amy_california

How to get rid of gophers

Amy - California
January 11, 1970

I seem to be having a big problem with gophers and nothing seems to work. I tried a poison and thought the problem was solved but it's not. The gophers are digging up my lawn and they are digging in the dirt that is directly on the side of my house. If anyone has any ideas or successful stories please let me know. Thanks,

Comments (97)

  • irishcapa

    I had great success using ammonia. I battled one stubborn gopher for weeks. Tried gas bombs, poison, traps without success. I opened the main runner and tried all the above. I even tried mouse traps. Within four hours of opening the main runner, the gopher would back fill with dirt. I noticed all the dirt was coming from one direction in the tunnel. I opened the main runner again and plugged the opposite side the dirt was coming from. Plugged it with a clay pot and wedged it in securely. Then, I placed a 6' piece of garden hose in the open portion of the main runner. Placed a funnel in the other end and poured three quarts of ammonia into the tunnel and adios gopher.

  • mudpiemaker

    My land is at least 5 feet higher than the surrounding properties, so when the neighbors flood irrigate, the gopher population suddenly multiplies exponentially. You can't take more than 2 steps without finding a tunnel (or part of one as it collapses under you). I have tried most of the methods suggested.

    I have lost 50 grape vines, a dozen fruit trees, and most maddening of all 3 huge artichoke plants that had an ultra sonic gopher chaser canister right in the middle of each.

    My suggestion is to rotate methods. One week trap, next week poison, next week drown. Hopefully you won't find the gopher super highway where no amount of water will fill that tunnel. I still have gophers, just not as many at any one time.

    If I could become a gopher trainer and teach the little buggers to dig, ie cultivate, around the good plants, and eat only the weeds I could become famous.

    Good luck with your endeavors.

  • gopherresearcher

    Sharonrogers, I am a wildlife researcher (TAMUK) and I am interested in what area of Corpus Christi do you live. I am doing research on the Maritime pocket gopher that lives only in the Flour Bluff region and Kleberg county south to baffin bay. Currently I have only caught gophers in Flour Bluff, but I would like to find some gophers on the mainland side, in Corpus. Thank you

  • carin

    I have a half an acre located 50 feet (or less)next to Union Pacific rail road trak. Only a 6 foot hollow sound wall separates my property from them. My gophers are horrible, and I'm also seeing rabbits now!!! I've tried sulfer bombs, water, shovels, and dogs...none of these work for very long if at all. The gophers are concentrated in my back yard and a little in the front yard.

    My backyard is riddled with holes and I twist my ankle alot when my foot finds a hidden hole. And sometimes I come into a secluded part of the yard to find a huge mound of dirt. I don't have any plants on my property and I maintain my yard (consisting of mostly weeds). The grounds are horrible to the eye's and I want to beautify it but can't until I get this under control.

    I've read all the blogs online here and I'm confused on what really to use. I'm willing to do the suggestion for a solution that leads to the permanent removal of these thngs.

  • niesaflower

    I never had garden rodents until last fall, when the 'city' told me to get rid of my feral cats (I had 11). Even when I only had 1 cat, I did not have a problem with moles, rats, gophers, or woodchucks. I think having outdoor cats is the best way to go, because they scare the pants off of rodents. If you get a wild cat or two, feed them every night to keep them around. They will be afraid of you, but will stick around for breakfast and lunch (the rodents).

  • niesaflower

    Forgive me if I posted this twice (I cannot locate my last message--in outerspace). I had nearly a dozen wild cats living on my property. They are scared of humans, but like cat food, so I kept them around until some neighborhood snitch called the city, and took them all away. When I had my cats, I would occasionally see a possum but I had no problems with other mammal-related pests. A week went by (no exaggeration), and all my impatiens on the side and front of the house were destroyed, flower and root, by either a mole, gopher, groundhog, and God only knows what else.
    GET SOME CATS FROM THE POUND THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN RABIE SHOTS, AND ARE NEUTERED. You don't want a house cat for this, because many house cats haven't been trained by their mother to hunt. There are always exceptions of course.
    Now, can anybody tell me which plants I should plant this spring?

  • alfredom

    I never had gopher problems before until a month ago. This is a brand new house, and then suddenly, I started seeing mounds of dirt at different places in my back yard. I didn't know what to do, I heard that some people used water to get the (whatever rodent it is) out of the tunnels. One afternoon, my son spotted a gopher happily working pushing dirt out of the tunnel onto the grass. As soon as we got closer, the gopher disappeared. I quickly plugged the water hose into the hole and turned it on. I just had to wait a few seconds before the thing started pushing the water hose out trying to escape. As soon as it got out, we caught it. We thought it was all over, but after a few days, mounds of dirt started appearing in my front yard. I tried the same thing but it didn't work this time. It looks like the gopher only came to the front yard for dinner, then it went back to a far away tunnel. This is what happened this time. I tried flooding all the visible tunnels (leaving all the holes open), but the next day I discovered that mud had been pushed out each hole and the entrances were plugged again. So I figured that the gopher was still coming back to "clean up" after the flooding. So the next day I repeated the same flooding, but this time I set up a gopher trap just inside the larger hole and left the hole open. Yesterday I went back to check the trap, and guess what. A big fat pocket gopher was trapped there. It seems to me that the gopher just came to inspect why the hole was open, because there was no dirt over the trap, so it looks to me like he hadnÂt started working yet to clean up or try to plug the hole back. I used gloves while handling the trap (as recommended in other postings here), so I think the gopher never suspected that there was a trap there.

    This morning I saw no new activity in my front or back yard, so hopefully no more gophers will come to use the existing tunnels. Just in case, IÂll try to flood the system again, hoping that some of the main tunnels will collapse with the water. That is my story (so far).

  • vmcintee

    Has anyone tried the shake away the stuff made from fox urine? We live on the side of a hill that borders open space. Last year is when discovered the little rascal, I noticed my Lupinous Aboretus was laying on it's side. So much for my lupine trail. Anyway at that point I decided he could have that area, but now it appears he's moved onto the patio as well. Most of my 1/4 is either nothing or CA Native and it seems there are a lot of plants they don't like (Ceanthosis, CA Bee Plant, CA live Oak Trees, Yarrow, Salvias, etc) but for the ones he seems to like I decided to try the Shake Away. I bought a 3lb canister and used the whole thing on Tuesday. I need a lot more to even get close to protecting just the upper part of my yard and wanted to know if anyone has found sucess with this prior to me spending another $28.50, or more realistically the $98 size which is probably what I really need?

    Someone told me that Coyote Urine works better, Anyone tried that?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Shake Away Gopher Repellant

  • mimulus

    Wow! What an amazing response to this question!

    Johnjon - you have moles! When you see the tunnels as small ridges just under the surface and no big mounds, those are moles. In my experience, moles are "smarter" or harder to catch than gophers. I finally resorted to poison after nothing else worked. I could never trap them.

    Locust - I don't like to kill animals either but if you leave the carcass out it will definitely get eaten by some predator - bird, cat, dog.... But if you leave it in the tunnel it does seem to deter others. If you want to try to live with the gophers try surrounding the beds with plants they don't like or using the "Gopher wire" from Pleasant Valley (other stuff rusts away quickly). And keep collapsing the tunnels out to the edges of where they come in and put garlic, ammonia, or something to deter them. The reason you hear such hatred from many posters is that after your prize and loved plants get destroyed over and over you develop a bit of a different attitude about these critters. If you're trying to live off of your land and they keep eating your food it does, unfortunately, become more of an "us versus them" attitude. We have killed off many of the gopher's natural enemies and they have over-populated in many areas. I tried bringing in local, native snakes, but they are scared of the people and disappear.

    Gophers eat plant roots. Artichokes are one of their favorites. There are plants that repel them like gopher weed and other Euphorbias, onions, garlic - smelly plants and many of the "deer proof" bulbs. Look on the web for more.

    Moles eat bugs, worms, grubs. They don't eat the plant roots but the bugs are usually around the plants and the moles will dig thru the roots to get to the bugs. Sometimes getting rid of grubs in your lawn will cut down on the mole problem.

    Yes, traps seem to be the most effective but you have to follow a few simple rules.
    1) Never touch the trap with your hands - they can smell you and it repels them. I use old, very dirty gloves.
    2) Set the trap into a new, active tunnel (if not sure, put a shovel into the tunnel and see if it is redug later).
    3) Carefully dig a chunk of soil out of the tunnel area and set the trap end directly into the tunnel, baited with greens, carrot, etc. Then carefully cover the area again with dirt and something so that the light can't penetrate (sometimes they will not use a tunnel where they can see light).

    By the way, I love the dog idea for large, unplanted areas.

  • Kimmsr

    mimulus, if you look closely at the dates you will see that the original post is now almost 8 years old. No matter what there is a whole industry out there trying very hard to seperate you from your money with methods to control moles, gophers, voles, squirrels, etc. and none really do work very well. People have been trying to eliminate these critters from there gardens since at least the 1500 hundreds, and we have not yet succeeded. I have a friend that swears that trapping is the only way to control moles and he has trapped 40 to 50 moles every year for the last 45 years, with no sign of let up yet.
    The only sure fire way to eliminate moles is to poison your soil so nothing wwould live in it. The only way to eliminate gophers is to not grow anything they like to eat. Now that would be a boring existance.
    My apologies to Amy, if she is still linked to this.

  • dearsrock

    I see that wire didn't work b/c it rotted. So wondering if anyone has tried other barriers? I live in the country, so killing would be a forever job.

    Renee
    S CA

  • kristincarol

    My neighbor has had good luck knocking down the gopher population with her .22. Don't suggest that for urban dwellers, though.

    The only solution I have found is raised beds with hardware cloth bottoms. The gopher wire baskets work for awhile, but as mentioned previously tend to rust out.

    And gophers are not deterred by garlic. They LOVE garlic. Whoever suggested that doesn't grow garlic, obviously.

  • jackross1

    I love to tinker with electronics in my basement. After reading these posts I can't help but laugh. I've heard of traps, poison, gas, gum, etc...but some are ineffective. I love to think outside the box and try new things. So here it goes. Build a device with three infrared motion sensors each mounted on a piece of wood (6in x 1in x 1/2in). The infrared sensors (led's) must be embedded in the wood, 2 inches apart. The wood must be buried inside the run several inches from an opening, but the led's must remain exposed. The gopher passes the first infrared led which activates a controller device. The second led(center) is the trigger. When the gopher passes over the center a signal is sent to a pistol which is located above the run pointing downward into the run at the wood between the first and center led. The .22 bullet is fired and hopefully instantly kills the gopher. The third led does the same as the first, so that the wood can be placed in either direction in case the gopher is smart and approaches from the opposite direction to investigate the foreign device, assuming it knows something is there. Sometimes gophers will detect and double-back only to approach the foreign object from a different direction. The pistol must be mounted on a tripod and a small hole must be made in the ground to facilitate the bullets trajectory. The controller contains a relay which in turn controls a solenoid. The solenoid pulls the trigger of the pistol when the relay contact closes. This method may seem like a difficult project but it would be really fun and if you kill the gopher itÂs very rewarding, just like completing an advanced engineering physics problem. Another method is to use a firecracker instead of a pistol. But this is dangerous because to get good results one would need to shorten the fuse. It would also be considered a one-shot contraption because the firecracker (M100) would also destroy the sensors, hence you would only get one shot at it unless you built lots of sensors. You would also need to figure out how to ignite the fuse. Maybe use a small length tungsten wire connected to a power supply. Get an old toaster and rip it apart for the tungsten wire. Lastly, ensure dogs and cats donÂt get into the hole and set off the bullet or firecracker.

  • laurelleaves

    A few years ago, we had a big gopher problem in our back yard. Our Jack Russell Terriers began digging everywhere. While they had fun, the lawn suffered. What to do?! We tried gum, water flushing, sonic things, Shake Away granules... That's what gave me the idea that worked! So, instead of collecting and tossing our dogs' turds, I collected and buried them whenever a new gopher mound showed up, leveled the mound, and immediately replanted grass seed. After doing this regularly for a while, the gopher problem disappeared and simultaneously our lawn was back. But currently, gophers are attacking from underneath our north fence line where we have a row of young Queen Palms. When I first noticed gopher evidence near the gate, I collected dog turds, even brought some home from unknown dogs on the beach trail, and buried them in the places where the gophers had manifested. This seemed to work. Since then, they have not "surfaced," so to speak, but three of our palms have recently one by one just all of a sudden fallen over. The gophers are eating their roots!!! The nursery suggests planting Society Garlic... I'm thinking of buying an Oleander, cutting it up, and distributing its remains underground around the remaining palms, hoping the gophers will eat the oleander pieces, instead of my palm roots. They don't seem to be bothering the Lilies of the Nile and geraniums... Only the palm roots. I don't want to plant oleanders, because they are poisonous to other wildlife, pets, and children. But would the gophers ignore plant pieces to search for roots? Should I simply continue the dog turd regimen and wait a while to replant till the gophers seem gone?

  • tonicruz

    Hey,you guys! Thanks for sharing your gopher stories. This is very effective. I put them in my backyard and gophers ARE GONE!! I couldn't put them in my front yard which is currently gopher infested. I live in a corner lot in a busy street. And they would look totally alien if I put them in the front yard. Anyways, I bought them through online. It's the steel windmill erected on a water pipe. The windmill has a ball bearing inside. The sound of the ball bearing drives the darn gophers away. Try it! Let me know if you are successful too.

  • junipera

    Has anyone tried a barn owl box? I heard they love gophers but may not see the ones directly under their nest. I was thinking about the best place for one, or if I shouldn't bother.

  • Matthew F

    For over 2 years I have been exterminating gophers and over those two years I have became what most people call a professional gopher killing machine. I live on over 3 acres of land in La Habra Heights and no matter where you look there is a 99% chance of you coming across a gopher hole. New mounds appear daily in every direction. Over the past two years my gopher population has been decreasing by 20%. YES I HAVE A HUGE GOPHER PROBLEM.

    So over those 2 years, I have basically tried every trick in the book and I am going to list the some of my favorite EFFECTIVE GOPHER KILLING TACTICS. It truly becomes a war!

    1. Product Name: Underground Exterminator by Manning Products, INC (No Website)
    How The Underground Exterminator works: When you try to flush out gophers with water, it rarely works and it is the least effective. Why? Gophers build their burrows above their main tunnels so when it rains, water will pass under their burrow in turn keeping them safe from drowning. So this guy Manning made an adapter for your water hose to connect to virtually any automotive exhaust pipe. You connect the adapter to your exhaust pipe and attach any garden hose. You find the newest mound of dirt and clear it till you find the main opening. Put those hose as far down into the tunnel as possible, fill the hose hole you put the hose down with newspaper to seal in gases and make sure there are no kinks in the hose before turning your car on. After opening all your windows, checking to make sure there are no hose kinks and making sure the hose is on tight, you then turn on your car/truck and leave it running for 15 to 30 minutes. It's effective for up to 275ft. IT WORKS GREAT! Definitely one of my favorites.

    Best ways to make this product work for you. Rototill problem area generously wait till next day to see if there are new gopher holes in that area. If there are you'll know exactly where the problem is and your chances of killing it with this tool is much greater. I Rototilled one are and when I was walking by a gopher was completely exposed because it forced him to have to get out of his hole to eat, he was 10 feet away from his hole, I walked right up to it and kicked it about 18 feet. That was the end of that gopher.

    2. Death by high powered Pellet Gun or .22 caliber rifle.

    Now if you have time on your hands this is actually fun. Or if you have a small gopher problem it works within a week. Gophers tend to come up every few hours to do whatever they may do. So if you catch them when they're popping up, get really close and pull the trigger. Then you will know right away if the gopher is dead.

    What to do to make this effective:

    Listen for sounds such as grass tearing or quick up and down motions of something rubbing on dirt. Your hearing senses for these sounds become very honed over time.

    Keep an eye out and look for grass or bush being pulled down, dirt moving or cracking at the surface, fresh dirt near an unclosed...

  • steven1966

    Don't waste your time with garden hoses, poison, gassers, gum, or any of that other crap. Those methods rarely work and if it seems like they are, it's probably because the gopher is simply moving to a different location in your yard. Get a Sweeney gopher trap. I battled a gopher that was destroying my lawn for 2 months and tried everything. I finally bought a trap, put it inside the gopher's tunnel, and 24 hours later I had a dead gopher. Problem solved.

  • Thea123

    Wow! I'm not sure if I have learned how to get rid of my severe gopher infestation, but this forum was the most entertaining thing I have read in a long time. What, uh, creative ideas! It reminded me of what my grandfather used to do. He would plug all the gopher openings with fishhook cacti except for one, which he would then flush with the garden hose. He swore by this method. This is a "green solution" that might be pleasing to locust. Seriously, you're great locust, but wonder why an organic gardening student calls oneself locust? Wouldn't that make you the bane of any organic garden? One should never try tossing some bleach into the tunnel on top of the amonia. This would create a fast moving, highly lethal gas that would surely wipe out the gophers, but unfortunately might likely kill you as well. I did this once in a toilet bowl by mistake....SERIOUSLY bad mistake. What ever you do, don't do this! Still pouring propane into a tunnel and igniting it as suggested here, might, uh, backfire as well? I do like the gopher fishing concept, the led sensor & firecracker idea, and I like the "shock and awe" flare idea. Although these ideas seem well, rather risky to the human, and the gophers will probably just laugh and keep chewing. Seriously hilarious though. Predator urine doesn't work. We've spent forever with the steel probe dropping pellets into the tunnels. Doesn't work either. Nothing works. Was holding out for the gum, death by constipation method, after reading about it on this forum, until someone else on the forum posted the UCD info saying that won't work either. Some landscaper I spoke to recently, proposed shooting sound or radio waves or something into the tunnels with some new gizmo he has that he guarantees will kill all the gophers. Anyone know about this? Is this just another a scam or does it work?

  • Sue So. Ca.

    I just found this site and have read all the comments. Boy I have been here all afternoon trying to find a solution to my gopher problem. From what I have been reading I must be doing pretty good with what I am doing. I am using the Black Box Gopher Trap. I have been in this house now for two years and have had a lot of gopher mounds. This past year I bought two black boxes and so far I have trapped over 30 gophers. Sometimes there are no new signs so that makes me think they are making more babies so I am always on the lookout. They don't seem to like my freeway daisies but they tunnel in out and around all of them. I do put poision in the hole if I can't get in to open up the hole for the trap. So I think the black box works for me. Oh and I recycle the gophers that have been trapped to the Ravens. It makes them happy.

  • B. McBeth

    Had a marvelous time reading all of the posts - have tried them all. Regarding the fox urine. Not only do we live on the planet "gopher world" where our front and backyards have been utterly destroyed, I do have a jack russell terrier who's very busy out back all day, everyday. I do worry about her because we have daily flyovers from the hawks (and we just discovered a hawk's nest about 100 yards away in a tree - we won't remove until the eggs hatch. Until then, we won't allow our jr out by herself during the day. I originally thought about the fox urine but was concerned that it would attract coyotes - of which we have problems with as they live in the park on the other side of the riverbed (we live in Long Beach along the San Gabriel River - hello to the La Habra poster - no, I don't want to "fish for gophers". All of the ferrel cat populations are gone as well as many dogs due to their owners leaving the dogs outside overnight (from coyotes). I bought wolf urine to scare away the coyotes. I haven't heard one coyote in over three months! Maybe I should try pouring fox urine down the gopher holes to see if it works. I'll keep the wolf urine around the perimeter of the property too! I' let you know what happens in about a month or two.

  • SARS

    PLEASE STOP KILLING AND POISONING GOPHERS!!!
    Any time you use poison, you are harming the people, water system and all other wildlife around. I work with wildlife rehab and I can't tell you how many wonderful animals are killed by secondary poison.

    Gophers are wonderful to the soil. We have them in our hillside and backyard. The best thing is to LET THEM BE of use HUMANE, NON HARMFUL, NON TOXIC ways of curbing their activity.

    Hurting any life is ultimately hurting yourself and those you love. We are ALL connected.

  • internetor2

    Read all the messages! I just called in Mr. Smith & Wesson. If that doesn't do it, I'm moving to an upper apartment with no yard.

    Be happy just for today!

  • fabaceae_native

    Interesting thread. I appreciate all the ideas from western gardeners (not easterners because their "gophers" are probably moles or woodchucks, very different creatures with different methods of control), of which I've used trapping and exclusion with chicken wire.

    I agree that gophers are an important part of the ecology, and using poison in any way is irresponsible (think of all the things that eat gophers, from microbes to coyotes), however, controlling gophers in some way is pretty much necessary if you're growing food in gopher country and don't want to suffer significant losses.

    If I could, I would put a layer of hardware cloth a foot under my entire garden, but the logistics of this are mind-boggling, to say nothing of distructive to the soil.

  • sonshine_tn

    I do not know WHAT I have in my yard....gophers? moles? But whatever they are they have been quite busy. I now have about 50 mounds that are about 12-18" diameter. BUT no holes that are visable anywhere!!! The orange clay soil seems chewed up, but not as fine as ants would do.
    How can I include photos? No one in this area has seen anything like these. I am in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

  • Lisa western

    So glad I found this thread. Haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Can see why it does become; "A WAR".
    We have 2 colonies headed are way, we have 35 acres of mainly horse property. So yes I'm very concerned. These guys are just across the street towards the back end of our property. All they have to do is....cross the road. I will first be as humane as possible. Really like the flag idea, dog turds, fox urine and esp wolf urine. We have a coyote problem too.

    Totally agree about being environmently safe and toxin free for all. My daughter just informed me she is ready and willing to use the shotgun....OMG.

    I heard of another way to rid these varmits yrs ago....XLAX remember the chocolates? And ahhhh.... those cute lil creatures I believe will consume each other sooo 1 XLAX go's along way..Good Luck to all:P

  • wildlifeinfo

    Gopher Control - ecological, humane.

    There has been a bumper crop of gophers around here. Gardeners are finding that hiring an exterminator to kill them or killing them yourself is a short-term tactic. Studies have shown that gophers can quickly repopulate to an even greater density within six months. Protecting specific garden areas, making the rest gopher-unfriendly, and tolerating some co-existence is a practical, long-term solution.

    It helps to remember that gophers are not trying to bother us or outwit us. They are simply going about their lives with the same basic needs as we have: searching for shelter, finding food, establishing families, and raising their young.

    These native American mammals fill an important ecological role by turning compressed earth into finely crumbled loam, reducing compaction, increasing soil aeration, and adding organic matter to the earth. They are also an important food source for other native mammals, including coyotes, hawks, owls, and snakes. Few Americans are aware that when the soil of the Great Plains was pounded and compressed by millions of bison hooves, gophers were reversing the compaction. Gopher tunnels shelter numerous other wild creatures including burrowing owls and skunks.

    There are many non-lethal ways to encourage gophers to move out of specific garden areas. Unfortunately, many people view these helpful native mammals as enemies and use a cruel arsenal of lethal weaponry to crush, impale, gas, strangle, burn, and poison them. Lethal traps and poisons that are used to kill gophers can also harm children, pets, and other wildlife. For example, slow-moving poisoned gophers are easy catches for owls, which then ingest the poison second hand.

    What To Do

    Try several of these suggestions at the same time for greater likelihood of success.

    Smelly Things: Gophers are very sensitive to smells. Find the gopher's lateral tunnel by first probing with a stick to find the 1-1/2" plug in the "handle" of the fan-shaped gopher mound. Expose the entrance to the lateral tunnel that leads down to the gopher's main tunnel a foot below ground level. Insert foul-smelling repellents such as used cat litter or a rag soaked with human urine or predator urine (available at garden supply stores) into a tin can with both ends removed. Place the can in the lateral passageway. A vacating gopher often relocates close by so gardeners may need to follow it with smelly deterrents until it moves out of the protected garden area.

    Castor Oil: Many gardeners report great success with castor oil intended for garden use. Wet the ground in areas you wish to protect with a castor oil/water mixture by attaching a container of castor oil to a hose-powered sprayer. Garden stores offer several castor oil-based gopher and mole repellents that do not harm plants.

    Wire Baskets and Wire Root Guards to protect plant roots: These special "gopher-proof baskets and root guards" are made of...

  • Robert California

    I've heard if you take two gophers and put them in a 10 gallon drum they will fight to the death worse then a pitbull fight I have never seen a pitbull fight I think it's cruel but I'm sure its bad hehe
    I have one gopher in a little bucket waiting for another try it I bet it's fun and tell me me if u find a way to catch them and not kill them ahhha the new thing
    Gopher fights!!!

  • Joel S

    Strategy- Hose & BB Gun
    Step One- Look for the softest or moistest spot you can find, which will indicate the most recent spot the gopher has been. Even step on each spot to see if it caves in a bit, not too much where the gopher can't get out.
    Step Two- Place hose where the soil is the darkest and hole seems recently visited by the gopher.
    Step Three- Load BB gun, stand at least 5 feet from hole and wait for the gophers head to pop! Usually they're confused, so once they pop, you shoot as fast as you can! Aim for the head, if you hit, keep shooting till they stop moving.
    Step Four- Place hose where they stuck they're head out, more may show up!
    -That's how to rid a gopher!

  • marcuskillion

    Gum would probably work for gophers as it would smell like some sort of plant . Juicy fruit does not work so well for moles I think . they do go get it about as fast as you put it in their holes but I have not got rid of my problem this way . maybe they just breed too fast . Not sure .
    I tried cat food since moles are meat eaters and added in some rat poison . They took it but only one so far I noticed crawled out and died . Another one also crawled out and died in a tunnel I put JF gum in .

    I just put a victor easy set trap in a gopher hole with a piece of JW on it . I will see if this works .

    By the way , moles do not go for traps . Mine just bury them . victor easy set and above ground type , drop trap , glue trap etc.

  • maj742 (zone 4-5) north-central WI

    A month ago the first and only pocket gopher in my yard was found dead inside of my Rat Zapper, which had been set up in my garden to trap mice and chipmunks. The Rat Zapper works quite well on those critters - electrocutes them neatly. I would like to believe this was the only pocket gopher around, but suspect that couldn't be true. Where there is one, there must be more. Right?

  • gschuetz

    I have 10 acres in Temecula Wine Country in California. We had a huge Gopher problem which cause water and irrigation problems. We had a water line explode because of the gophers and had to get assistance from the Temecula water district to shut off the water system. When they can out they said Gophers are the biggest problem for the ranchers and there water lines. But they said there is a simple solution. It Dryer sheets, just take dryer sheets new or used and stuff them in holes and the Gophers will start to run away. Seems like they hate the smell. It has solved my huge problem and we have reclaimed out property.

  • Kimmsr

    It would be fairly difficult for any reasonably intelligent person to mistake a gopher for a mole or a vole, simply due to size. The most effective method of control is trapping, gophers, moles, voles, or most any other vermin. Shooting may not be an option for many since discharging a firearm in many places is prohibited and can make you subject to spending time in a jail.
    Poisoned baits should not be an options since the poison in the baits will get into our water. Putting the exhaust from a vehicle is not a good idea since that can create engine problems which can be expensive. Like attempting to put vehicle exhaust down the tunnel flooding simply does not work since these wee creatures have learned how to tunnel in such a way that excess water is swiftly moved out and away. Had they not learned that lesson we would not have them to contend with because they would have drowned long ago.
    Gum does nothing for gophers, moles, voles, or any other vermin. It does not "clog" their digestive system anymore than it clogs yours.
    The dryer sheets repel me, trigger an asthma attack, so they may well work on these wee critters. I do know those dryer sheets helped keep squirrels out of my yard tool shed (12 x 10), but needed replacment quite often.
    There are many myths about control of these critters and some people, because they do not know much about them, will swear this or that works when in reality the gopher, mole, or vole simply left because they sometimes just leave what appears to be perfectly good habitat for no apparent reason.

  • awildbird

    SURE WAY How to get rid of gophers use a small propane tank with a long hose stick down tunnel cover hose with dirt pack it down Turn on tank The gophers orb moles are dead and buried vcpositively

  • Kimmsr

    Perhaps some here might find this video produced by the Growing a Greener World people somewhat helpful.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Critter Control

  • VixNoid

    I shot one today.
    That did it for him, but if there's one, will there be others? I had three holes in my yard in 24 hrs.

  • lovemanyplants

    We are living in a new house. I had no idea that we had a gopher problem until after the start of the planting season. This year I planted a beautiful vegetable garden. It has grown nice and healthy until now. Yesterday I was in the garden and noticed it looked different. The gophers sucked down a whole head of lettuce. That's all I had of that. The garden is VERY established and the tomato plants are three and a half feet tall. I can't dig up the entire garden and it's pretty large. Obviously I had known about the gopher problem then I would've done everything in cages but it's too late. I have a horrid problem with gophers in the yard. I've tried a ton of things: gum in the holes (the darn things just ate it and dug more holes), castor oil (the dogs drank it and had diahrrea. It caused a film on the yard and made it harder to water because the oil repelled the water and made it run off in areas. And the gophers weren't even bothered by it.), I tried plants ( didn't work or repel no matter how poisonous the plant was. They even ate some.), I even have tomato cages in and that doesn't seem to help. And mint, I planted extra after I saw them in the yard in hopes that they would avoid the garden. When I started digging to build a garden I came across tons of shards of glass. I had no idea what this was for but now know. If any of you are going to try this then please don't unless a. You own the house and aren't ever going to sell and b. no one else ever will dig in that portion of the yard. When I first came across it I almost sliced off my hand and my little ones have also come across it in the yard. I wouldn't recommend burying glass for this purpose. Sorry, of topic. Does anyone have any recommendations on what I can do to get rid of the gophers out of my garden after its already established. I'd love some help. Thanks.

  • DMc92040

    After reading all of these suggestions, I am curious. Has anyone tried introducing a gopher snake to see if they take care of the problem? We have pet snakes (not gopher) -- and when holes first showed up in our front yard, my husband shoved a snake shed and some snake poop down the hole. Seemed to take care of the problem in the front. Unfortunately, new holes have recently popped up in the back yard -- but we are trying the same thing with the sheds/poop. Our next door neighbor's yard is full of holes -- and presumably his backyard as well - so I guess they're just gonna tour the neighborhood. They really need to go -- really hoping this works ... or at least gets them to move on to someone else's yard.

  • woohooman San Diego CA zone 10a

    Traps and poison. You just gotta stay after them and you'll probably lose a plant or 3.

    At the beginning of the warm season, they got to one pepper and 2 tomato plants and the flower bed I started to attract beneficial insects.

    But I stayed the course -- the pepper plant still had some roots so I pulled it and put in a container with potting mix for a couple months. it's now in my front garden putting out some fruit. One of the tomato plants had some roots so I picked it up(cage and all) and moved it 2 feet over from the gopher hole and babied it back to life. And now today, I just picked it's 1st fruit. The flower bed was another story -- All I have left there are the sunflowers and 1 bachelor buttons.

    But they're gone now(knock on wood). All I really lost was 1 tomato plant and I replaced that with a volunteer from last year.

    DMc92040: I'm in the same boat as you with my neighbors -- If they took care of their gophers, I might not have such a problem with them.

    Kevin

    This post was edited by woohooman on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 23:53

  • lyndapeace

    I use caster oil pellets and it has worked wonders for me. it's natural and helps your soil all while getting rid of the gophers. I provided the link to home depot website that I used. I have only been able to find the small bag and only at home depot. I hope this helps.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Homedepot.com

  • quone

    I read all the gopher threads I could find after they started tearing up our lawn. I started with Juicy Fruit, which they simply pushed back out, then went on to poison pellets, then gas. Nothing worked. I didn't want to do the traps you have to bury because that would require digging up even more lawn, and it seemed like it wouldn't be a sure thing--you have to use 2 in each tunnel, sometimes they pack dirt in them, etc.

    Then I found a message board talking about gopher wire vs. hardware cloth, and there was mention of Cinch Traps. You have to buy them online, but it was worth it. No extra digging, you just put them down the hole and when they come to block up the opening, BAM! I caught 6 in as many days and I'm ecstatic!

  • gophergether

    I have trapped many gopher and would like to make a business out of it lol. I use the trap called the black box at home depot but there is a lot to do to trap theses guys their smart, I like using garlic to bait my traps it is a hundred percent err for me;-)

    {{!gwi}}

  • Cajotira

    Someone told me to try Sausage! I put a piece of Sausage in the hole and then covered it up. They don't like the bad smell once it starts to go bad. Or hamburger anything that smells bad.

  • fallbrookian

    I am in California also - and never heard of gophers until we bought our house last year and the half acre was literally full of gopher mounds. Did research on this pest and tried many solutions (poisons and traps) and i have to say i have gotten Excellent results with the Traps - To this date i have caught over 40 gophers in my traps on just a half acre of land - and in between catching them whenever i see a mound and i cant dig it out enough to stick a trap inside the tunnel - i use Cat Crap/Litter - its a natural predator smell and they hate it

  • run2ito

    I had started post before phone died on me . This is follow up. I toolive in southern calif. Anyhow I found if you clear each hole with a water hose, each night just before sunset ,it will allow you to see which holes are active . The gopher will have filled them within usually 6hours or so. If you have many holes within two to three feet from another,it probably mean you have a new family of them. Theoonly way i found to work is to use two snap traps pointing in oppisite directions. Then cover up with either plywood or thick metal. Remember put rope on trap before putting it in hole. I caught 13 in same hole within a weej. Good luck.!!

  • little_minnie

    I love these threads that go on for 10 years or more. I finally started killing my pocket gophers last year by myself with the Black Box trap. Find a fresh mound. Dig down to the tunnel. Set the trap. Insert the in end of the trap into the tunnel at a 45% angle. Put soil around the trap but leave the top by the spring open and the little hole on the other side open. They see the little hole and want to deal with it and go in the trap. When I set in a fresh mound I get one every night! I trapped 4 last year and one had babies, but what a relief for my gardening business! It was the first time I ever killed an animal though.

  • dclasikwashington

    Hey there,


    I do apologise for your dilemma as Gophers are very much persistent in nature and can be a blow to your lawn. Getting rid of them could take some time, but there are lethal and non-lethal ways that can be employed. Some things work for some while not so much for others. I was reading an article though and it provided some interesting things you can do. I've never had that issue before but I've heard of several experiences. I've attached the source to this comment for further scrutiny. Non-lethal and lethal ways to get rid of gophers.

  • kimmq

    Most of what is written in that article is simply myth and they not only do not work but can cause much harm. Putting the exhaust from a gasoline engine could cause major engine damage and very expensive repairs, and does not work anyway. Gum and candy do not do anything to repel gophers, moles, voles, or any other critter. The "burrow blasters" work about the same as engine exhaust, not very well at all. Flooding the tunnels does not work since these burrowing critter have learned to survive flooding long ago. Numerous studies have shown that vibrating stakes do nothing, either.

    kimmq is kimmsr

  • Gene Schoch

    I live on 5 acres in central WA state. I HATE the destructive pest called a pocket gopher! I have lots of them on my property. So, this is what I have found to be effective. Traps can work, new hole, expand tunnel with a spoon and insert trap with a string attached to it and a little wire flag, so if they bury it you can retrieve it. Got 23 last summer. But this is like pissing in the ocean! They breed and multiply rapidly in their underground burrows so killing a few might help a little but not a lot. Gum, moth balls, carbon monoxide through a hose from my ATV, stomp on them after running water down the tunnels, poison that looks like worms...they kicked them out of the tunnels! BUT, my neighbor has found the answer!!! Trouble is you have to attend a class to be able to use the stuff. Briefly, what he does is locate a new hole, and probe the area for tunnels using a long screw driver. He makes a small hole into the tunnel and using a funnel he drops in a pellet and a I think he puts a small amount of water into it then closes over the hole. I gasses them, kills the whole damn family!

  • kimmq

    Common sense tells me that since gophers, moles, etc. have evolved over centuries living in tunnels in the ground they have learned how to build those underground passageways in such a manner that would move excess water out fast and, since they breath air, would move air in and out quite readily.

    Gum is not going to clog up their intestines anymore than it will clog up yours.

    It is a violation of federal law to use moth balls as suggested. Moth balls are also carcinogenic and the handling of them exposes you to those fumes.

    Every engine mechanic I have talked with says you should hook a hose to the exhaust of an engine and stick it down the hole so they have more work repairing the engine you just ruined.

    Plunking poisons on the soil to kill grubs is one way except that grubs are not the most favorite food of moles, earthworms are but those poisons may also kill off the earthworms.

    Traps, iis set right, may work some. Barriers are better.

    kimmq is kimmsr

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