Pocket gophers have dark brown fur, large heads, powerful necks, very short tails, and very large, broad front feet with enlarged claws, which they use in combination with their teeth; to dig and push mounds of soil to the surface. They are approximately the size of a small rat, and can reach 10 inches in length. Because this rodent uses it’s two exterior, fur-lined cheek pouches to carry food materials, it has earned the name Pocket gopher.
The Pocket gopher is a vegetarian, and feeds primarily on plant roots and tubers. Pocket gophers often cause pest control problems in yards and gardens, by feeding upon garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. A single gopher, moving down a garden row, can create considerable damage; in a very short period of time. As well, Gophers have been known to gnaw and damage plastic water lines and lawn sprinkler systems.
Pocket gophers are subterranean, burrowing rodents who live a lifestyle of digging and tunneling. This pest only spends time above ground, when the young leave their mother’s burrow, or when a male seeks a female for mating. Except in these two situations, pocket gophers are intensely solitary animals, living in extensive burrows that can extend from 200 to 2,000 square feet.