How to Collapse Gopher Tunnels: A Guide to Control & Prevention

In this guide, you will learn how to determine if gophers have appeared on your territory easily and how to collapse gopher tunnels if they have begun to build their hole in your lawn or garden. Moreover, you will find out how to pinpoint a gopher hole, what it looks like, what these creatures eat, and how they can harm you or your property.

How to Deal With a Pocket Gopher Tunnel
  1. Grow plants that repel gophers.
  2. Put the droppings of one of your pets in the ground squirrel’s hole.
  3. Set up something noisy near their burrow.
  4. Fill up the sewers and their hole.
  5. Make it harder for them to access food.

How to Find a Gopher Tunnel & How it Looks Like

You will surely know if you have a gopher by seeing a mound of earth in your garden or lawn. Gophers love to live in areas with sandy or earthy soil. Their front paws allow them to dig their tunnel systems and find food, namely the plants’ roots, damaging your garden or lawn.

They will stock up on food for the winter, which can spoil your garden quite badly. Gopher tunnel systems resemble an ordinary house. They store food in one place, their nests are arranged in another, and they also have a waste pit, showing how deep are gopher tunnels.

Little gopher near his mink

Gophers carefully close the entrance to maintain the temperature and humidity they need and prevent other predators from entering their holes. A sufficient amount of moisture is necessary for the spot to be more reliable and not break. But too much humidity will make gopher burrows uninhabitable. They can make entrances to their shelter around the perimeter, and you need to be careful, as you can not see them, and your foot may get stuck there, which can lead to injury, and your pets also risk falling into it.

Gophers will expand their burrows whenever they need food, as they are constantly making new holes in their paths, and there is a chance they could damage your plumbing. They can even spoil the trees in your area by tunneling under them, destroying the roots.

How to Fill In Gopher Tunnels and Make a Gopher Leave

You may find gopher tunnels in yard when your flowers start withering or crops disappear for no reason. It is a sign that it’s time to get rid of gophers in your area. If you see one of them, you have to take action. There are many ways to get them to leave humanely. And I am trying to describe these methods in detail for you.

Try to scare them

If you want to avoid the appearance of these pests, you can plant flowers such as gopher spurge. Gophers do not like it very much, so they will try to avoid it. You can plant this flower in a place where you do not want gophers to appear, whether it is a place near the house or on your lawn. Daffodils are also a gopher repellant, so they can be a good choice for your garden.

These pesky pests are also afraid of predators, so even searching for food, they try not to leave their holes. Put your pet’s excrement next to the hole or even in the hole. This smell will make the gophers think they’re being hunted and notably scare them, forcing these rodents to leave this place. They also can’t stand noise, so you can calmly drive them away with a noisy music player.

Get rid of gophers

  • Separate them from their food source. You can install short baskets on the vegetation near your garden to keep gophers from eating them or install a fence around your crop. It will limit their food source, and they will leave their place of residence to find enough food for the winter.
  • Gophers hate strong odors. Using mothballs, you can force the gopher to leave its habitat, put a bunch of mothballs into the hole and close it with a plastic bag. With the help of a pungent smell containing naphthalene, the ground squirrel will accept this place as uninhabitable and leave it.
  • The smell of fish is also unpleasant for them; you can throw parts of the fish fin into the gopher’s hole or just put it next to it.
  • Use coffee. Brew coffee and leave the rest of the ground at the bottom of the cup, then mix the earth with the same ground and fill the hole with this mixture. Coffee will emit its smell in the gopher tunnels, and the rodent will not want to linger in this place for a long time.
  • You can also make Tabasco sauce by mixing it with pepper and castor oil, then soak cotton balls and place them in a hiding place.

If you see several holes, you can try a few methods. Thus, the effect will only be stronger. There are also rice cleaners with natural spices; when you start filling the tunnels with them, they will scatter over most of their holes.

FAQ About Gopher Tunnels and Their Control

A small gopher comes out of a white mink

All the information in the guide allows you to find out and describe in detail what a gopher burrow looks like, its structure, and how to drive the rodents away from your site. If you have some more questions, you may find answers to them below.

What happens when you put water in a gopher hole?

It is a pretty good way to get rid of gophers, as the water will fill the gopher’s tandem system and push it out, but it can damage your soil.

How deep is a gopher hole?

They dig their burrows to about 4 to 15 inches deep. Their holes can also be affected by the soil itself, which allows them to burrow deeper, nest, and make food vaults at about 4 to 5 feet deep.

What attracts gophers to your yard?

They are often attracted to food (flowers, roots, trash, pet food, etc.) but will also seek out places with access to water, such as gardens and lawns.

How to Prevent Gopher Tunnels

I told you about the system of gopher tunnels and provided you with the necessary information to help you prevent their occurrence or help you get rid of them. I hope my guide helped you learn more about gophers and how to deal with them.

Was this guide helpful to you? What methods did you like the most? Tell us about it in the comments.

Also read:


  • Pocket Gophers (Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California)
  • Controlling Pocket Gophers in New Mexico (Jon C. Boren, Extension Wildlife Specialist)
  • Mothball (Wikipedia)


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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