Gophers are turning my backyard into a lunar landscape. I don’t want to be cruel to these darling little critters, but I’ve had it. I’ve investigated traps, poison gas, and explosives. If I could somehow chase them off my property, they’d simply move to my nice neighbor’s yard and tear it up. Should I just accept them as pets?
Perhaps death isn’t so bad for a gopher; if the Lord keeps his eye on the sparrow, he must certainly keep it on the gopher as well. With faith the size of a mustard seed I can picture angels coming down to carry off the dead gophers to their own heaven—a manicured yard of infinite expanse? Solutions are appreciated.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have a tenant living in my home who has a dog. When that dog spotted a gopher, he dug his own small crater trying to extract the gopher from its tunnel.
You should invest $20-$30 for some beneficial nematodes. Usually gophers (and moles) are attracted to areas were insects are plentiful. And since you live on planet earth, you're going to have bugs in your soil. Nematodes consume the larvae, eggs and insects that gophers and moles like to snarf on. By eliminating the primary food source (the bugs) of the gophers, they'll ideally move on as they won't be able to sustain themselves on your property as well as they had in the past.
Nematodes are microscopic roundworms and you can usually find them in garden or nature stores. You could probably find them online, too. A company that I know of that sells beneficial insects like Nematodes and Ladybugs is called "Ladies in Red". You could probably Google them and see what comes up.
The best way to purchase nematodes is when they're sold in sponge-form. They're usually the most viable and the easiest to apply versus when they're sold in a plastic tub. The sponge is moist and full of nematodes. You simply take a gallon of water in a bucket and immerse the sponge. Then just take the bucket and water your garden/affected areas. The nematodes bore into the soil and eat the larvae and insects. It's best to apply the nematodes in the spring and in the fall. Do it before it get's too hot and while the soil is still consistently moist. In the fall, you'll want to apply the nematodes before the ground begins to freeze.
Here's a google-supplied link to a random beneficial-insect outfitter:
Good luck gophering!
Thanks for Intriguing suggestion. Using nematodes as a means of gopher control is a new one on me. I think it's worth a try. Your application instructions are helpful.
One itty bitty problem with the nematode destroying the gopher's food. Their food does not include insects. Also destroying worms and such in the soil will be very bad for your plants.
Gophers are strict vegetarians. They tunnel near the soil surface to eat bulbs, grasses, roots, seeds, tubers, and sometimes tree bark.
Perhaps a wildlife shelter can help you remove them.
That's a good point about the gophers being insectivores.
But I did feel like I had to say that after using nematodes and knowing many others who've used them as well, it has never been the collective experience that nematodes eliminate worms from ground soil. They take care mostly of flea larvae, crane fly larvae, aphids, etc.
Thanks for your helpful info in this discussion. If I captured a live gopher, I'm not sure what I'd do with it. If I could persuade the local animal control department to pick it up, they'd probably do to it what I didn't have the courage to do. It's not likely they'd try to find it a loving home. I suppose I could release it far from my home--so it could ravage someone else's property.
We used to do the hose in hole or smoke bomb in hole with a waiting shotgun trick. You're probably in the city, so that would be unwise. You could still do the hose thing or smoke bomb thing, but it probably wouldn't move them along permanently.
Thanks for your ideas. Since I do live in the city, shotgun blasts are out of the question. I'd go for the hose-in-hole method if I could get the gophers to pay my water bill. I may try smoking them out.
If you smoke them out, then they'll NEVER leave. Last thing you need is stoned gophers.
(Sorry, I COULDN'T resist......)