Health Real Estate & Household

Gopher vs Vole: How to Spot the Difference

Have you spotted a small rodent digging in your yard or landscaping? If so, you should know what kind of animal it is and how to get rid of it.

Several creatures can be pests in the yard, but voles and gophers might be the most troublesome. They can eat through root systems and tunnels that the foundations of your home and landscaping rely on and cause damage to trees and vegetation.


Gophers and voles can be difficult to tell apart, and telling the difference can save you from working harder, spending more money, and damaging your yard.

If you want to know how to identify a gopher vs vole, read the rest of our blog!

Body Features

Gophers and voles both belong to the family of Rodentia, but they vary in body features. Gophers are larger than voles and have shorter tails, making it easy to spot the difference.

Gophers also have visible fur-lined cheek pouches. In contrast, voles have small, translucent ears hidden in their fur. Their tail is almost twice their body length, while gophers have very short, bald tails.

Regarding fur color, gophers tend to be more brown than grey, while voles have an overall greyish color. Furthermore, vole hindquarters are lower and flatter than gophers with a domed body shape.

Tunnel and Mound

Gophers are larger burrowing rodents who are known for their extensive tunnel systems. You can often spot these tunnels due to the “volcano-shaped” mounds of dirt they make as they go.

On the other hand, voles are much smaller than gophers, and because of it, they do not create as extensive or deep of a tunnel system. Instead, they often stick to above-ground mazes made of vegetation and small, shallow tunnels to access the needed resources.

Signs of Damage

Damage caused by a gopher infestation can be seen as dead or dying plants due to gophers eating their underground roots and tubers. Vole damage can be seen near the ground’s surface with droppings and a network of above-ground pathways.

Gophers also eat plants above ground and can cause significant damage to the root system of trees and shrubs. Voles are herbivores and can damage plants by eating smaller roots under the soil.

Getting professional services is essential in removing gopher or vole infestations. If you have a severe problem, you can get vole and gopher removal services here.

Common Habitat

You can find gophers and voles anywhere from flower beds to meadow-type landscapes and even in farms. Gophers inhabit locations with loose, deep, and sandy soils. They also frequently burrow large mounds of dirt.

Voles, on the other hand, usually build their tunnels in meadows with thick grassy growth. You can also find them in low-lying forests or shrubbery.

Knowing the Difference Between Gopher vs Vole to Find the Best Solution

When it comes to gopher vs vole, they may look similar to the untrained eye, but their differences in size, fur color, and habitats are apparent. You can identify voles by their shorter front legs, and they are mainly found in fields and meadows with high grasses. On the other hand, Gophers live in tunnels, and their fur is most commonly a buffy brown with pale golden overtones.

Doing your research will help you know the difference between a gopher and vole. Now that you know how to identify a vole and a gopher, why not go outside to try and spot one yourself?

Have this article helped you out? For more similar topics, check out the rest of our blog!

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