Some physical characteristics of gophers include small, beady eyes, short tails and small ears. Gophers also have long and hard front teeth and four legs, and they usually have fine brown fur. Gophers are between 5 and 10 inches in length.
Gophers are vegetarians and eat a diet consisting of plants, grass, roots and trees. They are often found in gardens and yards looking for food. They are extremely intelligent when it comes to building underground tunnel systems. These tunnels are complex, and gophers make them using their long teeth and front legs to put the dirt on top of the lawn. Only one gopher is found at a time in the tunnel system since they prefer being alone.
While gophers cause havoc in yards and gardens, they are an important part of the ecosystem. Gophers help to increase the fertility of soil when they mix fecal waste and plant material. The soil becomes aerated and tilled when gophers burrow into it to create the tunnels. Gophers are food for animals like snakes, owls, weasels and coyotes.
Homeowners can discourage gophers from settling in their yards by surrounding gardens with food sources with netting or screen fencing. If homeowners spot gophers or tunnels, they should contact a pest control company to help get rid of them.