Do Gophers Eat Tulip Bulbs?

Author: Gabrielle Marks
Yes, gophers eat tulip bulbs.

More Info: According to a University of Missouri horticulturist, tulip bulbs are a favorite food source for mice, moles, voles, gophers and other rodents.  In fact, the issue is a nuisance for some gardeners, that they go to the trouble of planting bulbs in wire mesh cages.

Recognizing a Gopher Problem

The tell-tale sign of a gopher problem is the fan shaped mound of fresh soil they leave in their wake. Gophers burrow underground by digging the soil with the claws then use their feet and chest to push the dirt out of the burrow. They deposit the burrow dirt on top of the ground in 4 " mounds 12-18" wide.

Trapping Gophers

Because, gophers will burrow to a destination, they do not always revisit the same burrows so attempting to locate them through a single lateral burrow is often fruitless.

How to Deter Gophers Naturally

Unfortunately, most of these efforts will help to control the population or will temporarily remove the gopher, but it will not get rid of them permanently.

Barn Owls: One of nature's most effective methods of population control is the food chain.  There are many natural predators to the gopher including owls.  You can attract barn owls to your property with nesting boxes.

Flooding: Gophers can withstand normal irrigation procedures such as garden and lawn watering but will abandon burrows if flooded out.

Plant Deterrents: Though not substantiated by research, many gardeners swear that particular plantings naturally repel gophers such as gopher purge, castor bean, and garlic plants.


Works Cited

University of Missouri Extension
"October is ideal time to plant tulips for next spring"

UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
"Pocket Gophers Management Guidelines"

Colorado State University Extension
"Managing Pocket Gophers"

purple arrowCite this Article

"Do Gophers Eat Tulip Bulbs?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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