A number of rodents are known to burrow beneath the earth to build nests. Some construct elaborate tunnels through which they travel, while others live in simple, excavated holes in the ground. Among burrowing rodents are rats, gophers, chipmunks and voles. A number of mouse species also burrow in outdoor environments. The burrowing habits of these rodents can cause considerable damage to lawns and gardens as well as to commercial farming operations.
Gophers use their forepaws and incisors to burrow into the earth. Herbivorous in nature, they are also inclined to uproot and feed upon plants. However, gophers are solitary rodents and rarely live within close proximity to one another. For this reason, they are considered less destructive than other burrowing rodents.
Voles resemble mice in appearance and are sometimes referred to as field mice. Because voles are herbivorous and prefer to feed on seeds, tubers and green vegetation, their presence can prove destructive to agricultural communities. Voles also feed regularly on bark and have been known to kill saplings. Unlike most rodents, voles are active day and night. They reproduce quickly, possibly leading to infestation.