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Wildlife Removal, Inc.

 

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The Difference Between Gophers and Groundhogs

When there is a fuzzy little beast ripping up your lawn and tunneling through your garden, there are a number of different animals it can be. The four most common burrowing pests in the New York/New Jersey area are moles, voles, groundhogs, and gophers. Gophers and groundhogs are commonly mistaken for each other, but there are a number of distinct differences separating the two animals. When there is a fuzzy little beast ripping up your lawn and tunneling through your garden, there are a number of different animals it can be. The four most common burrowing pests in the New York/New Jersey area are moles, voles, groundhogs, and gophers. Gophers and groundhogs are commonly mistaken for each other, but there are a number of distinct differences separating the two animals. Gophers are the smaller of the two, growing to only about 2 to 4 pounds in weight. A fully grown groundhog will weigh anywhere from 4 to 14 pounds, and will usually be much bigger than a gopher, so size is the first indicator of with type of pest is ripping up your garden. In completely favorable conditions, with no predators and plenty of food, a groundhog can achieve a weight of 30 pounds or more. Gopher fur can be a range of colors from white to brown to black. It is generally very soft. Depending on the species, a gopher may have stripes, spots, or other distinct markings. A groundhog’s fur is more coarse and is usually brown or rust colored. Gophers have thin, rat-like tails; while a groundhog’s bushy tail will resemble that of a squirrel. Groundhogs are much more comfortable going topside to forage for food. They can eat up to 1.5 pounds of vegetation a day, and will munch on almost all kinds of flowers, vegetables, and bulbs. Gophers tend to attack gardens from below, eating the roots of plants, shrubs, and vegetables. Carrots and radishes in particular are often the targets of gophers. They will often bite and gnaw at the roots, and fill up the pouches in their mouths. They tend to store extra food within the tunnel systems they dig.  Gopher tunnels usually go as deep as 2 feet or so, and feature extensive systems of pathways leading to a number of burrow chambers and exits scattered within the labyrinthian structure. The shape of the exit holes resemble a horseshoe in terms of the excess dirt surrounding it to form a mound. The exit holes of a Groundhog structure is more like a dome dirt pile. Groundhog tunnels are wider and less extensive, with generally only one burrow chamber, towards the back-end of the tunnel system. Groundhogs also usually create a chamber for the sole purpose of excrement, like a bathroom. They may go as deep as 4 feet deep underground.  We specialize in removing gophers, groundhogs, and other pests in the New York New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.

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