If you love gardening, then watching moles & gophers in your yard is the most frustrating thing. Suppose, one day you look outside, and you saw mounds of soil & dirt in the garden. You probably thinking moles or gophers attacked here. Now, what?
In the many parts of United States, you’ll find both of them. So, you can’t be sure, whether it’s an attack of moles or gophers. Before taking any action, you should first know that, whether you have moles or gophers. But, why? Controlling methods differ for moles and gophers because of their burrowing & eating habits. After reading this article, you will know the difference between moles and gophers, so you’ll be able to deal with them effectively.
How to Identify Moles in the Yard
Moles are gray, black, deep brown, or gold in color. Sometimes, you’ll find white markings on their coats. Generally, their length is 6 to 8 inches. They have very tiny eyes and ears, along with wide front feet and angular snouts.
If you found round, conical, and symmetrical mounds of dirt, like a small volcano, then probably your yard has been attacked by a mole. On the top of mounds, dirt is fluffy with occasional clods. These mounds can be more than a feet in diameter. They create tunnels & living chambers just 2 feet below the surface which are all connected. Then they plug their holes. Moles also dig tunnels along the edges of man-made borders like walls, fence etc.
Moles don’t eat plants, they are insect eaters. They eat insects & worms, their favorites are earthworms, beetles, snails, ants, grubs, and other subsurface insects. They are good in digging, and they can dig a foot of tunnel per minute. Every day, they eat insects weighing about 50 percent of their body weight.
Moles like to live alone. They don’t tolerate another mole in their tunnel, except during the spring mating season.
Moles live in shady, moist & fertile areas where they can get more insects to eat. They don’t eat plants, but they damage them by creating air pockets around the roots.
How to Identify Gophers in the Yard
Gophers have a bad reputation for damaging gardens. These are always mistaken as moles, but it’s not difficult to know the difference between moles and gophers. Generally, these rodents are 7 to 12 inches long, including their tails. These have a black or white colored fur, but exceptions do exist. Their big yellow teeth constantly display even when their mouth is closed.
The gopher mounds are very different from the mounds created by moles. They create soil heaps having a diameter 18 inches to 2 feet. If the dirt mounds, when viewed from above, are crescent or horseshoe shaped with a plug of dirt between the arms of the crescent, then probably you have a gopher. They don’t dig surface tunnels like moles. Unlike moles, dug their living chambers & tunnels up to 6 feet underground. Once a gopher establishes its territory, it’ll fight to protect it. An adult male can control up to 2,000 square feet of the area having its tunnels & holes.
Gophers are strictly vegetarians. They only eat cultivated & wild plants. If you see dead plants along with the crescent shaped mounds, this confirms the presence of a gopher. They prefer to eat plant roots from the underground. After eating its meal or sensing danger, it dives into his hole and fills the entrance with dirt.
Now, you know the difference between gophers and moles, therefore, you can take down your enemy effectively. So, we hope that you’ll make your garden free from these disastrous animals.