Are you looking for how to get rid of pocket gophers around your property? Here are some good repellent and extermination methods to consider.
Gophers create underground tunnels through their burrowing activities. This is a nightmare for most homeowners and gardeners.
All efforts geared towards tending your garden greens or lawn are largely affected.
But all hope isn’t lost. You can remedy such rodent infestation.
And we’re here to show you how to get rid of gophers humanely, especially by using repellent methods.
Are Gophers Destructive?
Gophers cause significant damage to gardens and lawns. Not only that, but they also dig up mounds at every turn. A single gopher can dig up at least 10 dirt mounds every single month.
This is more painful for persons who have invested considerable time trying to make their lawns and vegetation look good.
Not only do gophers dig up mounds. They also chew on plant stems and roots along their paths. This is quite damaging to such plants. But more importantly, are utility lines that may run across their paths.
Chewing on them may result in much bigger problems like fires etc.
Don’t also forget the sinkholes they create. This can pose serious harm to pedestrians. Hence the need to tackle an existing gopher problem fast!
Do Gophers Pose Health Risks?
This is a relevant question to ask when faced with a gopher problem. Luckily, these pests operate underground. But that doesn’t mean they won’t come up the surface occasionally.
Gophers may carry diseases such as Leptospirosis and Hantavirus. They also harbor fleas and ticks which can be transmitted to pets.
Your worries should be more on the fleas and ticks they harbor. This is because these can be spread whenever they come to the surface.
How to Get Rid of Gophers in Yard, Garden, and Lawn
No matter how destructive gophers are, several ways exist to contain and arrest gopher pest problems.
This section of the article will discuss these and more. You are left with the decision to choose what works best for your situation.
We are confident you’d find several useful tips to rid your garden of gophers.
While burrowing the soil, gophers chew on plant roots and stems. This feeding behavior can be used against them.
How? By cultivating some plant species.
However, you need gophers to feed on these plants. Failure to do so will give you no real results. They will still go on to damage other plants, thereby providing no real solutions.
i. Castor Bean
This plant produces seeded fruits. The entire plant, as well as its fruits, are poisonous. Gophers are likely to come across it while burrowing. They become poisoned after ingesting the plant and die.
For best results, closely observe the patterns of mounds being dug yearly. This will give you an idea of where to plant your castor bean.
We recommend choosing the most affected areas of your yard or garden.
ii. Mole Plant
This plant also goes by the name gopher spurge. Mole plant is bi-annual. It contains latex which is poisonous to gophers. These pests can’t resist its appeal when it crosses their path.
As such, poisoning results. At the least, they get sick from gnawing on its roots. This too should be planted in strategic points in your garden.
Gopher mounds should be targeted as they give you a fair idea of paths or tunnels being followed.
Try Using Some Pet Waste
This may seem gross but it works. Pet waste includes cat litter and dog poop. Instead of disposing of them, find open gopher mounds and pour them in. This blocks their holes and also irritates them.
Before long, you should be able to see a marked improvement. Marked improvement in this sense means fewer gopher mounds.
This is a natural and cost-effective control option to get relief from gophers. You also save your lawn and garden from damage. The risks associated with sinkholes are also contained.
Used coffee grounds provide you with a solution you may not know of. Gophers can be repelled using them. You only need to find these mounds first. Pour some of these (coffee grounds) into the holes and cover with some soil.
Do this for every mound you find and you should have a gopher-free yard.
Tabasco Sauce Repellent
To make this gopher repellent, you need water, some peppermint oil, castor oil, and of course Tabasco sauce. A mixture of this is to be made.
To do this, you need a cup of water. Add a teaspoonful of Tabasco sauce, half cup of castor oil and some drops of peppermint oil. These are poured into a bottle and shaken until well mixed.
To apply, make some cotton balls. These are dipped into the mixture and dropped in all gopher openings or mounds.
This does magic! Gophers get irritated by it, thereby finding escape routes.
Vibrating stakes are electronic devices which are driven into the ground. They disrupt the peace by vibrations they make. These devices come with batteries.
The vibrations they create make gophers frightened. In other words, they sense danger and will retreat. It is also a non-toxic way to handle this gopher problem. The number of vibrating stakes you’d need will depend on the size of your yard.
The stakes come with information on the area that can be covered by their vibrating effects. This should give you an estimated number of stakes sufficient to get the job done.
Reduce their Sources of Food
Gophers feed on organic matter. This includes leaves, tree trimmings, and bush. When these are absent, gophers will have little incentives to hang around. Hence the need to reduce these food materials from your surroundings.
Note that these pests are hoarders. So, the earlier you clear your surroundings of organic matter, the better.
Fencing helps keeps out gophers from your property. Although effective, not every fence will do. Those resting on the ground surface will pose no real resistance. This is because these moles will dig below.
To prevent this, consider reinforcing your wall with wire mesh. This should penetrate to at least 2 feet below the ground.
Another way to prevent penetration is to bend or curve the wall at the bottom part to be parallel to the ground. This is effective in the sense that gophers dig only to encounter a part of the fence blocking further access or penetration.
These help you to raise your plant beds away from gopher burrowing. It is another preventive method that can be deployed while fighting an existing problem. So, while getting rid of gophers, your plants are kept safe and beyond their reach.
You can purchase these at hardware stores closest to you. But if you don’t find them, several videos on YouTube can teach you to make one.
Gophers are irritated by noise. The use of chimes is one way to increase their discomfort.
Wind chimes make quite some noise when blown by the wind. The best part is, it continues for as long as it remains.
Gophers can tolerate this for some time, but not when the noise remains constant. So, find areas in your yard where gopher mounds are and hang your wind chimes.
Use an Old Radio
Don’t be surprised when we say a radio can be used to rid your home of these moles. Remember we said gophers hate noise right? A radio can be used to create such a noise.
But first, you need a Ziploc. This helps shield it from rain or moisture. Place this close to their openings and exits. Of course, the radio needs to be turned on to create the needed disturbance.
But be careful not to be tagged as a noisy neighbor within your neighborhood. In other words, ensure you don’t disturb or pose a nuisance to other people.
Your radio should be loud enough to cause distress to gophers, not to your neighbors.
Gophers can be gotten rid of through the use of this product. Mole baits look inviting to these pests. They look like worms both in texture and size. But when eaten, they end up poisoning the pest.
These should be introduced to your yard. You can either empty this into mounds or around garden soil.
Despite its efficacy, utmost care must be taken if you keep pets or have kids. This is because a bait intended for pests may end up getting ingested by your loved pets or kids.
If you do, consider using other safer gopher control methods.
The use of natural predators is a cost-effective way to fight back a gopher infestation. Such predators include your pets. This pest needs to only be aware of their presence.
Pets are also quite inquisitive and adventurous. So, you may find your dogs barking and digging up mounds.
Their urine and droppings are also effective in making your home environment less inviting to gophers.
Naphthalene balls or mothballs are great gopher repellents. These can be purchased in local pest control stores and applied accordingly. Find openings created by gophers and empty these balls into as many mounds as you can find.
They are unable to withstand its smell and will find ways to stay off your surroundings. This only provides temporary relief and should be used with other methods.
These are some of the best ways to get rid of gophers for good. You’ll do well to share with others facing similar challenges.
If you are interested in the cost involved in controlling them, here are some price estimates.