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.

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.

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    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.

    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.

    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 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.

    Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for pests and diseases. So make sure to buy marijuana seeds from a trusted seed bank.

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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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      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing led him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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        6 comments on “Gophers and moles on marijuana plants”

        1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in coinosmpg this article. I am hoping the same high-grade work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to begin my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.VA:F [1.9.17_1161]please wait…

        2. […] You can deal with gophers in a lot of different ways. If some gophers take up residence near your plants, you can try to encourage natural predators in the area, like owls or hawks. You can deal with them humanely by applying garlic or castor oil to the area. As a last resort, you can always set traps for gophers. Read more about Gophers and moles on marijuana plants […]

        3. I was wondering, if that gopher picture has a copy write on it? If not, I would like to use it. Is this picture your property?

        4. Greetings, I run a Nuisance Wildlife Control company that specializes in the trapping and removal of Gophers for homeowners and businesses. I would like to obtain permission to use your gopher picture in a brochure. Is there a way we can work something out? any help would be gratefully and humbly appreciated!