How to ID Moles, Voles and Gophers
Look, it’s a mole! It’s a vole! No, wait…it’s a gopher?!
(The difference between is more important than you think.)
A small, mischievous creature is destroying your once perfectly manicured lawn. Your gardener thinks it a mole, your nosy neighbor is sure it’s a vole, but you have the hunch that it’s a gopher. How can you tell the difference? And does it matter?
When it comes to kissing these grass-guzzlers goodbye, YES, it absolutely matters to determine which creature is underneath it all.
Let us make it easy for you. Use these tips to name your nemesis – mole, vole and gopher – and then you can take the right steps to send them scurrying.
They may not technically be rodents, but moles are certainly pests. Watch out for their trails of raised soil and grass sprawling across your lawn. Also, check for mounds of dirt with holes in the middle – telltale signs you’ve got moles.
If you’re lucky enough to catch one, you’ll know these insect-eating creatures by their paddle-like forearms, tiny eyes (they’re virtually blind, don’t you know!), and super slender snout.
To get after moles, place a Sweeney’s® mole trap in an active mole run. Not sure if it’s active? Walk on the tunnel to flatten it and check back the next day. If the tunnel has risen, it’s active.
Voles tend in live in low-lying vegetation like flowerbeds and gardens. If your hostas are torn to shreds, you might have a vole situation on your hands.
Also known as the meadow mouse, voles may resemble their lawn-leveling pal the mole but these critters have shorter tails and a longer fur. They are easy to recognize with their large, prominent front teeth and large, beady black eyes.
A Victor® snap trap is an effective way to stop voles in their tracks. Lift up the soil on an active tunnel and place a trap in the middle of the runway, and then cover it back up. As voles run through the tunnels, they’ll set off the traps.
With beaver-like buckteeth, small eyes and furry cheek pouches, the gopher is all the trouble it’s made out to be in the movie Caddyshack.
You’ll know if you’ve got gophers if you see fan shaped mounds with an exit hole to the side. Gophers are industrious critters, often creating multiple mounds a day.
Use Victor® Gopher Traps to get rid of pesky gophers. These traps are most effective when placed back to back with another trap – that way you’re covering traffic from both directions. And don’t wait too long! Gophers typically breed in the spring so you’ll want to catch pregnant gophers before they turn over a new litter.