Are gophers troubling your garden produce? Are you curious about how they act in the rain?
Do you wonder if you can use water to get rid of these pests?
Do Gophers Come Out in The Rain?
Gophers tend to take shelter inside their burrows underground when it rains unless their burrows have been flooded.
They may seek higher ground within their own burrow or close the entry point of their tunnels and wait out the rain.
You will only see them out in the rain if there is a serious issue with their burrow.
What Happens to Gophers When it Rains?
When it’s raining, they just wait the rain out in the comfort of their homes, much like us! When it starts pouring, gophers build out their burrows. They dig upwards and at curving angles which helps prevents rainwater from accumulating.
Because of the way gophers burrow, rain doesn’t tend to affect them. Gophers are very smart rodents that stay safely shielded below ground.
They make extensive tunnels systems in a way that it’s easy to block out one entrance if and when needed. This way they can stop flooding.
Gophers also climb higher within their burrows when it starts raining and if there is any flooding within their own tunnel system. It is very unlikely that they will pop out onto the surface unless their tunnels are absolutely flooded and destroyed by rains.
What Time of Day are Gophers Most Active?
Gophers are diurnal creatures which means they’re active during the day. The burrowing rodents are most active during spring and fall when the soil is ideal for digging. Gophers do not hibernate either so they’re around all year.
Gophers are solitary animals which means they live by themselves unless mating or rearing their young ones. Since they’re herbivorous, they are notorious for feeding on roots of plants and tubers.
Even though gophers are said to be more active during the day, they are bustling underground all day and night, all days of the year.
It’s only during springtime or fall that we see these pesky beings pop out of their holes or destroy our yards in search of food. That doesn’t mean they aren’t constantly burrowing and digging away underneath the soil.
Can Gophers Drown when it Rains?
Gophers are intelligent creatures that make rain-proof burrows most of the time. However, these burrows are never really a 100% rain proof.
It is also important to remember that the soil absorbs a lot of water. So burrowing animals have an advantage when it comes to flooding. The rains have to be incredibly heavy for water to accumulate within the soil as well as flood the burrows.
Heavy water fall or long showers can force enough rainwater to accumulate in these burrows and if their escape points have somehow sealed or there’s water everywhere the poor beings will drown and die.
Some burrowing animals make U shaped tunnels which are more prone to drowning the animal when it rains.
Gophers, even if they make U shaped tunnels will make many more branches and mounds within the tunnel system to distribute the water flow. They will seek higher ground if they notice the burrow is starting to flood.
Sometimes they are forced out of their burrows and are all drenched and wet lying on top the ground. This can lead to them dying of hypothermia.
If they are forced out of their tunnels, there’s also a chance that predators spot them and hunt them down.
What Happens When You Flood a Gopher Hole?
Flooding a popular way of getting rid of gophers. Often gopher burrows are not easily identifiable and relying on water to reach the mounds within the burrows helps chase gophers out. To successfully remove gophers, the flooding must be dramatic and quick.
Flooding a gopher hole gives you a 50-50 chance of getting rid of gophers. Sometimes it helps you draw the gopher out. Other times it just loosens up the dirt in your lawn making it easier to dig through which ends up benefiting the gopher.
Some resort to blocking all exit points and then flooding the burrow but that drowns and kills the gopher which is not the most humane and ethical way of getting rid of them.
Alternatively, you could cover a few holes and keep the rest open so when flooded, they have escape points to run out through. When using this method, make sure to keep the water running for a while.
Flooding comes with its cons. If the burrow system is extensive and close to the foundation of the house you may end up getting a basement leak or damaging structures that hold your house up.
The loosening of the dirt can harm any plant growth that has happened in your yard.
How Do Burrows Not Get Flooded?
Burrowing animals like gophers have developed quite smart techniques to dig burrows that help provide shelter when it rains. Some of these are:
- Digging at upward and curving angles: this prevents their burrows from completely flooding.
- Digging on downward slopes: This gives them an advantage as downward slopes have good drainage and it’s extremely unlikely for water to enter their burrows if built on a slope.
- Plugging their burrow holes: this blocks any water from seeping in from the entrance points.
- Digging downwards and then up into a mound.
- Building sumps: sumps are pits made in the ground for the sole purpose of collection of water. It is a good way to divert water so it accumulates away from where the rodent is seeking shelter.
- They choose soft ground that has good water absorption when looking for places to make a burrow
- These systems are fairly extensive as they are made by prey animals. There are multiple entry and exit points which makes for a very good drainage system. The system is set in such a way that some areas of the burrow will even stay dry despite rainfall.
When Do Gophers Come Out of Their Holes?
A gopher is active all year round. They do not hibernate. Gophers can make burrows at anytime of the day. Gophers are the most active during the spring. In this spring season, they can make up to three mounds a day.
The most active time of the day for a gopher is around dusk. During the evening or at night you may see mounds developing in your garden.
Gophers are exceptionally great and at digging tunnel systems that cannot be noticed with the naked eye when staring at the surface of your garden.
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