Gopher vs Vole
How can you tell the difference between a gopher and vs vole? We're explaining the critical characteristics of each to help you identify them accordingly.

Gophers and voles are animals we don't often come into contact with in our day-to-day lives. Most of us hear about the damage they cause to our property and gardens.

Knowing the difference between a gopher and a vole is essential to avoid costly damage to your property. They look very similar at first glance, and knowing when you are looking at a gopher vs a vole is essential as it helps you determine how to remove them. The earlier you can identify the problem, the easier it will be to keep it off your land.

Keep reading for tips on how to identify a vole and a gopher.

How They Look Like

Gophers are generally giant than voles, approximately 3-8 inches long, with a stocky build and a blunt muzzle. They have black fur on their head, back, and sides and white skin underneath. Gophers have large incisors and long, furry tails.

Voles are more minor, around 3.5-5 inches in length, and more cylindrical and slender than gophers. Their fur tends to be browner, without the gopher's dark back and white underside. They also lack the prominent incisors of the gopher and have a much shorter, fuzzier tail.

Tunnel and Mound

Gophers create extensive tunnel networks, and mounds of dirt are pushed out of the tunnels on both sides. The banks are more extensive than those made by voles and contain runnels down the centre that help the gopher move and transport food.

Voles create multiple surface pathways with little mounds that are much smaller than those made by gophers. Voles also make visible runways that help them travel between the scattered nests.

Additionally, gopher mounds usually have a rotten scent because gophers feed on tree roots, while voles feed on seeds and stem near the surface. Vole activity often results in broken stems, wilted vegetation, and signs of origin girdling. Fishing lines or other materials sometimes appear on the surface when making burrows.


Gophers are active during the day and usually prefer burrowing in hard, dry soil. Voles are active at night and often construct shallow tunnels near vegetation and overhangs for protection. They also feed on a wide variety of vegetation, whereas gophers eat plants and grassroots.

Moreover, gophers can have up to 17 young at a time, whereas voles only have one to five young. Traps are the most effective way to get rid of gophers, while poison baits are the most effective when dealing with voles. Additionally, setting up barrier fences or repellents can provide an effective deterrent against both species.

Dealing with these kinds of pests can be difficult, especially if you need experience. You can look for professional vole and gopher removal services here to ensure that your problem is properly taken care of.

Know How to Identify a Gopher vs Vole to Protect Your Property

By keeping an eye on the signs, it is possible to spot the difference between a gopher and vs vole. Voles and gophers have different appearances, diets, access to resources, living conditions, and behaviour. They also have other adaptions to suit their needs.

More research to understand these animals is recommended to determine their unique characteristics. It's best to get professional pest control services to prevent vole or gopher infestation on your property.

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