How much does it cost to remove gophers?

National Average Range:
$300 - $600

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Updated: August 19, 2022

Reviewed by Irene Pomares remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

Gophers, sometimes called pocket gophers, are small burrowing animals that love to dig tunnels in your yard. While they may look cute, gophers can wreak havoc on your yard and cause hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage. They are not trying to destroy your yard, but it can certainly happen while they are searching for food. Gophers attract predators and are likely carriers of fleas, ticks, and lice. Act quickly and remove the gopher from your yard as soon as you realize you have one.

Many variables affect the final cost, including the removal method, property size, number of gophers, terrain difficulty, and number of trips it takes to solve the problem. The average cost to remove gophers ranges from $300 to $600, with the average homeowner spending $400 to remove 3 to 4 gophers by setting traps and doing moderate repairs for yard damage. This project’s low cost is $50 to bait and remove 1 gopher. The high cost is $800 to use fumigants to remove 5 to 6 gophers and repair substantial yard damage.

Gopher Removal Prices

Gopher Removal Cost
National average cost$400
Average range$300-$600

Average Cost to Remove Gophers by Method

Gopher removal methods range from $50 to $1,000. Professionals evaluate your property and the gopher infestation to decide which method is best for your situation because some removal methods are more humane than others. Some cities and states only allow some removal methods and not lethal extermination. Pest control professionals know the regulations in each state, so you can make an informed decision about removing gophers from your property. Most of the time, you can be home while experts remove gophers if you stay away from the yard. The costs below are for each removal method, with lower prices for 1 or 2 gophers and higher for 4 or 5. Professionals include a follow-up visit. The baits, traps, or fumigation are done in one visit, and the gophers are removed in the second.

Cost per one-time visit to remove gophers using bait, trapping, and fumigation (mobile)

Removal MethodCost (One-Time Visit)
Baiting$50 - $200
Traps$200 - $600
Fumigation$300 - $1,000

Gopher Baiting

Gopher baiting costs $50 to $200, depending on the amount of bait required to treat the infestation. Professionals can help using safe baits, especially if you have young kids or pets. Baits should be placed inside or near the top of gopher holes. Sometimes, an expert gopher removal contractor uses baiting with traps to attract gophers out of their burrows before safely relocating them to another area. If bait is used with trapping, the cost increases by $100 to $400, depending on the traps. Baits like zinc phosphide are common for gophers but will kill them and are forbidden in states like California that classify gophers as non-game mammals. That is why professionals should be in charge of gopher baiting so that they can use legal baits and ensure the most efficient removal process.

Gopher Traps

The average cost of gopher trapping is $200 to $600. This process involves setting a trap that catches the gopher while it is burrowing. Coffee beans, celery sticks, carrots, apples, and peanut butter may entice gophers toward traps, securing them. Baits are used in other cases, such as zinc phosphide. A pest control professional then removes trapped gophers from the premises and releases them into the wild. Gopher trapping works well in established burrows where it is obvious gophers are living, and there are safe, humane traps out there so these animals can be safely released. Most professionals use non-lethal traps. Lethal traps may be used in some situations but are rare and illegal in some locations.

Gopher Fumigation

The average cost of gopher fumigation ranges from $300 to $1,000, depending on the infestation and tunnel size. The larger the infestation, the more chemicals are required for adequate fumigation. Gophers act fast to seal their burrows if they smell smoke or gas, so fumigation must be done with aluminum phosphide. As a restricted-use fumigant, only pest control professionals with proper certification can use aluminum phosphide to remove gophers. Targeted gopher fumigation into the burrow delivers quick results by forcing the gopher to evacuate before passing away. Professionals may recommend fumigation if the infestation is serious with deep burrows or when previous baits and traps have not worked. After fumigation is complete, professionals remove the gophers and clean the lawn before letting people or pets back on due to the strength of aluminum phosphide.

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Gopher Removal Cost by Severity of Infestation

The cost to remove gophers varies based on the number of animals. While gophers are solitary creatures that usually live alone, females may be found with their young in the spring. Several gophers can be on your property if males are looking for a female mate. Tunnel size and the number of gophers impact the price. A probe is inserted into a tunnel to determine how large it is. A larger infestation is more expensive to remove than a smaller one. A small gopher infestation has 1 to 2 gophers, while a medium infestation may have a group of 3 to 4 gophers. Large infestations include larger groups of gophers and may require several visits to remove completely.

Cost per treatment to remove a small, medium, and large gopher infestation (mobile)

Size of InfestationCost per Treatment
Small$100 - $500
Medium$400 - $750
Large$500 - $1,000

Gopher Removal Cost by Frequency

The frequency of gopher removal treatments also impacts the cost, and it depends on how serious a gopher problem you have on your property. One-time gopher removal is most common, except for homeowners who have persistent gopher issues and need to invest in a more routine schedule for pest control. Annual visits are best for those who may have a gopher or two a year, while seasonal contracts ensure gophers are found and removed at least twice a year. Quarterly plans are good for those who have frequent issues with gophers. A monthly plan is only needed for those with a continuous problem dealing with gophers. The cost per visit decreases when the frequency of treatment increases. This means it is often less expensive to choose an annual, seasonal, or quarterly contract rather than having several one-time visits over the same period. The costs below can be compared to a one-time treatment at $500 to $700. Many plans with contracts require a cleanout fee the first time, ranging from $150 to $300.

Cost of an annual gopher control contract by number of visits (mobile)

FrequencyAnnual Contract Cost
Once$500 - $700
Seasonal$500 - $750
Quarterly$600 - $850
Monthly$700 - $1,200

Gopher Removal Cost by Company

Two major nationwide companies offer gopher removal services. Orkin and Terminix have many years of experience with gophers and other yard pests. They offer various services when gophers are eating up a homeowner’s lawn. Each company has provided pest services for decades and frequently removes gophers. Terminix offers various pest removal services beyond gopher removal and guarantees that pests do not come back. Orkin also has a 30-day guarantee and returns to remove additional gophers if needed during this time. Orkin charges $400 to $600, while Terminix charges $500 to $700 to remove gophers.

Cost for a one-time visit for gopher removal by Orkin and Terminix (mobile)

CompanyCost of Removal (One-Time Visit)
Orkin$400 - $600
Terminix$500 - $700

Gopher Inspection Cost

For a gopher inspection, a professional exterminator visits the home to look at the yard and determines how many animals are present. This occurs as the first stage so that the professional knows how to proceed. The inspection professional looks at areas where gophers may have tunnels and keeps an eye out for visible gophers. The inspection is part of the overall costs for gopher removal in most cases. When it has its own cost, homeowners can pay $50 to $100. After the inspection, bait, traps, traps and bait, or fumigation handles the gopher infestation.

Signs of Gophers in the Yard

The most common sign of a gopher infestation is mounds appearing on your property. The gopher creates tunnels underground and uses the mounds to get back to the surface. These mounds are usually fan-shaped and have a small plug of loose soil while the gopher creates the mound. Once complete, it has a round, oval shape and a plugged exit hole.

Other signs of gophers include plant and tree damage. Gophers munch on vegetables in the garden and ruin trees. Keep an eye out for damaged tree roots if you suspect a gopher infestation. Gophers prefer certain plants, such as nutsedge and clover. If these are growing all over your yard, they could be very inviting. Small plants are pulled down into the tunnels, but gophers also forage on the ground. They may go after trees and plants, leading to small bites taken from plants and saplings.

Closeup of a gopher outside of a hole

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Gopher Damage Repair Cost

In addition to potential health risks, gophers can cause a large amount of property damage. They can destroy lawns, plants, and tree roots, typically leading to professional landscaping repair work. This can include lawn aeration, lawn repair, tree replanting, and lawn fertilization. Repairs might be as inexpensive as $80 to $600 for basic lawn issues like damaged grass or soil or as high as $700 to $1,800 for lawn reseeding. Gophers may also damage underground water lines and sprinkler systems with burrowing and chewing, with repairs costing $100 to $400. The tunnels can lead to soil erosion and make irrigation watering ineffective.

Another issue caused by gophers is foundation damage, which can be as much as $5,000 to $10,000 to repair. This occurs due to gophers making burrows near a home and potentially tunneling underneath it. Since these repairs can be costly, it is recommended that homeowners have gopher removal handled as soon as an issue is found.

Cost to repair gopher damage by service: lawn aeration, foundation repair, lawn fertilization, lawn reseeding… (mobile)

Needed RepairsCost
Lawn Aeration$80 - $250
Sprinkler Damage$100 - $400
Lawn Repair$100 - $600
Tree Replanting$150 - $2,000
Lawn Fertilization$200 - $500
Lawn Reseeding$700 - $1,800
Foundation Repair$5,000 - $10,000

All About Gophers

Gophers are small rodents that are bigger than mice but smaller than rats. They usually live for 1 to 3 years, reaching full maturity at 12 months. Unlike other pests, gophers do not hibernate and are active all day long, meaning they can dig serious tunnels quickly. Male and female gophers burrow, but males make linear underground systems that are less complex than females’ burrows. This gives males a better chance of encountering a female for mating.

Gophers are solitary animals. It is rare to have more than one in a one-acre space unless a mother has babies or a male has located a female for mating. They are found in North and Central America. These animals are vegetarians and munch on roots and shoots. Gophers live most of their lives underground, chewing anything in their path (even utility lines) and creating a tunnel system and burrows. This tunnel network creates sinkholes in your yard that are eye-sores and make it dangerous.

What Do Gophers Look Like?

Gophers range from 5” to 14”. Males are slightly larger than females and weigh half a pound or less. Gophers have light or dark brown fur, a buff-colored underside, and flat, broad heads. Their brown tails have a white tip and almost no hair. Their small ears, short snouts, and compact bodies help these medium-sized rodents burrow deep beneath the ground. Plus, gophers have strong front legs and nails on the end of each toe. Fringed toe hair helps them with their persistent digging.

What Do Gophers Eat?

Gophers are herbivores and eat nearly any plant they can find. Depending on their location and what is in season, gophers can be found munching on dandelions or alfalfa. Fleshy plant and tree roots and succulent vegetation are the best year-round food source for gophers. While they sometimes chew on the tops of plants, they prefer the plant tubers and roots. Gophers are smart eaters who quickly poke out of a feed hole just far enough to reach surrounding plants and foliage.

Are Gophers Dangerous?

Gophers rarely carry diseases like leptospirosis, rabies, hantavirus, monkeypox, and plague. While diseases can be carried, it is rare for humans to be infected due to it being uncommon to be in contact with a gopher. This is because of their solitary nature and the fact that they spend most of their time underground. They rarely come above ground and are easily frightened. However, it is still important to be aware of their risks and avoid contacting them. This is true for live and dead gophers, which should always be dealt with professionally. It is certainly not a good idea to stick your hand down a gopher hole because they may be scared and territorial. Children and the elderly are at especially high risk for complications if bitten by a gopher. These animals are also carriers of fleas and ticks, which can be transmitted to outdoor pets and brought into the home. The tunnels and burrows can also lead to sinkholes and unstable ground, causing people to trip and fall.

Pet Safe Gopher Control Cost

Pet-safe gopher control involves pest management methods that are safe for pets like dogs and cats. This is an important option for pet owners concerned about their animals being out in the yard after gopher removal services. With pet-safe pest control, pets do not get sick or injured by the specially designed treatment method, whether baits, fumigation chemicals, or traps.

Most professional pest control companies offer pet-safe solutions for gopher removal, but you should always ask to be sure. Some companies may only use pet-safe methods, while others do not. It depends on the chemicals and treatments they prefer. The main benefit of pet-safe gopher control is the added peace of mind that you can get rid of gophers while keeping pets safe from toxic chemicals and dangerous traps. Pest management companies usually charge $50 to $250 for pet-safe gopher control.

Small gopher coming ot of a yard's hole

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How to Prevent Gophers

Prevention and early detection are key to keeping the impact of a gopher infestation at a minimum. First, it always helps to know what attracts gophers to your yard. Gophers are attracted to any plant they can eat. If your yard is rich in vegetation with lots of grass and plants and gophers are nearby, they may make their way to your property. Gophers also pay close attention to the soil composition. They enjoy excavating loose, sandy soil that is easy to dig through. Adequate shelter may also lead gophers to your yard because they like areas where they can dig tunnels along fence lines or under trees and bushes to protect them from predators like weasels, snakes, owls, and hawks.

Gophers generally do not like dry terrain because their tunnels cave in without moisture. Deep-tilling the soil can also scare gophers and destroy their tunnel system and mounds. Keep the ground clear of vegetative cover, especially clover and nutsedge. Watch for gopher activity during the fall and spring because this is the most active tunnel-building time for gophers. Check near low-growing plants or ground cover for the presence of mounds. Use plants like marigolds, lavender, rosemary, and salvia in the border around your garden and along the fence line to deter gophers. Heavy-duty mesh wire can also keep gophers out of your property by creating a boundary stopping them from burrowing and eating in the yard. Consult a landscaper for more ideas.

Gopher Extermination Cost vs Removal

Gopher removal with traps costs $300 to $600 compared to $100 to $1,000 for extermination, including affordable baits and extensive and expensive fumigation. Some people feel a personal desire not to harm a gopher, while others want them gone by whatever means necessary. Exterminating a gopher means they cannot return or bother anyone else. However, removal is more humane and less labor-intensive than extermination. Remember that while removal is effective and does not have harmful side effects, the gopher may tunnel to a different property after release.

The best option to remove gophers depends on the situation. A professional can look at the property and give you the best solution. In most cases, gophers are trapped live because they are not dangerous. However, they may be killed if they are sick or create large amounts of damage. Some gopher control companies exterminate gophers, but it depends on the location. Some state, county, and city laws may outlaw the practice.

Extermination is typically simple and efficient, but there are risks, such as a poisoned or dead gopher harming a pet when it consumes it. It may also take time to dig multiple gophers. The dead gophers and chemicals used to exterminate them may contaminate the soil. Because these chemicals can be dangerous, it is important to reach out to a professional exterminator to handle the gopher issue.

Comparison of the cost to exterminate and remove gophers (mobile)

MethodAverage Cost
Extermination$100 - $1,000
Removal$300 - $600

Cost to Remove Groundhog vs Gopher

Gophers and groundhogs may look similar and live in the same regions, but groundhogs are much larger and belong to a different class of rodents. Gophers are considerably smaller, weighing around half a pound. Groundhogs weigh between 2 and 12 pounds. Gophers have yellow teeth, which can be viewed even when the mouth is closed. Groundhogs have white teeth that are only seen when the mouth is open. While both animals burrow, you are more likely to see groundhogs because they spend more time above ground, unlike gophers, who are almost always underground. Other than popping up to feed on plants and vegetation, gophers are much harder to spot.

Removal costs for both animals vary based on the infestation severity and removal method. Live traps and relocation are the most common options for removing these rodents. The average price of groundhog removal is $130 to $270, while gophers, which may do more digging and pile extra dirt around their holes that smother nearby plants, cost $300 to $600 to remove.

Comparison of the cost of groundhog and gopher removal (mobile)

AnimalAverage Cost
Groundhog$130 - $270
Gopher$300 - $600

Gopher vs Mole Removal Cost

Moles and gophers are two animals many homeowners mistake for one another. The animals look similar and dig holes, potentially devastating well-maintained lawns. However, there are differences between the two. For example, gophers prefer firm soil and build tunnels for food storage, foraging, and nesting. These animals tend to live alone. Moles often make less of a mess in a yard and use underground tunnels. However, they are most likely to be seen after rainfall and do less damage than gophers in most cases.

Gophers have a slightly different appearance than moles. Gophers have chubby faces with fur, while moles have small eyes, large front arms, and pointed noses. Gophers have smaller eyes than moles and much less fur. Another thing that distinguishes the two is that moles do not have external ears. Gophers eat plants, while moles also eat worms and other pests. Removing moles costs $300 to $500 while removing gophers costs $300 to $600.

Comparison of the cost of mole and gopher removal (mobile)

AnimalAverage Cost
Mole$300 - $500
Gopher$300 - $600

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Gopher Mesh Barriers

An underground barrier fence is a good gopher deterrent, with an average price ranging from $20 to $150 per 100’ roll. A handyman can install the mesh barrier within 1 to 3 hours with an hourly rate of $60 to $150. Galvanized steel mesh is difficult for gophers to get through and will likely block them from burrowing through your yard. The deeper you install mesh barriers into the ground, the better protection they offer against gopher activity. Ideally, bury mesh barriers 2” to 6” into the ground before covering them with soil, sod, and plants. Look for ½” x ½” mesh wire because the small and stiff openings are hard for gophers to get through.

Install a Fence

Another way to prevent gopher activity in your yard is by installing a fence around your property’s perimeter. Wood fencing costs $3,500 to $6,500, and aluminum fencing costs $3,000 to $8,500. Much like mesh barriers, look for fencing with small openings and make sure the bottom of the fence is installed 2’ to 3’ deep with a 90º bend. A fence at least 6” to 12” above the ground stops gophers from invading the surface, while the buried portion makes it hard for them to burrow underground and damage your property.

Gopher-Repellent Plants

Plant a border around your garden that consists of plants that gophers do not like. These include marigolds, lavender, salvia, and rosemary. Consult a landscaper for help with choosing plants and getting them in the ground. The average cost of softscaping shrub planting is $25 to $50 per plant.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits and licenses. It is best to use a licensed pest control company for gopher removal. Many products used to exterminate gophers also require a permit or must be handled by a licensed professional. Certain states do not allow some poisons and chemicals. Whether you can kill pests or gophers depends on your state. It is illegal to kill gophers in some states, depending on the circumstances. The city should be contacted to locate lines if there has been extensive damage to underground utilities. A permit may be required if extensive yard repair is required.
  • DIY. It is not a good idea to remove gophers yourself. DIY methods like flooding gopher holes could make a big mess and damage your property if you are not careful. Plus, flooding, gopher dust, and other forms of DIY gopher removal are not very effective, and gophers are likely to return. Another method that may be used is electronic gopher repellent, but it does not usually solve the issue completely.
  • Preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance can be done using repellants for $25 to $150, which keeps them away for longer. These include castor oil, garlic stakes, ultrasonic devices, peppermint oil, fabric softener sheets, coffee grounds, and plants, such as marigolds, lavender, rosemary, and salvia. These do not negatively impact the environment because they are mostly natural, but it is also true that their effectiveness is not as high as chemical methods.
  • Dead and sick gopher removal. Sometimes, you may find a gopher already dead on your property. In this case, call a professional pest control company that will likely charge $200 to $300 to remove dead gophers. Sick gophers are typically exterminated before being removed for $200 to $500. Dead animals attract larger pests or pets to your yard. That is why it is best to have an expert safely remove the animal carcass rather than throwing it in your garbage and attracting scavengers.
  • Season. Unlike other pests, gophers are active all-year long. However, they are most active in the spring and fall when soil moisture is ideal for digging. You may see female gophers and their young in the spring, the most common breeding time. Whatever time of the year, it is best to involve a professional if you are concerned about gopher activity.
  • Coverage period. Every situation is different, and the amount of protection you have against returning pests depends on the gopher population near your home. Repellants, live trapping, and extermination work best with additional preventative measures like mesh barriers or fencing. It is also important to be on the lookout for returning gopher activity to stop them before they do more damage to your yard.
  • Hire a professional. When hiring a professional for gopher removal, it is important to look for a company with a good reputation and proven experience in gopher removal. Some pest companies specialize in gophers and other small mammals, and their expertise and experience are beneficial. Check reviews from previous customers, certifications, awards, and recognition from your local city or county. You could contact your city directly and ask for recommendations on professional gopher removal.
  • Emergency removal. It is considered emergency removal if a gopher has to be removed on a weekend or after business hours. Emergency services can also be used for dead gophers in the home. It typically costs $100 to $200 for emergency removals plus the cost of traditional services.


  • Are gophers hard to get rid of?

Gophers can be challenging to remove for a homeowner, but professionals can handle them fairly easily. Exterminators can remove them through bait, traps, and fumigation. They can also help you prevent them from coming back in some cases.​

  • What is the best way to get rid of gophers?

Live traps cost $200 to $600 and are the best way to get rid of gophers, but there are options for repellants and extermination. Professional live trapping is the best option if you want gophers to be relocated from your yard.

  • Do coffee grounds repel gophers?

Yes, gophers find the strong smell of coffee grounds unpleasant. You can sprinkle coffee grounds into gopher tunnels and cover them with soil to fertilize plants and repel gophers at once. Other scents that repel gophers include moth balls, dryer sheets, Tabasco sauce, peppermint, castor oil, fish, and the droppings of their predators.​​

  • What time of the day are gophers most active?

Unlike many other mammals that are most active either in the morning or at night, gophers are active at all times of the day. Because gophers don’t hibernate, they are active all year round and may be found burrowing or scurrying around looking for food whenever they feel like it, whether in the morning, afternoon, or night.

  • How do you fill gopher tunnels?

Remove the soil to find the bottom of the tunnel, usually between two inches and two feet down. Dig the entire length of the tunnel. Pour about one inch of gravel in the bottom of the tunnel and tamp it down. Fill in the rest of the tunnel with dirt and tamp it down again. Add more topsoil where needed and sprinkle fertilizer and grass seed according to the package instructions.

  • How do you catch a gopher alive?

To catch a live gopher, locate an active mound and then use a probe to find tunnels. After finding the tunnel, dig down and clear it out until it is big enough to hold a trap. Insert the trap and then cover it with sod, plywood, or another material to keep light out of the tunnel system. Set several traps in the tunnel system and check them in 24 to 48 hours. If nothing has been caught, move to a new tunnel system.