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Pocket Gophers are best identified by their external cheek pouches and the soil mounds they leave behind. As with all rodents, their incisors grow continuously and require non-stop gnawing to control their length. Pocket Gophers use their front claws to dig with and their rear legs to move dirt and rocks rearward in the tunnel. They then turn around and push dirt with their chest out of the tunnel.
Capable of surviving extremely harsh conditions, pocket gopher populations can expand rapidly when conditions are good. Unfortunately, good conditions are created when farmers grow high quality forage crops, like alfalfa, that they prefer to feed on. Pocket Gophers can quickly ruin a field of alfalfa by feeding on taproots and smothering new growth with soil they push out of their burrow entrances.