Gopher or mole (without seeing the animal)?

There are three clues to look for when trying to distinguish mole (Scalopus) sign from gopher (Geomys) sign.

  1. Texture of soil in the mound:
    very lumpy = mole (
    granular (and sometimes with a plug visible) = gopher (

  2. Position of mounds (not always apparent):
    no directional pattern or rarely distinctly curved = mole
    several in a fairly straight line = gopher (

  3. Depth of tunnel:
    only an inch or two = mole (
    over a foot = gopher

Posted by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton, August 22, 2018 22:02


Nice synopsis. Thanks!

Posted by jonahevans almost 4 years ago (Flag)

Do you think it's accurate enough based on your experience? Any suggestions are welcome.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 4 years ago (Flag)

Yes, I think it's accurate. I could add that mole hills are often more volcano shaped mounds and gopher mounds are somewhat more fan shaped. I think this is because mole holes often point straight down and gophers go down at an angle.

Also, in Texas our moles are smaller than the gophers and if you find a hole you can stick your fingers in it and I've found that the mole holes are about 2 fingers diameter and gophers are usually 3. Not an exact science but can help.

Posted by jonahevans almost 4 years ago (Flag)

Excellent post. :)

Posted by sambiology almost 4 years ago (Flag)

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