What are voles & gophers?

What are voles & gophers? Voles and gophers are among many other rodents that are constantly an issue for homeowners. With over 70 different species, vole sizes can range in length anywhere from 5-8 inches. They have short stocky bodies, small dark eyes, and short legs. They have fully developed ears that are partially hidden from view and their colors range from brown to black. There are more than 30 different gopher species and they are larger than voles as they can grow up to 14 inches large and their colors range from light brown to dark brown with a slightly lighter underbelly. They have small ears and a long, hairless tail. They also have fur-lined external pouches used to carry food so they are often seen with very chubby cheeks. Just as all rodents do, voles and gophers have a set of incisors that never stop growing which is why they are constantly chewing things to file down their teeth. They are built for digging and constantly do so which is when they start being nuisance for humans. They are omnivores who, depending on the species, mainly eat plants and eat insects as well. Their eating plants is the root of the problems land owners have with these two rodents.


Voles and gophers are usually considered harmless as they don’t bite or physically harm humans. However, they can pose a health threat as they are known to transmit diseases. Voles are known to pose a threat because they can spread disease through their urine and feces that they leave on your property. Some of the common diseases carried by voles are Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, and Rabies. They can also introduce parasites to your home and animals. Gophers, like voles, are known to carry harmful diseases like Leptospirosis, Hantavirus, and Plagues. However, because they are usually underground, they don’t usually transmit these to humans and instead cause more harm to outdoor pets by transmitting fleas and ticks to them. While voles and gophers are dangerous to people, they are mainly distructive to your lawn and property. Both voles and gophers primarily eat grubs and earthworms. They also eat plants like grasses, seeds, bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, bark, and grain cops. They can damage your lawn as they eat the grass and seeds, and also as they mark up your lawn. Gophers build tunnels under the ground and make mounts on top of the surface where their tunnels let out. Voels are notorious for tunneling along the surface of your lawn. They make grassy tunnels above ground that connect with all the others. These are most noticeable in early spring right as the snow melts. While both voles and gophers can transmit harmful diseases to people, they are mainly destructive to your lawn and property.


Usually rodents are attracted to the worms or the grubs or the roots that are on your property. In many cases they are coming out of fields or neighboring properties originally, and then they make a home on your property.


A lot of homeowners ask this question and try all kinds of methods to reduce voles and gophers. At Recon Pest Services, we understand how annoying these rodents can be as they cause mayhem to your lawn. Our very unique Predator Service is a great way of getting rid of the gophers and voles as they burrow through your lawn. Give Recon Pest Services a call and let us help you get rid of these vermin.


Q: How are voles and gophers getting on my property?

A: Sometimes rodents can inhabit multiple properties. Other times they can come over from areas such as fields or areas that aren’t maintained like woodsy areas.

Q: How can I determine if I have voles and gophers on my property?

A: If you have these problems on your property you will see tunneling. Usually it will be pushed up dirt with tunnels underneath it, or surface tunnels between the dirt and grass.

Q: Will getting rid of insects get rid of the rodents?

A: Sometimes this does work, it’s not normally the most suggested solution to get rid of these rodents. Trapping, baiting, and smoking are our suggested methods.

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Servicing customers in the Metro Omaha Area from Lincoln to Bellevue Nebraska

Recon Pest Services
9989 J Street
Omaha, NE 68127
Phone: 402-227-3266
Omaha Metro Area