Las Vegas Gopher's 101

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Pocket Gophers can be found in your yard, lawn, and garden. They leave Vegas residents with a headache and holes in their yard.

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Pocket Gophers can be found in your yard, lawn, and garden. They leave Vegas residents with a headache and holes in their yard.

Introduction to Gophers

Believe it or not, there are Gophers in our lovely town of Las Vegas. The most common fossorial rodent in this family are pocket gophers, which are named after their pockets or pouches in their cheeks! These pockets are used for holding food that they then take back underground to burrow. While their cheek pockets are used to hold food, their clawed front paws are used for digging. With these two characteristics it enables the Gopher to be a burrowing animal. To help with the dirt they are able to close their lips behind their teeth in order to loosen soil without getting dirt in their mouth.

It's a common misconception the "pocket" gopher is named after their size, because of their tiny characteristics. They have small eyes, small ears and tiny sensitive whiskers and tails. They make look bigger, but the pocket gopher is only 5- 14 inches long. The term pocket gopher makes sense in multiple ways. They can "fit in your pocket", but they also have pockets within their cheeks!

Lifecycle of The Gopher

Pocket gophers typically hang out solo until they come together in the spring and summer to reproduce. During this period young pocket gophers are born in little chambers that have been dug underground. The mother watches over her young gophers for 2-4 weeks until tasking them of building burrows of their own. Once the gopher is an adult they typically live for about three years, which is average for a smaller rodent.

What They Eat

Gophers eat mostly roots, tubers, and plants. They eat well, reproduce well, and stay healthy with these nutritious foods, making them harder to get rid of. Their teeth are well adapted for their vegetarian lifestyle. Some of their teeth are always growing to compensate for tooth wear while chewing on dirt, debris, and hard materials. Their molars are also flat in order to grind the vegetation. Their teeth are so ideal that they chew roots systems faster than root systems can grow back. This destroys your yard and garden, and they are the only natural source that seems to be able to accomplish this.

Are Gophers and Moles The Same Thing?

The Pocket gophers are sometimes confused with their really close relatives, the mole. We just want to give you a few ways to identify a pocket gopher and differentiate them from the mole. Moles have really tiny teeth and almost unapparent eyes. Keep in mind that pocket gophers have the long incisors the protrude out of the mouth. Their eyes are also much easier to spot. Pocket gophers also get into the ground a bit smoother. If the tunnels that the rodent makes have raised ridges in the ground it is probably a mole, if it doesn't it is probably a gopher.

What makes Pocket Gophers Common?

The most common gopher in the area are the pocket gophers, but there are other species of gophers that can be found across the county and Las Vegas. Pocket gophers are able to establish home in lawns, gardens, and crop fields. This is a big headache for homeowners and farmers, but is the reason why pocket gophers are so common.

Gopher Predators in Las Vegas are rare

Pocket gophers can hide from some threats, but they face a few predators. They are eaten by other animals that are quick and can follow them into the burrows. These animals typically include weasels and snakes.. If the gopher can't burrow quick enough a hawk or owl may also find a lucky dinner.  In Las Vegas we do have a shortage of gopher predators, so it is advised to have a professional gopher inspection to get rid of these pests. Canines can dig them out of the ground, but that may not be safe for your furry friend to be playing with.

How To Get Rid of Your Gophers

If you have seen gophers, or suspect their presence in or on your commercial or residential property, contact Fortified Pest Management, LLC. We will perform a thorough gopher inspection and formulate a custom plan of action to remove these rodents and prevent their return!

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