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How To Control Gophersgopher scary

Gophers may be funny-looking in cartoons or even considered to be a cute animal to some people, the type of damage they can do on a landowner's turf can be the farthest thing from funny. These destructive rodents not only burrow through yards and leave ugly looking bumps and holes, they also are notorious for devouring and destroying crops and plant life wherever they decide to reside. Because they spend most of their time underground in their self-created tunnel systems, these quick moving rodents can be rather difficult to control or capture. If you’re a gardener, a homeowner or an agricultural farmer, gophers can be a total nightmare and need to be eradicated immediately.

Not to worry, the experts here at Solutions Pest and Lawn have the answers for how to tackle this frustrating pest. With the correct approach and the right control products which we both offer, you can get rid of gophers from your property to put an end to the havoc they create.

Browse our various gopher control products below. For information on how to apply these products or questions about ordering, give us a call or chat with us online right now! We are standing by and are always happy to assist you with any concerns.

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How To Get Rid Of Gophers: Solutions 4 Step Plangophers in the mound

Gophers can be quite difficult to control, but by equipping yourself with the knowledge of how gophers function and what their behavior is as well as using professional-grade gopher control products that are proven to be effective, you can carry out a solid control program that will capture or kill them and remove them from your property. Our experts at Solutions Pest and Lawn have come up with a simple 5 step plan that is guaranteed to make you succeed in executing DIY gopher control.


Step 1: Locate The Gopher’s Main Burrow. Gophers are rarely seen out and about but you may spot them going in and out of mounds they have dug. To find the main burrow, you will need to be patient and observant. Scan around for areas where you see freshly dug mounds which signifies an area of recent gopher activity.


Step 2: Open the runway with a spade or a shovel. You could also use a gopher probe. What you are going to need to do is dig a hole big enough to place a bait or trap (or ideally both). We have a number of gopher traps and baits available that do a great job of controlling gophers.


Step 3: Apply the trap, bait or other method of control to the runways you have dug into. Make sure to push the product as deep into the runway as it can go. Once you have done that, do your best to cover the runway opening with dirt, making sure to prevent sunlight from entering the tunnel and making sure you don’t cover the bait or trap with dirt. Not doing this will alert the gophers that there runway has been tampered with.


Step 4: Reapplication may be necessary over the course of the next few weeks until you see less gopher activity, meaning the offending gopher has been eradicated. The way to do this is to check every few days or so for any trace of newly dug mounds.


It’s that simple! Browse our gopher control products below and be sure to check out our extensive how-to guides and videos to learn more about how you can control gophers and other common pests and rodents. You can also call and speak to a live expert over the phone at (800) 479-6583 to get recommendations on products and helpful advice on carrying out an effective gopher control program.


gopher poking out of a holeLearn More About Gophers

Gophers are burrowing rodents from the Thomomys species. They get this name from their large cheek pouches, or pockets which they use for carrying their food and nesting materials. This method of carrying food in their cheeks often get them confused to be a chipmunk, a woodchuck or a squirrel.

There are about 35 species of gophers worldwide with the majority of the species living in the United States. gophers are typically between 4 to 12 inches in length. Their color ranges from Yellowish-brown to black fur on top and the underside is often a lighter shade to almost white.

Gophers were designed to live a tunneling lifestyle. Just by looking at their features you will find this to be true: they have powerfully built limbs; large claws on their paws for digging; fur that tends not to cake up in wet soils and highly sensitive facial whiskers which they use to help them navigate in the dark.

Gophers create their habitat in a burrow system that can cover a large area between 200 to 2,000 square feet. In the burrows they nest, travel and store their food. Gophers seal the openings to the burrow system with earthen plugs. These tunnel systems are how they create the most damage to human owned lands.

Gophers don’t hibernate and are active all year round even in snowing conditions. While they can adapt to a variety of climates and areas, they typically avoid parts of the country that are subject to flooding.

Gophers can cause a lot of damage, not just from burrowing but also from their eating habits. gophers eat just about anything. Most of the eating they do however, is from underground. They yank plants down from the root and eat them underground.

The times they eat food above ground is when they find plants near the mounds they have dug. They would quickly come up to the surface, cut the plant and bring it back underground to eat. This causes a lot of headache for farmers as their mounds affect their farming equipment and their crops get destroyed by these invaders.

Tips on Getting Rid of Gophers

To successfully eliminate or manage gophers, you need to take measures sooner rather than later. A common way to control gophers in lawns and gardens is through the use of gopher traps or poison baits. Using more than one method of control is best since these are tough rodent to get ahold of since they are always either underground or on the move.

To successfully trap or bait a gopher, you need to first find out where the gopher’s main burrow is. To locate it, using a gopher probe is recommended. You ca either buy one commercially or craft one together using a pipe and metal rod. This material is best over wooden sticks because wood would not be able to tolerate hard soils.

To locate burrows you need to first go to areas where you gopher activity was most recently spotted. This can be made apparent by noticing fresh mounds of damp soil. These fresh mounds visible above around are the entry and exits of gopher tunnels. The main burrow can by found by probing 8 to 12 inches from the plugged mound. When penetrating, if a sudden noticeable drop of about 2 inches is felt, you have found your main burrow.


Inspecting For Gophersgopher mound

Gophers spend a majority of their time underground in tunnels, so it can be hard to tell if you have them in your lawn. Holes and mounds are usually the only indication of their presence.

Before you can control a gopher problem on a property you have to first identify the mounds correctly so that you’re not confusing a mole mound with a gopher mound. Gopher mounds are distinctively different from mounds that moles dig in that mounds are usually an oblong shape for gophers kinda like a kidney. Mole hills on the other hand are more round or circular shaped.


The size of a gopher mound can be up to a foot tall and a foot to two feet in diameter. They will also not have surface tunnels. Instead, they will have lateral tunnels that are plugged with soils to keep intruders out. Tunnels can be a couple of inches to several feet under the turf.


Using a small probe such as a screwdriver, locate a raised mound. Move a couple of inches out from the dirt and probe the ground, preferably at a 45 degree angle. Keep probing around the area until you do not have resistance. If there is no resistance, you have located the tunnel.


Gophers feed mainly on underground plant structures like roots, which could end up killing the turf. The death of your turf could be another clear indicator that you are indeed dealing with a gopher since moles almost exclusively eat turf insects and grubs. Gophers can damage plants and also eat through utility cables or irrigation tubes. Gophers sometimes eat plants above ground, especially in the spring time.


Selecting A Gopher Control Method


There are a number of different ways you can address a gopher problem. It’s important to note that using a combination of control method works best if you want to get rid of a gopher quickly as opposed to using one method of gopher control on its own. This will give you a better chance to get rid of moles and keep them off your land.


Trapping and baiting are the two best methods for gopher control. Both are dependent upon timing and proper placement for the best possible success in capturing or ridding gophers.


Gopher traps can be placed in lateral tunnels or in main tunnels but it is important to make sure they are placed in fresh mounds. Fresh mounds are taller, uncompacted and the color of the soil is darker. Trapping can be conduct any time of the year.


For main tunnels, you have to find locate the soil plug in a fresh mound which should be about a foot away. Dig a hole big enough to place a trap inside. To achieve the greatest success, place two traps facing the opposite way. Attach them to stakes with thin wire so they are easier to find. Then replace the dirt to block out light and air. Check at least once a day in the morning and evening. This is a dirty job so it’d be wise to wear gloves, plus having gloves will make it tougher for gophers to detect that humans have tampered with their mounds and tunnels.


For lateral tunnels, find the freshest soil to locate the entrance. Dig a hole large enough to place a trap. Place the trap about a foot into the mound, attaching to a stake with thin wire so you can more easily locate it. Make sure not to plug the hole. The air and light will alert the gopher to a breach in the tunnel. They will try to re-plug the entrance and come in contact with the trap.


Gopher baits are the alternative to trapping. Find the main tunnel by using a probe. Dig a small hole, apply the bait with a long spoon and recover the hole. Make sure not to cover up any of the bait with dirt. Baits should be effective within a few weeks.


Re-application might be needed over the course of a few weeks. Check for new fresh mounds, which will be indication of baiting success. Make sure to follow the label for rates and proper application instructions.


gopher intruderUsing Gopher Repellents


If you dont want to end up with a dead gopher and just want them to leave your property, gopher repellents are a great choice for control. Repellent products use ingredients to create unpleasant taste, smell or touch in the treated area. When repellents are present, they create less than ideal conditions for gophers to tunnel or forage in.


Simply broadcast the repellent over the years and water them in. This will release the active ingredient into the soil and down to the tunnels. If gophers are already present, apply the repellent in stages. Spread the repellents in bands over a couple of weeks. This will drive them out of the lawn.


Repellent products work best if they are applied before you ever have a gopher problem. They have to be applied often, about every two weeks, depending on which product you use. They can be in granular or liquid formulas which we have both in our inventory. Always read the product label and follow directions carefully.

Preventing Gophers From Coming Back


While no actions can 100% be able to keep gophers away, to prevent future gopher infestation, make your yard as uninviting to gophers as possible. You could create fencing around plants to give them protection


Solutions Recommended Products for Gopher Control

Gophers need a multi-tiered approach when it comes to control when they are on your property because they can be quite tricky to deal with if you only use one method of catching or stopping them. We recommend a combination of baits, traps and repellants to get rid of gophers. Here are the following methods of control we recommend:



Additional Resources:

Managing Gophers - Colorado State University Extension


Pocket Gophers Management Guidelines--UC IPM


Gopher Control: How To Get Rid Of Gophers - Gardening Know How

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