Understanding Gophers in the Coachella Valley

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It’s important to deal with a gopher infestation right away. Gopher holes pose a tripping hazard for people and animals. Additionally, gophers can damage trees, and destroy your garden. Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control are the Coachella Valley’s gopher control experts – let us help you today!

Physical description

Approximately five species of gophers are found in Southern California, also known as pocket gophers due to their external cheek pouches. Depending on their species, gophers grow up to seven inches in length, with a 2 to 3-inch long hairless tail, and are commonly grayish-brown to brown in color. Gophers have huge yellow incisors, tiny eyes and ears, and large curved claws which are the distinctive features used to dig quickly.


Gophers create a series of interconnected underground tunnels, digging through yards to do so. These burrows can take up an area from 200 to 2,000 feet, and are approximately two and a half to three and a half inches in diameter. Gophers create feeding burrows about half a foot to a food below ground level, with the nest and food storage up to six feet below.

A gopher burrow system is typically inhabited by only one gopher when not mating or breeding, and while many gophers can live in the same area, they tend to build their burrow systems a distance away from each other.

Gophers prefer moist soil (but not saturated) to make their tunnels with, as it’s easier to dig quickly. In irrigated areas such as the common landscapes of the Coachella Valley, gophers can dig tunnels year-round, and more than one per day.

Life cycle

The amount of times a gopher can breed depends on the irrigation of the area. Where irrigation is low, gophers breed in the late winter and early spring and produce one litter. In highly irrigated areas, the breeding process can result in up to three litters per year. Gophers typically give birth to five pups per litter.

Gopher pups are born blind and rely on their mother entirely for the first 40 days of life. After a year, gopher pups reach full maturity. Gophers in the wild live for about three years.

Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control are licensed Coachella Valley gopher control experts. Contact us today and let us solve the issue effectively.

Interaction with humans

The holes that lead into gopher burrows create an injury risk, as they make it easy for people and animals to trip and fall. The mound that a gopher makes after digging a tunnel is crescent-shaped or horseshoe-shaped. Seeing these mounds may be a sign of a gopher infestation.

Potential dangers or risks

Because a gopher spends so much of its time underground, you may not see one on your property. Fresh soil mounds are a sign of a potential gopher infestation. Not only can gopher burrows create unsightly holes in your yard, they can also undermine soil and trees, cause soil erosion, and contribute to slope failure.

Gophers eat vegetation and can cause havoc to your flowers, plants, and shrubbery. They can also chew through power and irrigation lines.

If you need help getting rid of gophers on your Coachella Valley property, call Rudy’s Termite & Pest Control today!