Chipmunk Vs Gopher: 16 Major Differences & Similarities

These two rodents love digging holes in the ground. These creatures tend to be quite amazing in terms of appearance and behavior.

So, what is the main difference between chipmunk and gopher? A chipmunk is a slim rodent with black stripes while gopher has a bulkier body with black, brown, or gray fur color.

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Comparison Table (Chipmunk vs Gopher)

Basic Terms Chipmunk Gopher
Definition It is a small rodent with cheek pouches that are light with dark stripes It is a small rodent with fur-lined pouches on the outside of the cheek.
Family Sciuridae Geomyidae
Number of Species 25 34
Location North America and North Eurasia North and Central America
Active During dark and dawn During the day
Hibernation Winter Active throughout the year
Body Shape Slim Stockier
Fur Color Brown with black stripes Black, brown or gray
Weight Siberian chipmunk: 50-150 g

long-eared chipmunk: 81-100 g

Botta’s pocket gopher: 120 g; plains pocket gopher 200 g
Length Siberian chipmunk: 18-25 cm

long-eared chipmunk 23-24 cm

Botta’s pocket gopher: 16 cm; plains pocket gopher 18 cm
Mounds Burrow small holes Burrow honey-like holes
Sound Tend to be vocal Produce no sound
Nutrition Omnivores Herbivores
Behavior Social rodents Live alone
Reproduction Give birth once or twice a year. Give birth thrice a  year
Number of Offspring Two to eight Five to six

What Is a Chipmunk?

Chipmunk is small rodents marked with dark stripes. They are commonly found in native North America and Asia.

These creatures have stubby legs and bushy tails. They have a black, brown or gray fur color. They burrow small holes as their habitats. They are also omnivores.

These squirrel-like animals are hibernators and they look dead when the temperature changes. The good news is that they are social creatures.

What Is a Gopher?

A gopher is a small furry rodent commonly found in North and Central America. These creatures have small eyes and ears.

They are known for digging small holes for forages and appear active during the day. Besides that, they feed on roots and tubers. They share the burrowed holes with other creatures.


Main Differences between Gopher and Chipmunk

  1. Chipmunk is active during dark and dawn while gopher only during the day
  2. Gophers are active throughout the year while chipmunks hibernate during winter
  3. Chipmunk has slim body while gophers have stockier bodies
  4. Chipmunk fur color is brown with dark stripes while gophers have black, brown, or gray fur color
  5. Chipmunk is vocal while gophers are rarely made sounds
  6. Gophers are herbivores while chipmunks are omnivores
  7. Chipmunk belongs to the Sciuridae family while gophers belong to Geomyidae.

Similarities between Chipmunk and Gopher

  1. Both dig holes on the ground
  2. Both are mammals
  3. Both are pests hence destructive
  4. Both have cheek pouches for food storage
  5. Both have the same gestation period

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Chipmunk vs Gopher FAQs

Are Chipmunks Harmful to Your Yard?

These creatures are not aggressive. Hence, they do not pose a threat to humans and pets. However, the burrowing can make the lawn ugly and feeding destroys vegetables on the backyard garden.

 What Smells Do Chipmunks Hate?

These rodents cannot withstand the smell of garlic, peppermint, citrus, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. This is the best method on how to get rid of chipmunks.

Are Gophers Dangerous?

These rodents pose a threat to the lawn, trees, plants, and crops. However, these creatures are carriers of rabies. They contain fleas and ticks that can pose danger to human health.

What Smells Do Gophers Hate?

Gophers hate the smell of peppermint. Hence, this is the natural way on how to repel gophers from the backyard.

Comparison Video


Chipmunk is a slim body rodent with dark stripes. Gophers are stockier body rodents and they have black, brown, or gray fur color.

The main difference between chipmunk and gopher is based on their body structure and social behavior. Both creatures tend to burrow holes on the ground.

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More Sources and References

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