown hair that’s shorter than the moles.

How They Behave and Cause Problems

Moles love to be where the soil is loose and sandy, such as golf courses.  They have paddle like feet that help them to move while tunneling so they tend to spend more time underground than gophers.  They rely largely on their sensitive noses for getting around since their eyes and ears are pretty helpless for them.  Moles tend to stick closer to the surface of the ground for better food and mate searching, so it’s common to see raised tracks of dirt around the property – a good indication of mole infestation.

Gophers however, love subterranean roots while digging in the ground and they also feed on vegetation.  They construct their burrows using their claws and using their powerful legs and chests they can manipulate the soil.  It’s not uncommon for things like irrigation pipes and underground utility cables to become damaged because of pocket gopher gnawing and broken bark from the bottoms of trees when they chew on them.  Above the ground, plants will begin to fade and die because their roots get damaged, something that can sometimes take a while to notice.

How They Cause Damage

Both moles and gophers can destroy a yard or property in similar ways, so trying to identity between moles and gophers based on damage alone can sometimes be difficult. One sure way of telling the difference between moles and gophers that may have infested your yard is by the dirt left by the burrows (holes in the ground).  Moles create volcano shaped dirt piles while gophers will leave the dirt flat and spread out. Moles will have a wider underground area than gophers and snack on earthworms and grubs as they avoid plant material.  Unfortunately, you’ll see more damage above the ground caused by gophers, such as uprooted flower beds and gardens.

Need Assistance?

If you identify either a mole infestation or gopher infestation in your yard or property, please contact a wildlife removal specialist right away.  Wildlife critters can be dangerous and by trying to remove them yourself you may also cause more damage to your yard or property.  We at Erdman Wildlife Enterprises are experienced and professional in removing moles and gophers.  Don’t wait any longer to make your yard beautiful again! Contact us today!

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