A gopher hole maybe an indication that you have a problem, but with several holes you will definitely know that there are several feet of tunnels running through your yard. It is possible to have up to twelve hundred square feet of tunnels running four to eight inches below the surface of your back yard. Gophers have some of the most extensive and connected thoroughfares known. While this may seem interesting to some people, those who have had these critters set up shop in their yard know it can be dangerous.
What You Can Do To Keep Gophers Out
Gophers love roots and tubers. Because of this they will destroy yards just getting to their food source. These rodents bring havoc to your lawn and can destroy pvc and utility pipes. If your neighbors have gophers than chances are that you have or will be visited by the gopher since they have a tendency to reuse old tunnel paths to return to areas. The best way to keep the rodents out is to put in a fence around the area or yard that you want to protect. The fence would need to go two feet below the surface as well as one foot above the ground to keep gophers out. It should also be made of chicken wire or wire mesh so that the critter cannot chew threw it.
Another natural option that some people have found that keeps gophers away is to plant Oleanders. The Oleander roots repel the rodents organically and so they will stay away from them. If you were to plant a row of the plants around your fence line or garden area surely these pesky animals would stay away.
Closer To Your Yard
Finding the tunnel is the main objective in getting rid of the gophers. If you don’t know where the tunnel leads then they will continue to avoid you, only to pop again somewhere else. To find a tunnel you will need to poke through the dirt until it gives way. One rule of thumb is that if you were to take a straight line from the hole to the outer edge of the dug up material laying on the ground you would find the main runway. There are normally two runways going in opposite directions. Once you have found the tunnel you will need to dig up the area to expose the runways.
Techniques And Exclusions
After the tunnel is exposed and the runways are identified you will need to figure out a technique for ridding yourself of these animals. There are several techniques to getting rid of the gophers; some are more effective than others. If you want to flood them out than you would turn on the water for fifteen minutes and watch for the gopher to come out to trap or dispose of him. These are pretty smart little critters at avoiding capture and sometimes they will build ledges in their tunnels to allow for water to go through, so be sure to let the water run for some time.
If you decide you want to trap the rodents instead of flooding them than in the exposed tunnel that you had previously dug up, place a trap at each end of the tunnel and cover the hole with a piece of wood that covers the entire area and put dirt around the edges. Check the trap every day to see if there are any rodents caught. The gopher like most rodents multiple quickly so be mindful that catching one or two gophers may not end your problem.
There are repellents on the market for gophers but one of the more effective repellents is moth balls. They do not like the smell of Naphthalene and will stay away from it especially once removed from their tunnel. Though there are many people who will tell you mothballs simply do not work, there are still others who swear by the method.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.