Asked October 20, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

I think I have moles in my lawn - no tunnels such as voles, but small dug up patches in the grass - however, there is no hole per se in the muddy area where the grass has been scratched off - hard to describe.. but I have never had them before and wondering what else could be causing this. If indeed moles, is there an easy and permanent solution to getting rid of them?

Arapahoe County Colorado

3 Responses

Your description sounds like pocket gophers. If you look at the mound of dirt and near one edge there should be an indentation. Of you dig at the indentation you should find a tunnel. One gopher may build 3 or 4 mounds per day.

Pocket gophers can be trapped or poisoned. When they die from the poison they are almost always underground so dogs and cats can't get sick. Gopher traps are easily put in the open hole.

To know which mound they are working on, in the morning look for the mound that has fresh soil. It'll look moist or wet. That is the mound to set the trap at.

Below is the URL to a fact sheet on pocket gophers. It may have other ideas on how to manage them. After looking over the fact sheet if you have questions get back in touch.

Good Luck,


Thank you for your response to my query about what you think are pocket gophers. There is no way I can treat/contol/eliminate them by myself (senior living alone) but do you know if there is any lawn service that can treat them effectively and when is the best time to do this? I assume since they are active in spring and fall, now would be the time before the ground freezes?
Sarah Hodge

Any time you can dig the tunnel opening out they can be treated. Farmers often work all winter trapping them. I don't know anyone in your area who can trap them for you. Maybe a neighbor or their child can set traps.

Check with your local Extension Office or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office about a list of people who do wildlife damage control. The telephone book yellow pages or the Internet may have listings as well.

Arapahoe County Extension Office: (303) 738-7954

Here is a link to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices.