Gophers are small burrowing rodents that can cause significant damage to outdoor spaces, but can they get inside your house?
While gophers are generally considered to be outdoor parasites, they can enter homes via dug tunnels or holes in the foundation. Once inside, gophers can cause numerous issues. For instance, they may cause costly damage to insulation, wiring, and other structural components of the residence.
Importantly, gophers are not known to be aggressive toward humans, however, they may carry diseases. Nevertheless, their presence in the home can still be a significant annoyance. And householders should take measures to prevent gopher infestations and promptly resolve them if they occur.
By comprehending gophers and their behavior, homeowners can protect their dwellings and exterior areas from these animals. Thus in this article, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about their invasion of a house.
Can Gophers Get in Your House?
These annoying animals are known to destroy your lawn within days. But nothing is surprising here as gophers live in the wild and love plants. So you can expect gopher species there. The real surprise is when you come across gophers inside your home.
You don’t need to expect a home invasion if you live on the city side. However, if your house is in the coastal to mountainous regions, then you can expect guests such as gophers.
Factors Affecting Them Invading Your House
Many factors increase the probability of these gophers invading your house. They are:
Gophers love sandy or loamy soils that are loose and well-drained. Having loam soil around your house invites gophers as they tend to like them.
Gophers are most active in the spring and fall when the earth is wet and the temperatures are mild. Moreover, if it’s mating season for gophers, they require shelter and may invade your house for it.
Need Of Food
Gophers eat on subterranean plant elements like roots and tubers. If your property contains a lot of flora, especially carrots, potatoes, or sweet potatoes, you may be more vulnerable to attracting these animals. Which can later lead to them bulging in your home.
Lastly, if your home is close to gopher habitats, such as open fields, woodlands, or natural grasslands, gophers are more likely to overrun your property.
Damages You Can Expect
When it comes to gopher damage to your home, there are endless possibilities of damage.
As already mentioned, gophers are capable of structural damage. They are;
- Snapped electrical connections that are present underneath.
- Broken water pipes as they are brittle and these gophers can easily access them with their sharp claws.
- Lastly, when these burrowing animals run out of food, they will start digging your house’s foundation.
These rodents aren’t only limited to damaging your house. Moreover, gophers can also be harmful to your well-being. They are known to carry diseases such as Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, hantavirus, leptospirosis, rabies, and plague.
All of these diseases can be spread through urine, saliva, and feces. So if the gophers get access to your house, they can leave their physical traits there. Moreover, it’s not even additional work for the gophers to leave their traits such as saliva there. It’s all-natural for them to leave these things in the open.
Therefore, the probability of you getting in contact with them is quite high. This opens up the gates for so many diseases which you don’t want to get.
Signs of a Gopher Infestation
Before taking any steps of protecting your home from gophers, you need to confirm their existence.
Fortunately, gophers do leave out signs that will help you identify that they are present in your house. So let’s dig in deep with the signs.
Visible Burrow Holes
Since gophers are attracted to loamy soil, the first step is to check your lawn. There you should come across burrow holes due to their burrowing habits. Even though the holes are small, they are visible enough.
Gophers love to play with dirt. So when they enter your house, these rodents will make sure they are bringing dirt along with them. Thus, you should come across dirt around your clean floor. And that is when you know there’s a gopher inside.
Apart from all the holes they have dug, you should also come across damaged plants. The primary reason for gopher invasion is food and your lawn must have plenty of it. These small creatures love lawn grass, seeds, or plants in your lawn. Thus, if you have across any damaged plants, it could be gophers.
As already mentioned, gophers can damage house structures. A sudden cut in power or water supply is a sign that these animals have done their damage. If you can’t detect any other source for a disruption in the power or water supply. The gophers that are under your house’s foundation are to blame.
On the other hand, if they can enter your house, you will come across damaged walls or households. These creatures love to chew and may ruin your curtains as well.
The most disturbing sign that a gopher can leave is flooding. They are capable of chewing off the water pipes. As a result, it exposes your foundation to flooding from the water source, which is particularly known as a water hammer. However, you won’t notice it immediately. Rather it will take some time to see the flooding.
Yet, the damage has to be the most severe here. The foundation of your home deteriorates as a result of floodwater contact.
Confirming Its A Gopher
Before you take any gopher invasion prevention, it’s vital to confirm the existence of a gopher.
So before you call pest control for help, here are some likely circumstances for a gopher invasion
- Kidney-shaped mounds are usually produced by gopher tunnels that are dug beneath the soil
- The average size of a gopher’s hole is 4 inches, you can use this information to distinguish the burrow holes from other rodents
- As they have sharp teeth, gnaw marks on the damaged plants are a sign of the presence of gophers
Prevention and Control of Gophers
Now, how to keep gophers out of your house? There are several measures you can take to keep them in control and prevent your lawn from getting damaged. They are
You can use mesh barriers such as gopher wire or hardware cloth for gopher invasion prevention. The recommended size is 1.5–2.5 feet above the ground. Simply cover the entire lawn with these barriers and should most of them from invading.
Removing Potential Food Sources
Gophers love root vegetables such as carrots and beets. Similarly, their love also stands out for seeds. So removing the food sources for them would completely stop them from invading and acts as excellent pest management.
Keeping The Lawn Trimmed
You can start trimming off your lawn more often to keep these pests away. As gophers are drawn by grass, keeping it trimmed would stop them from coming.
Another great pest prevention method is chili powder. Gophers utterly hate chili powder and can’t take that strong smell in their nose.
Simply sprinkling these home remedies powders on your lawn would help them to go somewhere else rather than your lawn. However, if you own any pets, then this might not be ideal, as the chili may harm them too.
If you have some space in your lawn for some additional plants, this method will come in handy and stop you from calling pest control companies. The reason for it is their effectiveness.
Planting garlic plants, salvia, rosemary, and oleander would make them think there’s not much in your lawn to eat. Thus, avoid your lawn for further investigation from these gophers.
Effective Gopher Control Methods For Homes
What we covered above are the exclusion methods you can apply to get rid of gophers. This process is harmless for the gophers and won’t leave you any guilt.
Whereas other methods may cause harm. These damage control methods include trapping them or using poison that contains strychnine and zinc phosphide.
While the harsh technique just reduces the gopher population, the exclusion strategy increases the likelihood that these rodents will attack your yard once again. As a result, using traps or poison bait is known to be the most effective when it comes to wildlife removal.
If you do decide to use traps such as CINCH Traps, then do check out for trapping regulations in your state. As this type of trap kills the gophers instantly, some states don’t support the idea and thus can put you in trouble.
On the other hand, non-lethal trap such as live-trap is also a good option. They don’t kill the gophers but instead trap them alive. This way, the law won’t interfere with you, and neither do you have to feel guilty for killing these innocent creatures. You can just free the gophers long away from your lawn.
Damage Control and Repair
As already mentioned, gophers can do tremendous structural damage as well as electrical and water connections. Starting from weakening your house’s foundation to flooding, they are capable of every possible damage.
So how do you cop with the damage control and do sufficient repairing? Let’s see what you can do when it comes to these backyard pests.
Repairing the Foundation
If the gophers have already done their part and left you with a weak foundation home, then mud-jacking is the way to go. It’s the process of injecting cement and other materials underneath to give it a stronger base.
Tiny holes are drilled in the damaged region. Later on, cement, water, and sand are then injected into the holes. The mixture raises the slab back to its original place by filling the spaces beneath it. As a result, making the base strong.
Repairing Power Cut
A sudden cut in power is also a sign of a gopher messing around. The first initiative you should take is getting hold of a splice kit. It contains all the equipment that will help you find the cut easily.
Turn off the main electrical supply and start digging where the gopher might have damaged the cables. Take a voltage tester and do some examination of the wires to find the cut cable.
However, if you have no prior knowledge of electrical components and connections, we recommend not doing it yourself. Call your utility company, and they will certainly help you.
Repairing the Damaged Water Pipe Line
The easiest repair for underground damaged pipes is trenchless pipe repair. Your current drainage pipes are fitted with a flexible tube. A new structural line is formed as the tube hardens.
As a result, the old pipe is effectively transformed into a new pipe. The pipe has been entirely sealed and is free of all previous problems that the original pipe had.If you’re concerned about gophers getting into your house, be sure to check out our article on whether gophers can get into your house. Additionally, if you’re interested in how gophers breathe underground, our article on how gophers breathe underground explores the unique adaptations that allow them to survive in their burrows. Finally, if you’re dealing with gopher damage to your lawn, our article on gopher damage to lawn offers insights into how to identify and repair the damage caused by gophers. Our piece on how gophers breathe underground provides information on their unique adaptations for survival, while our article on gopher damage to lawn offers insights into how to identify and repair the damage caused by gophers.
Before we sum things up, let’s check out some frequently asked questions.
1. Can gophers chew through walls?
No, gophers don’t have such strong teeth to chew through those thick walls. However, they do have hands that are made for digging. Thus, they can use those hands for years and go through the walls and foundation of your house. Overall, their sharp claws are considered their primary weapon, not their mouth.
2. How do you remove a gopher from your house?
If it had entered your house, then you have options for the measures you will take. The most effective one is using poison bait or trapping them. There are plenty of traps on the market that are made to trap these rodents. Just place their favorite food there and wait for them to get caught.
However, make sure to place the trap in the right places where you think they are present. On the other hand, poison baiting involves a delicious smell for the gophers and acts as bait. As soon as they consume eat, they are departed.
So, can gophers get in your house? Yes, they can go through the foundation of your house, thanks to their sharp claws. They usually enter from the lawn that is present beside it. Moreover, these gophers burrow holes in the lawn and then make their way through it to your house.
However, if you have confirmed their existence in your house, don’t ever let them stay there. These rodents will eventually damage your house’s electricity connection as well as your water supply.
As a result, you will face electricity cut out, lack of water in the faucets, and even flooding if the damage has gotten worse. The flooding underneath leads to a weak foundation, and the consequences are nerve-wracking.
Overall, it’s a mess that you should take action on as soon as possible. Nevertheless, we always recommend you do further research on gopher prevention and control in homes. There’s no limitation on knowledge and there’s always something new to learn.