How to get rid of gophers

Amy - CaliforniaDecember 1, 2000

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,

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Ruth Viste - 4

What kind of gophers are you having difficulty with? Here in WI, we have striped gophers that make burriws but no hills, and pocket gophers that make large colonies of hills. One of my neighbors has controlled his striped gophers by setting rattraps over the tunnel entrances. (The traps are set upside down over the entrance.) I have tried trapping the pocket gophers with little success. They kept burying the traps and tunneling around them. Sigh! I had some sucess with a "Gopher gasser" product. They are sticks that you light and put down in the tunnels and then cover the tunnel up.

There are a variety of poisons available but I wouldn't use them because other animals might accidently get into them.

I have several setts of badgers living on my 40 acres. Badgers eat gophers, so I am happy they decided to move in!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2000 at 11:02AM
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APCohrs Z5a IL

Like Ruth, I've had success against pocket gophers with the "gopher gasser" Those are sulphur bombs.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2000 at 5:37PM
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Bill(z10 swFL)

You may want to try Gopher Med or Whole Control both are
repellents for ground and lawn application.
Mole-tox is a poison labeled for gophers it is not left
exposed but placed in the tunnels.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2000 at 12:54PM
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Debbie - California

We are having a terrible time with gophers as well.

We put in a new lawn (using sod) about three months back and it is totally destroyed with gopher mounds.

We called a pest control company who used some poison bait but that did not work at all - in fact the problem seems to have gotten worse! Probably the bait agitated the gophers, driving them to find new tunnels.

We have tried the sonic vibrator as well but that did not work either.

The funny thing is that none of our neighbours seem to have any problem.

The battle continues....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2001 at 3:22PM
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Dave - 10/CA 23 Sunset

I have tried poisons, traps, noise makers, and even a plant that was supposed to repel gophers. No luck. I now have a cat. He seems to keep them under control. He also seems to reduce the damage from rabbits. I live in coyote country and make sure to bring the cat in at night.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2001 at 3:50PM
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suebri(z6 RI)

Something has eaten all my lilies and I suspect it is a very fat gopher that lives under the shed next door. Only a few plants have made it to bloom. The rest have been nipped off at the top and the leaves stripped off all the way down the stem.

My four cats are useless!

I saw one deer in my neighborhood last year but none since.

I am reluctant to use poison. Is there a trap that would do the job?


    Bookmark   June 22, 2001 at 7:18AM
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Gophers are controllable. On my 2.5 acres in a rural environment I use traps, poison and ammonia.

The first choice is to trap. By snaring the gopher I am assured it will not return. But, there are circumstances which preclude trapping. The run being in a most awkward spot or space would be one reason. After probing the run and finding a decent spot to set the traps, I use a post hole digger to make a small clean hole. I prefer the Vicktor traps. I sometimes spray them with cooking oil to free up the action. Wearing clean cotton gloves, I rub the traps with carrot and then place carrot, green beans, peas or lettuce between the traps. The traps are affixed to a light chain which is linked to a piece of rebar staked in the ground. Slide one trap into each side of the run you've opened. Cover the hole with a piece of black plastic topped with stiff cardboard or plywood and then dirt. Make sure all edges are sealed so no light gets in.

Leave the traps for at least 24 hours. If you don't get the gopher, rebait the traps and try again. Then if you don't have any luck, go to plan B.

If in a garden, plan B will be ammonia. I use a pump sprayer with an on/off switch on the wand. I put in what I think I'll need of unscented ammonia, open the run and pushing the wand as far into the run as it will go, spray about half a quart in each direction. I don't know if the ammonia actually kills the gophers or if it simply makes the run smell so bad the gophers no longer use it. Activity comes to a halt. After a week or so I may go back in and destroy the run.

If not in a garden, I'll try poison. I'll open the run behind a mound using a spade. Then I use a spoon with a 14 inch extension on the handle and place a teaspoon of poison pellets as far into the run as I can. Then I ball some newspaper and close the run and then fill in the hole. An alternative is to probe the run with a sharpened rebar and drop poison into the run. I've had better results opening the run and placing the poison inside.

Everything has exceptions. Normally a run that you've trapped a gopher in will not be reused for several months. If you're overrun with the little buggers, spray some ammonia into the run after catching one. I've also wetted the ground around a newly planted fruit tree with diluted Pinesol. That also was effective for a couple of months.

Hope this helps.

Central Arizona

    Bookmark   June 23, 2001 at 8:36PM
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If you pour some undiluted liquid lysol concentrate into their tunnels they go away...they don't like that smell at all.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2001 at 11:40PM
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I've had the best luck using traps. Rather than use poison bait try sticks of chewing gum. Make sure not to touch the opened gum with your fingers or the human smell will keep the gophers away. Wriggly's spearment or pepperment seem to be the best bet. The gopher will eat the gum and then will be unable to digest it. It clogs up their intestines. Another method is hair. Go to your local barber shop or hair salon and ask for a bag of hair clippings (yes, they will look at you as if you're crazy). Put the wadded up hair deep inside their tunnel. They will chew through the hair, ingesting it, and again, it will clog up their intestines. My yard is right next to a huge vacant lot and they love my bulbs and hollyhock. Mine is an on again off again problem, and I do prefer using the traps, which seem like the quickest death for the little buggers. Even though they are pests and they destroy a lot of my plants, the thought of a long and painful death by ...constipation? seems too cruel, but I have been known to stoop to such messures when hard pressed!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2001 at 11:28PM
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I have a 10 acre plantation of pine trees and my field is being overtaken with gophers. I decided to invest in what I now think is the most effective way to eradicate burowing rodents. It is a system that injects a mixture of propane and oxygen into the rodent's hole. After the injection, this gas/oxygen mixture is ignited, instantly killing the rodent and collapsing the tunnel system. It is efficient, effective, environmentally friendly, humane and safe to use.
The Air Force has purchased this system due to EPA concerns regarding chemical usage. This system allows for a chemical free way to eliminate rodents and so the rodents remains are safe for the food chain. The system is called the RODEX 4000. It is manufactured in Midvale, Idaho and the company name is RODEX INDUSTRIES, INC. Their phone # is 1-800-750-4553. They also have a web site, Watch the short vidio on their website. They are very helpful folks. I think this system of eradication in no doubt the best available on the market today. I understand that people with orchards, vineyards, alfalfa fields, golf courses are really going for RODEX 4000. The owners, Monte Meyer and Dan Newton do stand behind their product and guarantees it to effectively and efficiently solve your rodent problems.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2001 at 11:01AM
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I was laughed at last time I posted on this subject, but putting sticks of Juicy Fruit gum into the tunnels reportedly works very well and is not toxic or expensive as are some of the other methods.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2001 at 8:55PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

H'mm no one suggested to watch "Caddy Shack"

    Bookmark   August 5, 2001 at 10:07PM
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charlie(z8 Al)

Within my experience of trapping and killing gophers for 40 years I've found only two methods that produce results. 1) The MacAfee trap-and, 2)Bottle of Propane(trailer or barbecue tank) equipped with 8 to 10 ft. rubber hose. Open gopher run. Stuff hose down hole. Cover hole entrance with dirt or mud. Open propane valve. Leave open till you smell gas. Close valve. Go watch TV for and hour. Pull hose out of run and celebrate victory.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2001 at 7:12AM
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Christine San Jose CA 9b

When a large field was made into a shopping mall behind our house we had a terrible time with gophers moving into our yard. Got rid of them for good by planting a couple "Gopher Plants" (Euphorbia lathyris - Caper Spurge). Supposedly the roots and the seeds are poisonous/noxious to gophers. Didn't appear to have dead gophers in our yard - just disappeared gophers! These plants are annuals but always self-seed so that even twenty years later some gopher plants always pop up here and there. We save the seeds and give them away to relatives and friends who have gopher problems and they always quickly grow, driving away the gophers every time. The plant grows to a height of around 4 feet but only 1 foot diameter (like a tower) and will self-seed by falling over as it dries out in Fall. Our yard is super hard clay with minimal watering done through the hot dry summers as we have no sprinkler system. Believe me, anyone can grow this plant. I would absolutely recommend this plant to anyone with gophers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caper Spurge Pictures

    Bookmark   October 2, 2001 at 3:05AM
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I got them too. Nothing works for the past 2 years of a great deal of wasted time and money of all that other stuff. So I was just about to give up. But I can't just like the rest of you.... Chickenwire I found out rusts in 24/7 moist soil and the 1 inch holes will actually let smaller ones through. Aviary wire at half inch rusts out sooner. So, I just found finally gopher wire that is zinc coated or something and is 3/4 inch. Costs same as the other wires and I found it at Peacefull Valley Farm Supply at
They also have the same wire in basket form already done.
At least it solves some of the problem. I do not want to redig wire later or lose yet another plant in my raised beds.
I just also had some luck with a new idea with traps. I bought baby carrots and rubbed the juice all over the trap and then took a twist tie and tied one to the trigger. Be sure to wear old dirty (dirt only) gloves, they can smell human scent EXTREMELY WELL. I just got 2 today. Better luck than before! They were somehow plugging ALL the traps before. I guess they REALLY love carrots.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2002 at 7:33PM
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This may sound like a somewhat extreme method to eliminate
moles, but I have found it to be effective, especially
when multiple mole mounds exist within close proximity
of one another. Do not attempt this method if natural gas
pipelines or anything flammable exists near the mole mounds!
First, pour gasoline into a small, glass jelly or peanut butter jar. Then pour a small amount of gasoline into each mole mound. Wait a minute or so for the gasoline to penetrate into the soil and for the vapors to permeate thru the mole tunnel. Carefully light one of the far end mole mounds; you should hear a whoosh-like sound as the vapor
ignites thru the interconnecting tunnel between the mounds
filled with gasoline. You will also see smoke rising from
each mole mound that resembles small volcanoes.
I have never seen moles return after using this method,
probably due to the offensive smell of the gasoline or the
fact that they have been roasted alive. (crispy critters)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2002 at 6:55PM
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Yeah, I once had the same problem. I have 40 acres of land right in the middle of the woods. I think, I pretty much invaded these animals territory when I built my house. There's a creek that runs by our house, a small pond...we have about 20 deers that are always grazing on our property either in the morning or around the evening. They're some foxes, racoons, cats...etc etc...whole bunch of wildlife that add some character to our estate. I don;t mind them. I let them come, even the deers. Since I've never shot any deers, they've taken my property as a refuge. BUT.....But they're some animals that you just can't give space: moles, gophers/groundhogs. i'll tell you what happened.

I'm not an expert when it comes to animals, but when I first made my house...we'd see 1 or two gophers and thought they looked cute. Small, fat...and they looked funny. I guess our passiveness gave them the idea that the land was available for starting families. In 10 years, the situation got completely out of control. It was like a terrorist network all over my land. We had close to 20 groundhogs/gophers, big and small...with holes all over my house...under my propane tank, on hills, near drainage pipes, near my shed, under my was crazy.

I tried zinc phosphide poison...something the pest managament said is really toxic and would work...nothing happened. I tried the fumagator stuff...nothing happened. I even closed the holed with some dirt and still didn't happen. I started scaring them then. I drove my car...all over their holes...i scared shooting blanks at them, by making noises...I was like a madman. hehe.

I finally decided that it was either them or me. So I got a .22 rifle...and tried. But an amateur...i couldnt get them. worked with the shotgun. I would lie in my car....and drive near their holes and wait for them.... Within a week...i eliminated six of them. And for 2 weeks...we had all these eagles and vulture type birds (really scary looking) going at the remains. Though I didnt get them all, just six...that was enough to give the other 15 or so the message...I havent had a problem since.

What I do have a problem now is with another animal...i dont't know if its rats, or moles...because all over my property, I see these small mound like tunnels...they are just around 4 inches in circumference...and u can feel them when you walk on them...they are very superficial....but they've destroyed my grass. It's not just in one area....but atleast 4-5 acres worth. I don't know what animals does this? I know they are tunnels...but whatever the animal cant be more than 5 inches wide.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2002 at 10:58AM
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bigamie(z5 IL)

My father had a horrible problem with gophers digging up his lawn. He tried everything nothing worked. He workd for the gas company so he has a ton of those little flags they use to mark gas lines. Well they get rid of gophers too. All you have to do is stick it into the tunnel. The vibration will keep the gophers out. They do not use tunnels with something in them. Funny how something so simple works so well. He has not had one new tunnel or any holes in his yard in at least a year. Good luck and stop hunting.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2002 at 5:07PM
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bigamie(z5 IL)

Maybe there were moles at my fathers house.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 2:39PM
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All I can say is TRAP TRAP TRAP!! We have 1/2 acre and in the 6 months that we have lived here, have trapped about 26 of them! And there are still more, although maybe just a couple, and they seem to be pretty young. I also put garlic cloves down the holes that I see here and there, and they do not like it. I am also going to start planting Society Garlic here and there in my yards, since the gophers do not like the smell, and try to keep more from settling in. I think these are cheap, efficient ways to control the gopher population. Also, when you catch a gopher with a trap, put the deceased gopher back down into the main tunnel - they gives the other the message to flee!!

Happy hunting!

Lisa :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2002 at 12:40PM
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Aegis(z9 CA)

Traps work....but the gophers do seem to figure them out eventually (or maybe they smell bad now). They have buried my traps half a dozen times in the past 2 months, but I nailed several early on. When there seems to be new activity I give 'em a spoonful of strychnine bait, though I undertand that it is being pulled from the market this year, and the activity generally slows down...but I really, really hate spreading poisons. (I'd love to play with the Rodex4000 (message from Dave, Aug 2, 01). Even the video is entertaining. Hey...the 4th of July is tomorrow....) I've been planting Gopher purge at the bases of my young fruit trees and it might be working....there have been tunnels close by, but not in the midst of the GP plants. Society garlic seems to be immune to being eaten, but the critters don't object to plowing through it.

good luck.... population of ground squirrels has recently exploded...gardening is fraught with challenges...but the bright side is that the hawks are spending much more time close in. spectacular creatures!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2002 at 2:18PM
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I'm experiencing my first gopher nightmare in my yard, mounds of dirt keep popping up each morning in the same area. I put a stick of gum down one of the holes and the next morning there was a mound of dirt in the same hole that I placed the gum. I'm assuming it ate the gum if so, how long is the unfortunate process, if it even works at all.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 9:53AM
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drqseeker(Z8 OR)

Aside from the fun of watching the wife smack them with a shovel as we're disking up the garden at the end of the year, quite a lot of entertainment some years, the Rodex4000 (formerly the gopher blaster) sounds like the ticket if you can afford the price. I did see a post somewhere else on this site that suggested hooking a pipe from the exhaust on a vehicle, L/G tractor etc. to the hole and letting it idle for a few minutes, keep a shovel handy for those escapees. Another friend of mine uses chunks of road flares (cheeper than gopher gassers) or the big smoke bombs you can get around the 4th of July, and says he has real good luck with them.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 2:47PM
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leesgarden(z5 CO)

I'm telling ya, we are still catching these little buggars with our traps!! We are up to around 30-31, we must have a colony living in our yards! But we are seeing less signs of them, and I am planting gopher purge in all my flower beds to try to prevent new ones from migrating in. Boy, it seems like if it's not one pest, it's another

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 7:55PM
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Any tips for living with gophers? What plants survive them in the garden? My lavender, society garlic, geraniums, agapanthus and (yes) gopher purge seem not to be bothered. What else have you all had luck with?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2003 at 6:11PM
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dedoverde(Zone 9 CA)

I'll be back. I'm going out to buy carrots and gum. Bad karma day for me!!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 12:43PM
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scottgp(z9 CA)

Has anyone used the premade gopher baskets to protect their trees?

I am about to plant some crepe myrtle trees and was told by the local nursery to use the premade gopher baskets. My concern is that holes in the gopher baskets (~3/4 inch) are too small for the tree roots and the roots will eventually be constricted by the wire. The baskets will eventually rust away, but I don't know what the life span on the baskets is.

Does anyone have any experience or comments with this?

Thanks in advance,

    Bookmark   May 27, 2003 at 5:28PM
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Go with the baskets. They help you trees get established. However watch for gopher activity next to the basket. They can pull soil away causing the roots to lose contact with the adjacent soil. I don't know what the lifespan of the baskets is. They do rust and break up, but if you don't use them, you won't have a tree to worry about it's roots.

Finally, get those critters out of your yard, or at least where you want to protect plantings. See my post for my method,

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 5:33PM
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GypsyRover(NM z7)

I have 2 separated garden areas within my back fence. Also have 2 dogs. So when a gopher was ravaging one of the garden areas, I didn't want to use traps, poisons, ground glass, etc because of the possibility my dogs might get into it. Saw the posting on Juicy Fruit gum and thought that was odd, but a no-lose idea (for me, not for the gopher). Got some gum and the first morning there were tunnels breaking through the surface (as opposed to just mounds of dirt), poked a stick down each hole with a fork, being careful not to touch the sticks of gum, then covered the holes over with soil. That was about 6 weeks ago and I've seen no gopher signs since. So thank you, forum posters, for an off-beat, low-impact, inexpensive, and effective suggestion. Anyone want some leftover chewing gum?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 5:11PM
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GardynElf(9 - a or b?)

I'll have to try the gum for MY gophers! Now... any advice for moles? I have 3 kids and a dog, so poisons are NOT an option. I have a trap that I have tried using several times. Problem is, the little buggers don't seem to use the same tunnel twice. I set the trap in a tunnel that I KNOW is new and it still hasn't been set off two, three, five, ten days later! Dang things are just tunneling around eating their way through my yard! I'm at my wits end... HELP?!?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 4:40PM
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marmielesley(z10 S.Diego)

When i moved into my home 10 months ago, i was told the mounds all over the unwatered back acre were gophers. I started to water and this moved them up to higher ground around the house. I stopped watering and they went back down. Now, this summer there are no more mounds or gopher type holes. There are however, smaller neat round holes EVERYWHERE. Someone suggested snakes. Another suggested mice. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2004 at 2:46PM
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snowmonkey(Rochester, NY)

Personally, if you have the land, its fun to shoot them. Just get a .22 or 17Hmr and they will work fine. Practice a little for a better shot, then go out and get them. I bet a bigger gun is even easier... maybe a .50 cal... and no clean up. I really hate digging holes to burry them in! Really my hero is Carl the assistant head grounds keep from Caddy Shack! "License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence." ...I wish I had some plastic explosives...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 10:50PM
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I tried all those suggestions but none working. I finally used simple method - WATER. I flood all the holes with water and drowned them. Some came out of the holes.... I had a fun time knocking them out.

This method is only effective if your land is flat.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 1:25PM
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I never post on this forum, but decided to come investigate. When I moved back here after an abscence of 4 years I had all types of rodents in my 2 acres....also brought 5 dachshunds and 15 assorted ex stray city cats with me...within a month I had no rodents. The dogs dug out the mole/voles out of their tunnels and shook them to death, bringing me ( all exited) the results of their hunting, the cats would do the same at night.
Now they just sit at home contented that no rodents are out there that need hunting. Thankfully non of my cats are bird hunters (although sometimes I wish they'd do something about the blue jays that get my blueberries before they are even ripe!). There are many "earth dog" groups, locate one in your area and invite them over. They will clean house in no time. It's been 4 years since I moved back and havent seen a gopher mound since the initial month. Besides dachsunds, small terrier types are really good at it(jack russels, fox terriers) Or you could always get a large rat snake relocated to your property (non-poisonous and effective).
Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 1:12AM
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locust(z9 CA)

I am working at an organic school garden and have noticed some gopher mounds near our plants. I came to garden forums to see what solutions were available to me. My predecessor at the garden used quick death traps which I have witnessed in action. Although effective, I felt it was a waste of life, considering I did not make any use of the dead gopher. I am also not completely in relationship to gopher ecology. There is a suburban neighborhood around the garden, as well as some open space in which the soil has been destroyed for fire protection by discing. There are no plants left alive in these zones really. So how am I contributing to the demise of the gopher population (which are major contributors to a healthy ecology in the region) by killing them? These questions would probably at least require a year of observation to get at, and I'm concerned about the annuals I have planted for this season.
The posts I have read on this subject at this forum have left me unsettled. I read mostly war metaphors, dualistic and violent, creating an enemy "other" which is put into deragaotry language and creates rationalizations for small scale genocides. I do not think this attitude is healthy for the survival not only of the human species, but countless others.
I may still trap the gophers but I will not hate them or demonize them. I open the forum up for further discussion on a deeper questioning of the problem of gophers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 11:57PM
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Bizfarmer(z8,Gilbert, AZ)

Wow, such a lot of suggestions! I would say chew the gum while placing gopher traps in the runs nearest the latest gopher dirt piles. Use a probe to find the tunnel, dig straight down, put a trap as far back in the tunnels going both ways that you can, and put a piece of wood over the hole. Don't forget to attach the traps to a wire stuck down into the ground. I never use gloves, attractants, anything, and they still line up to die in the traps. If you have a good hole, you may catch more than one. I once caught 3 in the same hole. When I find the hole filled up with dirt, I just pull out the traps and set them somewhere else. I know for a fact that immature pocket gophers can spring the trap without getting pinched, due to their short body length. Those are hard to catch, but give them a few weeks, and you will nail 'em. I have rid my acre of the little critters, but I have to monitor the fresh dirt piles, or they will return and maybe end up in my garden. I have used the poison (no visible results), and the carbon monoxide method from my rototiller, and neither did the trick. Traps do, though! Good luck and don't give up. It also helps to take a shovel handle and collapse the tunnels that are near the surface, and then they can't sneak around underground and pop up in some new place.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 10:19PM
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jayhawks(10 SoCalif)

How sensitive "locust" is (see above). To answer your question (without requiring a year of observation): Yes, you would be contributing to the demise of the gopher population by killing them. (Did you take the New Math or something?) As for the tragic waste of gopher corpses, dig them all up and recycle them into cunning little purses for Barbie. They'd probably do well on eBay.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 9:04PM
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patriotnutrients(butte co, Calif)

sounds to me like the "other" side has infiltrated our ranks. anybody that is "locust" would be suspect in my mind. and then the pacifistic rhetoric, too. then he cant justify a dead gopher over a live one. A SPY I SAY!! WATCH HIM!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:27PM
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ivatanhighlander(San Diego, CA)

I have waged war with gophers which have attacked my plants including gras roots of tropical fruit trees and some flowers. I have tried those traps, posion granules, cmall, windmills, sonic sounds, water flooding, much of smoke bombs and connect exhaust from van. All the above for extended period. I have even dug up to 18 inches around my perimeter, dropped metal screens and cement blocks in some areas. What else is left out there which may work? I am on my third dog which digs the yard whenever there is a new gopher mound or hole.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 2:59PM
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ivatanhighlander(San Diego, CA)

16 smoke bombs set in four holes yesterday afternoon should have scared the wise creatures. However, by 6:30 this morning there were two new little mounds/holes less than 15 feet away from where some of the smokes were set yesterday.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 2:23PM
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One way I got rid of my gophers, although not in a humane way, was to take my industrial size drain snake, and attach a 3 foot length of barbed wire to the end, and then feed it down into the hole. After a few minutes you will know if you got it or not. It worked for me, but this is not for everybody. Let me know if it works for you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 6:06PM
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stilrox(z9 Cal.)

I have read through much of the postings about killing gophers and I found it quite amusing. I have been battling gophers and moles for sometime on my property and think there are only a few truly effective ways to off the buggers- traps and poison. I found several articles done by universities and the government and suggest all interested parties check this site and a few others I will post later
Happy hunting

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 1:10AM
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stilrox(z9 Cal.)

As I continue to dig in my quest for the holy grail on killing gophers I came upon this UC Davis site that debunks the gum theory and another that shows you can't drown an active infestation. It does give good tips on poisoning and trapping
If you find a better way please post it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 1:24AM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

Do gophers have any predators that like them? I have been wondering if ferrets would go after them.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 2:19AM
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I'm in Corpus Christi Tx on a 1 acre lot in sandy soil. Everything I try seems to work for a week or two (or not at all)-including repellant, poison, flooding, closing holes, sonic vibrators. Anyone in Texas got any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 10:22AM
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James Lockwood CA

I have terrible gopher holes in Ventura Ca, my yard looks like swiss cheese. I have just bought 10 gopher purge plants, I hope they will work but I really think that the gophers are here to stay. Thier burrows are so big I can put the hose into the hole for an hour and it will never fill. Someone told me that I should put cat poop into the holes, so I tried that, I think it probably annoyed them but I don't think it did anything, Anyway my dogs smelled it and dug it up.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2006 at 1:02PM
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We just planted sod and a Japanese Maple... What a welcome to gophers! Just found the mounds today. We haven't started our "Shock and Awe" assault yet. Gonna start by smoking them out with road flares and shooting them on the way out. Then move on to trapping. If we get desperate, I may try Shake Away, made out of the urine of gopher predators. Do a Google search.
Its a dog eat dog world, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:16PM
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I am unfortunate enough to live in the "Gopher State". I don't know why anyone would want this pest as a mascot for the state. Anyway as you can guess I live in a fairly new home (about 7 years old) that was built on reclaimed farm land in a small town in rural Minnesota. I do get gophers in my back yard about 1 every six weeks starting in mid April through about mid Septemnber. I trap the gophers using a combination of foot traps and Moletox II. On average it takes me about a week of trying to get the gopher and I see his progression as mounds pop up across my yard.

Ok now here is the question part. After I trap and kill the little bugger I usually toss the carcass away. Then about 6 weeks later, another gopher comes in and reclaims the tunnels of the previous gopher. It is pretty much like clock work. Would leaving the carcass in the tunnel to rot prevent or delay any reinfestation of existing tunnels? My thinking is that if they smell another dead gopher in the tunnel already rotting away, they may just stay out. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 8:36AM
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I planted 650 small pecna trees.........Now some are suffering from pocket gopher damage ....several trees have been killed......I have a large area of land with gophers on it.....I think traps are out .....what do you guys suggest.......

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 10:30AM
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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.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 11:43PM
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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.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 4:20PM
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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

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 12:33AM
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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.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 2:34PM
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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).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 11:37AM
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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?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 12:25PM
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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).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 3:37PM
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vmcintee(Z9 CA)

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

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 5:27PM
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mimulus(z 10/24 SoCal)

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.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:16PM
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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.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:37AM
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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.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 3:31PM
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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.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 6:47AM
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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.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:33AM
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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?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:41PM
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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.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:17AM
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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.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 4:47PM
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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...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 3:30PM
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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.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:26PM
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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?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:05PM
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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.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 7:26PM
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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.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 11:38PM
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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.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:15PM
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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!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:16PM
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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.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:42PM
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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.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:44AM
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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

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 1:04AM
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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...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:29PM
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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!!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 3:18PM
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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!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:12AM
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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.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:54AM
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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?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 12:38AM
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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.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 6:16PM
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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.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:54AM
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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

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:22PM
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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

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:43AM
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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.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 5:00PM
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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.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 11:37PM
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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.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:43AM
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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.


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

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:19PM
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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:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 2:43AM
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quone(10a Sunset 21)

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!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:07PM
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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;-)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:37AM
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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.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:50AM
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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

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:44PM
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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.!!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2014 at 11:30PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

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.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2015 at 10:24PM
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