It's WAR!

hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)September 6, 2010

The little b@$t@rd$ went too far this time. I was willing to let them have Mike's lawn, but this is too much:

That's Julia Child they are eating.

I know how to trap rats, I know how to squish bugs between my fingers, even big icky grasshoppers, but I cannot figure out how to kill gophers or ground squirrels. Anyone have a tried and true method for killing gophers? Please?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh man Renee, I'm so sorry if its a ground squirrel but that looks like its from a gopher.
I use a trap like the black box gopher trap types and catch them every time, you just have to bury it really good for all air sources except the end of course. Even cover the tiny holes where the trap part goes down inside.
Otherwise they will just plug at the beginning of the trap.
It took me twice to figure that out but now I get them the first time.

I just scared away a ground squirrel today that was after the grapes that are full of seeds. I prefer the birds to eat them.
For ground squirrels I flood their tunnel and they leave.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

total bummer! we tried everything anyone ever suggested including gunfire. i had to give up on many planting areas because of gophers - finally just got too tired and mad to keep on fighting them off.

the only thing that ever worked for me was burying hardware cloth under the soil before i planted a garden. the traps wouldn't work as i don't plant in rows because i like a cottage garden look; everything growing too closely together to shovel around them to locate a gopher trail and dig a trap in.

we have moved on to fighting roof rats now- we can't ignore THEM so its another kind of war here. anyone else think the rodents may be winning?

good luck to both of us! min

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Mike and I sat outside for 45 minutes tonight with the pellet gun after I cleared out the holes. The little bugger pushed some dirt up, but he wouldn't show his face. I'm going to get a black box trap tomorrow.

Min, I don't think you can eliminate roof rats. Once they have colonized a neighborhood, that's it. You can, however, kill the worst offenders, the ones who are eating your car wiring or you aesclepius, for instance. Here's the good news: if you have roof rats, you don't have snails.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck Renee and let us know. I hate the thought of IT destroying your beautiful garden.
Remove a brick or 2 to make room to extend it's tunnel and it'll be lights out for him. ;)

Min, get a cat for them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

terrible news renee, but we am beginning to think that you are right. besides being annoyed by the crashing night noises above us and the damage from the rats, i am very very disappointed that i won't be able to feed and watch all the wild birds anymore.

we had 5 cats at one time, goblue, and they also killed songbirds and most of our lizards so we don't have any cats now, but over time our various dogs have been much better at catching mice and rats in the old garage. we really need a roof climbing breed of dog.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HD has a couple of baits. The package shaped like a cone works best.;

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel your pain Renee.We are constantly fighting with the gophers,and believe me we have tried everything as well.We did all the poisons,(we stick a piece of pvc pipe down the hole then pour the poison into that,so none gets on the ground to harm the birds and other good critters.)

Dh even tried sticks of gum down the holes,flooding the holes,waste of water,(imo)and even the hottes peppers they sell at the mexican markets.That seemed to work the best for awhile.

Then last year they didn't bother us,but this year they are back and they brought their rabbit friends with them!!!

We have a canyon behind our house and thought they could find all their nourishment there,but evidently not.

DH also sets out there with his BB gun.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluebirdie(Z8 SF E Bay)

I don't have any answers to this neither. But I do know what has NOT worked here.

I've tried traps, baits, hardwire cloths under the raised beds (they managed to find roots and pull things through), ultrasonic devices, castor oil, castor seeds, peppers, gums, ammonia, flooding, traps, etc. I may have missed a few but these are sure failures I can come up without thinking.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I really need my childhood cat, Smokey. He left a gopher head and kidneyish looking organs on the front door mat every night of my young life. I still leap over front door mats instead of wiping my feet on them.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Smokey must be one of the Saints in Kitty Heaven. What a champ!

The black hole traps work pretty good. You have to have more than one and find the main tunnel, then put one facing one direction and one facing the other, so you get it no matter where it is...and wear gloves so you don't get human scent on the traps.

Put a little bit of dirt on the floor of the trap so they don't notice the change in texture and put them level not going uphill or downhill. Make sure no light is getting down in there.

I can't think of anything more satisfying than killing a gopher.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 1:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The black box gopher trap is good and efficient for gophers or ground squirrels.if i find any other way to trap or kill gophers which is more efficient than black box trap then i surely tell you about that way.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 5:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are professional gopher trappers for hire, that will teach you how to trap them. I just received the first successful mole bait. It is called "Talpirid", and is a poison in the shape of a worm with an attractant placed in the mole tunnel. This year I am harvesting my own fruit after two years of feeding an ever enlarging rat population who could clean a tree of fruit in one night. They have eaten an average of a pound of poison per night for the last 3 weeks and are now slowing down. We have already made our years supply of apple sauce! Al

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Al,
Are you using the mole bait for the rats? Do you find dead rat bodies around and are you worried about dogs or cats eating the rats and being poisoned?
Congrats on your applesauce! I am only losing tomatoes and peppers so far. I need to control both ground squirrels and rats.
Thanks. Wobur

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Mole bait, poisoned artificial worms, only appeal to Moles. They cost $25 for 10 worms, so its a good thing they are effective. For rats I use weather proof bars. The best deal I have found is from Tractor Supply. Home depot has the "Just one Bite" which is also good but only available in small packages. I live in the woods with no neighbors or pets and never find the dead rats but do smell them occasionally in the woods. I do not have ground squirrels only tree type who are not interested in my bait stations which I maintain in the orchard. You can make your own bait for your squirrels. Search "squirrel bonbons" for the recipe. Al

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Al, I worry about my owls. One year when we had a company that serviced bait boxes on our property for the rats and mice, we found on 3 different occasions, dead owls in our water storage tanks. So very sad....

I have used the sulfur bombs - but nothing really gets rid of them. Then, the squirrels use their tunnels to get into my orchard - which is fenced and completely enclosed.
Some day (not sure when) I will win the battle!!!!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

hoovb- where did you hear that gophers come out of the ground at night to eat plants or have you actually witnessed them? that would solve the mystery of plants disappearing from my garden at night!
tressa- we now use Fastrak poison for mice and rats- it doesn't as easily kill the owls that eat the dying rodents as the big box store poisons do. min

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I hope I won't be lynched for saying this but we have a "pet" roof rat (imaginatively named Roofie) who has a nest on top of a huge boulder under a tree very close to our house. We've seen him several times and he's taught himself to drink out of a water bottle that we put out for him. We have no fruit trees or vegetable gardens, and he doesn't touch my antique rose/companion plants gardens, so there must be enough other things to eat on our country property. We did have another roof rat under the hood of the car but he was easily live-trapped and we released him in an isolated area about a mile away. We have two more roof rats in the back where I put our organic waste and the banana peels and overripe nectarines disappear in no time. When it comes to gophers it's a whole different story since they have injured/killed roses and other plants. I feel some pity for them because they were here long before we were but nevertheless when we see a tunnel we put poison down and cover it up well so that no other creature can eat it. Even so, I'm worried that they may come to the surface to die and a vulture may eat it. As far as I know owls and hawks will only eat prey they have caught themselves but I suppose a sick gopher would qualify. Never any easy answers....


    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I like my roof rats too. They eat all of the snails. I wish they would stop eating the nectarines and avocados, though.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:59PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Mystery plants!
Can anyone identify these plants? The seeds I was...
Podocarpus (fern pine): a monster?
My neighbor told me that my new collection of five...
Nasturtiums and Cannabis
To avoid Nasturtiums taking over my garden next year...
Victoria Red Grape source?
It looks like Double A isn't shipping to California...
Nil13 usda:9a sunset:21 LA,CA (Mount Wash.)
Western Sword Fern (Polysticum munitum) very brown
My Western Sword Ferns are looking very brown. I really...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™