The pocket gopher is often confused with the mole and vole due to habitat overlap and similar eating habits Control methods differ for these three species; many people misidentify their target and often use improper techniques in their abatement efforts.
Pocket Gophers expel the soil they excavate from the burrow in a fan shape radiating away from the burrow opening. They will use both their claws and teeth while digging, pushing the soil and debris behind them with their hind claws, then flip over in a somersault motion and push the material out of the burrow with their forefeet and chest.
A single pocket gopher can dig a burrow system consisting of up to 200 yards of tunnel in a year displacing as much as 2 ¼ tons of soil.
Pocket gophers do not hibernate and are active throughout the year. They are most prolific in their mound building spring through fall, though some species will be less productive during summer months.
Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that pocket gophers are active throughout the day.
The pocket gophers burrow system will typically consist of a main burrow with a number of laterals branching off from it. Systems found to be linear rather than branched are believed to belong to a male pocket gopher searching for a mate.
Burrow diameters tend to be around 3 inches; areas larger than this diameter are believed to be resting or feeding areas.
The nesting area of the pocket gopher will be filled with grass and other plant debris that the pocket gopher has formed into a ball Some as deep as 5 or 6 feet underground.
Pocket gophers live solitary lives. Exceptions to this rule occur during mating season, and when the female is raising her young.
Pocket Gophers that reside in the more northern locations generally have 1 litter per year. Pocket gophers living in southern locals usually have 2. Some pocket gophers found in California may breed yearround.
Litter sizes can range from 1 to 10 but usually average 3 or 4 young per litter. In areas where the pocket gopher has more than one breeding cycle per year, the litter sizes tend to be smaller.
The teeth of the pocket gopher continuously grow to accommodate the near constant wear and tear exerted upon them.
Pocket Gophers can exert up to 18,000 pounds per square inch with their bite