Zen and the Art of Gopher Getting

By Diane Olson

by Diane Olson

It’s hard to be benevolent when you’re sharing your yard with a pocket gopher.

olson_gopherRose bushes and shrubs topple, suddenly rootless. Carrots, beets and turnips are reduced to green-topped stubs. Entire plants vanish, dragged into the rodential underworld. Mounds of dirt sprout like oversized mushrooms, suffocating the plants beneath them. It’s usually the mounds that get to people. Especially people who like having a manicured lawn. A single pocket gopher can move four tons of soil to the surface in a year, making as many 300 mounds. Pretty impressive for a rodent the size of a guinea pig.


This article was originally published on July 30, 2010.