Close up of a valley gopher.
Illustration of gopher and mole mounds.
Gopher mound.
barn owl in meadow.
Gopher control Cheetah machine at work.
Vole in gloved hand.

Services we offer:

  • Preventive measures, gopher baskets, raised garden beds
  • Habitat modification
  • Carbon Monoxide fumigation
  • Barn owl nest boxes

The valley pocket gopher

In California there are 5 species - the most abundant is the Botta’s Pocket Gopher, also called the Valley Pocket Gopher.

Gophers are solitary and extremely territorial except in mating season.

The home territory of a Botta is about 700 square yards, which is rigorously defended.

Gophers eat plant material, including seeds. Birdseed feeders often have high gopher activity underneath.

Gophers usually have one litter of about 3 to 5 pups. If weather and resources permit, they may have two litters per year, with fewer pups, keeping the average reproductive rate of 5 a year.

They give birth usually March through June. Pups wean at about 6 weeks and leave their mom within a couple of weeks after that.

Lifespans varies, but for the Botta, they can live up to three years or so.


Reality check
We’re never going to eradicate all gophers, and, really, we shouldn’t want to. They play an important role in nature.
You'll find the abundance of gophers in landscapes that have been disturbed by humans. Lush gardens, green grass, few predators ... an out-of-balance ecosystem.

One way to try and bring back balance is to encourage the natural predators of the gopher - the barn owl, fox, bobcat and coyote.


About carbon monoxide fumigation

We do not advocate killing native wildlife.

However, when poison is being considered as an option, we want to provide a safer alternative - carbon monoxide gas.

We believe CO results in the most humane death - the animals are quickly rendered unconscious and do not suffer asphyxiation.

FGARS are the new DDT

First Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (FGARS), used to kill gophers and ground squirrels, are the new DDT. They should never be used!

When a predator, like a hawk, owl, fox, bobcat - even a dog or cat consumes a poisoned rodent, it receives a dose of poison. These powerful chemicals can remain in an animal's system for a year or more.

One poisoned gopher might not be enough to kill a bobcat, but continued exposure will cause its demise.





Voles, also called meadow mice, look a bit like pocket gophers. They have small ears, a compact body, short legs, and a short tail.

Voles spend most of their time underground but can be observed day or night aboveground, darting along their established runways. A vole's maze of runways, often concealed by grass, can lead to multiple burrow openings. Their burrows are comparatively short and shallow.

Voles are mostly herbivorous, and are know for girdling stalks of plants and trees.

Habitat modification

One way to effectively deter voles is to make the habitat less attractive - less hospitable. Voles are attracted to areas with weeds and tall grass and deep mulch.


Voles, squirrels, mice and rats can be kept out of garden beds and large outdoor areas with our Rodent Exclusion Barrier System (REBS). We build and install or offer instruction for DIYers.