Identifying Gophers vs. Groundhogs

Though they are often confused for one another, there are several differences between gophers and groundhogs. For example, gophers are small rodents weighing around two to three pounds, while groundhogs tend to be about ten pounds. Other differences include:

  • Gophers have yellow teeth and groundhog incisors are white.
  • Groundhogs have simple tunnels and dens, but gophers have extensive, complex burrow systems.
  • In order to survive the cold weather, gophers create food stores, while groundhogs gorge themselves during the summer and hibernate over the winter.


The size and color of a gopher vs a groundhog can also identify them. Gophers are six to eight inches long and brownish-gray with hints of yellow in the fur. They have large, clawed front paws and strong hind legs. Groundhogs are stocky and 16 to 20 inches long with a four- to six-inch tail. Their coloring is typically gray to reddish-brown.


Gophers are active year round and feed on the bark of trees . This action, known as girdling, can result in the death of young plants and reduce the vigor of older trees. The pests also eat the roots of vegetables and berries.

Groundhogs construct burrows along stone walls, at the bases of trees, and near foundations, which can make lawns or structures unstable. They also gnaw on the roots of woody vegetation, causing expensive loss of garden plants.

Because of the differences between a gopher and a groundhog, identifying the pest responsible for damage is crucial to proper management. The professionals at Trutech can positively identify the problem and provide humane pest removal.