80509thumbWho do they think they are?! This ain’t ‘Caddy Shack’! They have such attitude! Gophers move into our gardens and lawns, take what they want, and build their messy volcanoes of loose soil. They do not care how much work we put into our gardens, or how much we spend on nice plants, or how much we crave our first zucchini of the year. They are safe in their subterranean tunnels.

Or so they think. There is more than one way to . . . well, you know. There are also several methods that either do not work, or are not practical. For example, gasoline poured into a tunnel may volatilize, and then explode if ignited, killing gophers below, but can very easily start a fire anywhere the fumes happen to seep from the tunnel, and there is no way of knowing where that might be!

Poisons are dangerous either because gophers do not eat them, leaving them to be dug up by someone else later, or because gophers do eat them, and then stagger from their tunnels in search of water, and then get eaten by someone else who gets poisoned as well. Putting razor blades in the tunnels is just plain wrong. Even if it actually kills gophers, who wants to dig up razors later?

Traps are still the most efficient way to eliminate gophers. This is of course more easily said than done. It must be done properly and VERY carefully. Gopher traps are dangerous! It is safest to learn how to set traps from someone who is experienced with them. Safer modern types that fit into holes that gophers are expelling soil from only work if gophers happen to be active at the time.

Conventional gopher traps are set and placed in a pair, with one trap in each direction of an excavated and cleared main run. A main run is found by following a surface tunnel below the freshest volcano of expelled soil, to where it splits into two direction. The paired traps should be attached by wire to a stake that stays visible at the surface. A bit of crushed vegetation can be placed behind the traps before the run gets buried firmly. If set properly, a gopher springs a trap as it returns to clear the run.

19 thoughts on “Gophers Go For Roots And Lawns

    1. That is like something from a science fiction movie! . . . but sort of cuddly looking! How ingenious that their homes are constructed with pantries and bathrooms.


  1. I have never seen a gopher. We don’t have them in Switzerland. But from the photos and films they look so sweet. Can’t you organise gopher parks, like dog parks and let them live and enjoy. Just asking 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No gophers?! That would be rad!
      Putting gophers in parks would not be practical. They are not endangered, and are very prolific, like squirrels or rats. I actually tried to relocate one once. I gigged it out of the hole without trapping it, but did not know what to do with it. If there were more, I might have mad a pill box cap like Haslton used to do. We went for a ride instead. He (or she) really was quite nice. He sort of cuddled into my jacket that was wadded up on the seat next to me. However, when we got to a convenient place for him to find a new home, he did not want to get out of the pickup, and just like Pepe, he looked so sad when I put him out Eventually, he waddled off into the meadow.

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    1. There was a mole in the same area as the last gopher for a while. I do not know where it went, but I have not seen evidence that it is still there. They are not much of a problem. They stay near the surface and eat grups and snails that I do not want anyway. We do not have the big moles that live in other regions. ‘Mole Park’ sounds like a place where they would have fun. Pommepal suggested that we put gophers into their own park, but that would not be practical.


    1. That particular spot was not too terribly bad. It was just frustrating because the gopher was so elusive. Gophers are much worse in other areas, particularly one of the athletic fields.

      Liked by 1 person

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