What Gopher Eat: Complete List of Herbs That Can Be Eaten

Although gophers are cute animals, they can do a lot of damage to your lawn. The fact is that gophers love the grass used for sowing the lawn. Therefore, gophers can bring great harm to your yard. Some landscape designers pay attention to what gopher eat to plant a lawn that these pests will not eat. So it is important to know what plants do gophers eat to make your yard attractive and inedible for rodents.

Gopher Taste Guide

Ground squirrels are not picky about food but prefer grass, so many US residents may have problems with the lawn because a ground squirrel eats it:

  1. Needle and thread grass;
  2. Scouring rush;
  3. Mosquito grass;
  4. Eastern prickly pear cactus;
  5. Prairie junegrass;
  6. Kentucky bluegrass.
Needle and Thread Grass
This grass grows in a fairly dry area since it allows you to make the soil good enough. Therefore, gophers don’t eat much grass, although it is considered one of the most beloved gopher food. So it is worth noting that needle grass can become quite a rare species and be on the verge of extinction. That is why you need to know how to deal with gophers who love this grass. But on the other hand, needle grass helps to restore the soil, so this species should not disappear.

Scouring Rush

Often you may ask the question, “Do gophers eat grass?” However, you may find this thing in different parts of the United States. Scouring grass grows in North America and is similar to the common green reed. Most often, you can see this grass in pastures, in hot and sunny regions.

Gopher eats lettuce

However, such grass can also grow in ditches and in the wild. This grass is not used to make lawns because the sprout plants are quite hard. But still, gophers eat this grass if they live far from cities and towns.

Mosquito Grass

It grows in the central part of the United States and is not used to make lawns but in other areas. For example, this grass makes the grounds more beautiful. Mosquito grass grows in blue or gray stripes; that is why it is used in landscape design. Gophers may come running to your lawn because they love mosquito grass. If you do not want animals running into your territory, you should remove this grass from your yard.

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

In the Midwest of the United States, this type of plant is most common, so ground squirrels love this plant. These cacti are succulents, so they may be the only food source for ground squirrels. If you want to use this plant to make a fence, note that the plant can be gnawed after a while.

Prairie Junegrass

It is most commonly found in North America and serves as food for many animals. Gophers also feed on this plant. Prairie junegrass helps to avoid soil erosion. Since it is one of the few plants in such regions, ground squirrels can feed on it. This plant is rarely used to decorate the lawn, so it can be considered a gopher’s favorite food in the wild. But if you use prairie junegrass to prevent erosion, you should consider that other animals can also eat it.

Kentucky Bluegrass

This grass is the least common because it grows in pastures. Therefore, various wild animals love to eat it because it is one of the few types of food found in the northeastern United States.

FAQ About Gopher Nutrition

Gopher eating

In this section, I will answer questions you might have left after reading.

What is gopher’s favorite food?

Ground squirrels love a lot of food. For example, roots, tubers, different types of grass, and seeds fall into this category. Gophers’ nutrition may differ depending on their habitat.

What foods kill gophers?

No products can kill a gopher, so if you want to get rid of this animal, it is better to do it humanely. Then, you can call specialists who will catch the animals.

Will gophers eat lettuce?

Yes, gophers can eat lettuce, so some use it to make bait, although this is not rational. It is better to use other methods to get rid of the gophers.

What Do Gophers Like to Eat?

As you may have noticed, gophers eat not only lawn grass but also other types of plants. If you see that gophers eat some kind of ornamental grass, then it is better to get rid of it. The question “What do gophers eat in the wild?” was also answered. And as you can see, a lot of plants they can eat in the wild.
Have you seen gophers in your yard? Share your experience in the comments!

Also read:


  • Managing Pocket gophers (University of California Integrated Pest Management)
  • Pocket Gopher (University of Florida)
  • Equisetum praealtum (Scouring RushTall Scouring-rush) https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/equisetum-praealtum/


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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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