Can Gophers Dig Through Gravel (& Groundhogs)

Can Gophers Dig Through Gravel

Gravel will often be recommended as solution for filling gopher and groundhog holes in your yard. The premise is, that pea gravel is small, so as a gopher digs back into it, the gravel keeps falling back into space, like sand would.

However, unlike sand, gravel cannot become moist making it easier to for a gopher to dig through. But does that mean gophers cannot dig through gravel at all?


If the gravel pieces are big enough, and the gopher is determined enough, it will be able to dig through. 

Let me explain why.

When you find a gopher hole in your backyard, it’s very likely one of many. Gophers create large tunnel networks with multiple exits and entrances. 

Gophers also down, then off at different angles. You can see this illustrated in the graphic below from this Facebook page of a pest removal company (GopherStop).

gopher tunnel diagram
What a gopher tunnel looks like.

What happens when you pour gravel in a gopher hole? 

Well, you’ve guessed it, it only goes so far before it comes to a stop and can go no further. That means you’re only creating a short amount of gravel to obstruct a gopher. It won’t take them much effort to dig through it to open access to the tunnel system again.

What can you do instead then?

The best thing I’ve found is to flush them out. You can read ways I’ve done this on another blog post. Gopher mesh under the lawn works well. It can also be used on artificial lawns.  

Can groundhogs dig through gravel?

I have similar thoughts on groundhogs. Whilst gravel can make it harder for groundhogs to dig, it won’t stop them. Groundhogs can dig through gravel in short bursts, so if it’s only partially filled a tunnel, they will get through it.

Can groundhogs dig through rocks?

Jamming rocks into groundhog holes can work a lot better, as groundhogs cannot dig through rocks. They can dig around them though, so again, you need to flush them out and make your backyard less attractive to them.

Can groundhogs dig through cement and concrete?

Groundhogs can’t dig through set cement and concrete, but they can dig under it. This means patios, concrete under sheds, and even home foundations can be at risk. 

More backyard guides…

Gravel image in header via

Categorized as Backyard