Getting rid of lawn will help with gophers?

annaneveSeptember 17, 2013

I just moved into a rental and the yard is a disaster. All the lawn is pretty much dead, and it is completely uneven with lumps everywhere. We are planning on taking out the lawn in the backyard and laying down gravel with some pavers. I don't think it is worth trying to salvage a lawn that will most likely be destroyed again and will cost a lot of water and money to save.
The front lawn is in terrible condition also, it is very uneven and when you walk on it you sink in a few inches. There were big dirt piles along the sidewalk when we moved in, I swept them away and now they are back, which I am guessing means we have an active something. I have not seen these piles in the backyard, I have not seen anything new out there.
My question is-- is it worth it? We don't care about having plants in the ground because it is not our place and there is a large garden bed. But if there is no lawn and no plants, will they leave? Or will they just destroy what we put down. I'm sorry if this is obvious but I have no experience with garden pests.

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Gophers or groundhogs? Important to know the pest before anyone can give advice.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:05PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Moles are a possiblilty, too, perhaps?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:21PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Dirt mounds along the sidewalk would fit mole behavior too. Some photos of the 'hills' or damage might help. So might a location, here in this 8b we have moles, some areas of pocket gophers, no groundhogs. Moles don't care what kind of plants are being grown, they want grubs, and worms that would be found in any healthy soil.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:15PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My thinking, too, mor. I never saw a gopher/ground hog in all of the years I lived in a zone 8b location. Moles aplenty, however.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:25PM
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How to get rid of whatever you might have depends on just what you do have. The primary reason any critter is where it is is because that is where the food, moisture, and/or shelter is.
Gophers are vegetarians, but lawns are not the primary food source for them although they may graze on the lawn.
Moles are carnivores and will eat things such as earthworms, grubs, or most any other soil dwelling insect. So if the soil is a good habitat for these wee critters the mole, usually only one per 1/4 acre, will be there. Getting rid of the lawn may, or may not, help depending on what is in the soil for things like earthworms and grubs to eat.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:43AM
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I have tried to figure out of they are moles or gophers, but because everyone around here talks about gophers and how they have taken over this side of Santa Cruz, that's what I am assuming they are. My husband has seen what he said was a gopher pop up in the yard. We are meeting with the landlord tomorrow, she wants to deal with the gopher (that's what she said too) situation before we do any landscaping.
So as far as I know- they are gophers. Now that I have been noticing, I see the dirt mounds on other people's sidewalks. Not everyone, mostly the ones that look uncared for like ours.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Santa Cruz is, I believe, in California and the University of California - Davis has some very good information about controlling gophers. your local office of the UC-D Cooperative Extension Service has a lot of good information.

Here is a link that might be useful: About gophers

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 6:47AM
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