As a homeowner, dealing with pests like gophers can be incredibly frustrating. Not only do these pesky creatures dig holes and tunnels all throughout your yard, they also feast on the roots and bulbs of plants in your garden. Ultimately, a gopher infestation can leave your landscape looking like a war zone.
Luckily, there are tried and true methods that you can employ for gopher control and protect your yard. If you want to effectively control gophers on your property, here are 4 must-know tips to put into action.
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1. Evaluate The Extent Of The Problem
Before doing anything else, you’ll want to walk your entire property to identify all of the gopher mounds and tunnels that you can find. Pay close attention to where the main runways are and how many holes or mounds you can identify. This will give you a good idea of how severe the infestation is, and where the gophers seem most active.
It’s ideal to draw a simple map of your yard and mark the locations so you can track the gophers’ movement and activity over time. Plus, having this info will help you place your gopher traps and baits in the most strategic spots later on.
2. Eliminate Their Food Source
Like any pest, gophers are attracted to yards that provide them with ample food. This primarily means vegetable gardens, flower beds, and areas with tasty shrubs or ground cover.
Go through your landscaping and identify any plants that gophers seem to favor. You may need to relocate small garden beds away from known gopher tunnels. For vegetable gardens, try incorporating wire mesh baskets or barriers around the plants to prevent gophers from accessing the roots. Reducing their food supply will encourage gophers to look elsewhere for their next meal.
3. Use Natural Predator Scent Deterrents
Certain predator urines, like coyote or fox urine, contain natural scent compounds that will frighten gophers away. Look for these urine-based deterrents at your local hardware store or garden center.
Focus on applying the repellents along active gopher runways and tunnel openings. You can also pour some into the toilet reservoir so the scent permeates down into your main sewer line where gophers may enter from. Reapply every few weeks as the smell will fade over time.
While these urine deterrents are not guaranteed to drive gophers away for good, they can be an effective supplemental aid when used properly.
4. Bait and Trap to Catch Them
For the best gopher control, you’ll need to actually trap and remove the gophers from your property. Baiting and trapping them is most effective when you know where their main runways and tunnels are.
Look for quick-kill traps that are easy to set right inside the gopher’s tunnel. Bait the trigger with peanut butter or nuts to entice the gopher. You can also try poisoning gophers with strychnine bait blocks placed in their tunnels. But be aware that poisons can potentially harm pets or other wildlife. Trapping is the safest approach.
Be Persistent For Long-Term Gopher Control
Gopher control takes persistence and consistency. Keep monitoring your yard for fresh mounds or tunnels and reset traps promptly whenever you notice new activity.
It takes diligence to control gophers, but incorporating these tips and techniques will help protect your yard. Call in a professional exterminator if you need extra help getting rid of a severe infestation.