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Moles vs Gophers vs Voles

Posted by Dave Schwarm on Feb 17, 2021 1:21:31 PM
Dave Schwarm

Everyone knows that moles can dig tunnels and cause damage but did you know that voles and gophers are also diggers and can do significant damage to a lawn?  

moles vs voles vs gophers

Determining which you have depends a lot on which part of the country you live in but we'll point out some of the major differences below:

Mole vs vole vs gopher


  • Carnivores. They eat grubs, worms and other invertebrates. 

  • A mole is not a rodent - insectivore. 

  • Long nails for digging tunnels. 

  • Will leave large piles from digging.

  • Dirt mound - a round dome shaped hill with fine dirt. 

  • Small eyes/ears.

  • Create large ridges in lawn from digging tunnels.

Pro tip: Don't over water your lawn - earth worms are one of moles' main food sources and they are more abundant in wet soil. 

Mole vs vole vs gopher

Pocket Gophers:

  • Rodents. 

  • Long nails for digging tunnels. 

  • Will leave big piles from digging.

  • Dirt mound = a mound with a hole and semi circle around hole/indent. 

  • Eats plants

Pro tip: Wire mesh slightly below the ground around plants can help protect them from gophers. Raised garden beds will deter gophers from a garden. 

Mole vs vole vs gopher


  • Not related to Moles. A Vole is a rodent. 

  • Eats plants

  • Will not leave mounds of dirt but can still do a lot of damage. You might see holes in the ground that lead to their network of tunnels. 

  • Can damage tree/shrub roots. 

  • Do not create raised ridges in lawn from digging tunnels. 

Pro tip: Mow your lawn regularly and reduce the amount of plants on the ground - voles are drawn to yards with a lot of vegetation which is their food source. 

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