Gophers and moles on marijuana plants

Moles and gophers are animals that run underground. They often go unseen and tend to surface in dark spaces. They can be harmful to your marijuana plants.

There are some things that vary slightly about these two, but one thing is for sure, you don’t want them around your outdoor marijuana garden.

Moles vs gophers

Moles are tiny dark, furry creatures that are about 5 – 7 inches long. Their eyes are small, noses are pointy and their claws are powerful. It is said that they are blind. Their claws are how they open up underground tunnels.

marijuana pests gophers

Gophers are average in size varying from 5 -14 inches in length and have small, long tails. Their color ranges from a light brown to black. They have tiny flat heads, ears and eyes and sharp, powerful claws and teeth. Their tusks are used to tear things at the root.

Gophers are usually loners, but they are still quite supportive of each other. Their homes are found deep within the earth. The older gophers will post up near the gopher hole guarding and being on the lookout for predators and actually whistle to warn their families to run and hide. They munch on trees, plants, roots and grass, which is why they can be an issue for you.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

Even though they do help to oxygenate and enhance the soil because of their tunneling, gophers will eat at the root systems they come across along the way. Sometimes they will even come up and take the plants into their tunnels.

Thank goodness moles only eat bugs and will not harm your crop.

Gopher hills look different than a mole’s mound. A gopher mound is a fan shape with the hole being easily seen on one side near ground level. Moles mounds are a path that goes across the land. Both mounds will look like well-oxygenated earth, with no obvious signs of an entry or exit point. Areas that are not in good condition could be clear around the top of the mound as evidence that moles are present instead of gophers.

Not sure if gophers or moles are causing the damage to your marijuana plants? Check the article Marijuana pest and bug control for a list with pictures of all pests and bugs

Also read Cannabis pests & bugs – Control and identification

How to solve gopher problems

The mole is nothing to worry about because he will just create his tunnel around the roots of your plant. Moles have no interest in your plants since roots aren’t food for them.

To protect the roots and even the entire plant, use Bergman’s Plant protector, which comes in a package of three bottles. You can use these to specifically protect the roots, decrease the chance of mold and even pests!

Marijuana plant protector

Bergman’s Plant Protector

  • Protect your plants from diseases and harmful pests.
  • Consists of three 20 ml bottles
  • Enough plant protection system supplies for up to 20 plants
  • Suitable for soil, hydroponic and all other grow mediums

Now gophers are the ones to be concerned about. You can try putting oleanders in your garden since they are toxic. But the only issue is this can possibly poison both humans and critters if they come in contact with this.

what to do about gophers

Predatory birds such as hawks and owls are natural enemies to gophers. If they are around, they will always be on the lookout for gophers and will not hesitate to take action.

If you don’t want to try fumigation methods, which can be harmful to the environment, then pour castor oil or garlic into the opening of the mound to force them off to another area. Or build a gopher screen like on the picture above.

Gophers in your marijuana garden

Recognize marijuana plant symptoms caused by gophers:

– The roots of your plants are chewed away
– The entire plant is missing
– Gopher mounds nearby

Gophers in your marijuana garden

Gophers can really be bad news for your marijuana plant. They can not only eat away at the roots but also may snatch up your entire plant. That means all your hard work goes down the drain. On the other hand, moles are not your enemy, so if you spot one of these they are the least of your worries.

Using the correct nutrients and plant protector will get you a long way and your plants will have less chance of getting sick, in addition of being less vulnerable for pests and diseases. I have created multiple grow sets which features all you need in order to grow healthy plants from seed to harvest!

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Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


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Mr Robert Bergman PhD


Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations ... See profile

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