It seems that in the world of “Gopher Control”, nothing is foolproof. Methods of extermination abound and stories of success and failures run rampant. Whether your preferred method is to repel them and make them go elsewhere (like the neighbors’ yard) or to outright kill them, it seems they either find their way back or are somehow miraculously resurrected.
So to begin the Gopher Wars…….Prepare your battle strategy, fortify your perimeters, and stock up on your ammunition. The battle begins………
Gopher- resistant Plants: Consider ringing your gardens with plants that repel gophers or change up your garden to include plants that gophers just don’t like to eat.
Natural Predators: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. This holds true for those creatures who prey upon gophers. These predators can be your allies, maintaining air and ground cover; owls, hawks, cats, dogs, gopher snakes and even coyotes.
Smelly Repellants: Peppermint oil, garlic oil, moth balls, castor oil, tabasco sauce, fish oil or fish heads, rotting eggs, used cat litter, dog poop and urine (any kind you have available). Whip up your own concoction and place it into and around the gopher holes to discourage them from targeted areas. These methods need to be continually refreshed.
Noise makers and vibrators: Rattling pinwheels, Ultra-sonic noise makers and vibrators, a radio (that can be placed inside a gopher’s tunnel, will scare gophers away. If you really want to scare them away for a long time, use a roto-tiller.
Juicy Fruit Gum: Does more than double the gophers pleasure but not much. Rumor is that gophers love Juicy Fruit Gum. Place a couple of sticks in a hole and if the gopher is in the mood for gum, he’ll chew it and swallow it and depending on the gopher’s digestive system it may block the intestinal track eventually killing the gopher.
Gas or Smoke Bombs: Highway flares, smoke bombs, gas bombs and forcing carbon monoxide throughout their tunnels are all effective in encouraging gophers to depart their current living quarters but they are not long term solutions. Without a long term strategy or maintenance program they will return.
Death by drowning: This popular method is probably one of the least effective and most wasteful, considering gophers naturally build nests, food caches and chambers that can be barricaded against heavy rains and flooding. They are well equipped physically to block passages and effectively divert the flood waters, leaving wasted water (a high water bill), muddy ground and annoyed neighbors (with wet soggy yards) as a result. Oh! And don’t forget the water police (here in Southern California), you might even get a fine for using too much water.
Poisons: Vitamin D3 naturally upsets the gophers’ ability to metabolize calcium and overdoses lead to death. On the harsher and more dangerous side are products designed to inhibit blood clotting causing internal bleeding and death, to restricted products like strychnine that kills gophers and anything else that might eat it or the poisoned gopher.
Is there a way to make their disappearance final? Can yards and gardens be successfully saved from these hungry, destructive, digging machines? The answer is a definite maybe! when you do-it-yourself.
The essential action you must take is consistent attention. No matter what method you decide upon, it is important to follow through, keep vigilant and act immediately when activity is observed.
When is it time to hire a professional exterminator?
When time, money and patience have run out and the gophers seem to be enjoying the “game” and you start to dream of them laughing and planning their next assault, it’s time to throw in the shovel, turn off the water and call for help. In Southern California, Corky’s Pest Control has been keeping gophers under control for hundreds of customers, with their Gopher X Machine technology and granular repellent applications. But what makes it successful, is consistent attention and a maintenance system that works.
Got a favorite method to get rid of gophers? Share what’s worked for you? Leave a comment below. Thank you.