Tips for The Average Joe

Easy Gopher Control For Your Garden and Yard

Remember gopher cartoons where plant tops tremble, shake, and disappear? Those cartoons weren’t far off if you liked playing in the dirt and gardening. Because it’s true. If you’ve invested time, work, money, and nurture into your garden, only to discover it devastated, you realize gophers are no good.

Don’t tell me to live and let live because they’re lovely, fuzzy, and great. They’re damaging, and if you let them near your property, they’ll destroy root systems. Gophers will eat anything with roots. Gophers assume you planted your garden or apricot tree specifically for them. No. Through trial and error, I’ve devised a good gopher control method.

Gopher control using galvanized chicken wire

You’ll get years of gopher-free gardening for your work. Since gophers don’t dig deep, line your garden with 1-1/2″ galvanized chicken wire. Lay the wire from the trench bottom to a foot above ground. Fill the hole with earth and stake the wire to make a garden fence. This is multipurpose. It prevents gophers from digging under your garden and crawling into it, giving you fresh, nutritious vegetables. When the earth is soft from winter/spring rains, dig your trench. Gopher control isn’t perfect. These critters can dig six feet! But it should mostly work. My two-foot garden boundary hasn’t been penetrated in six years.

Yard gopher control

This isn’t your garden, but it’s just as easy. No exterminator, fumigator, poisons, or chemicals needed. Self-doable. Dirt fishing. You’ll need two Macabee gopher traps and a hand shovel. The Mactrap has worked brilliantly for years.

Gopher mounds are a definite sign of a gopher. Dig through the mound to reveal the tunnel. You’ll need a trap in each tunnel at each junction, as you don’t know which way he’ll come. Prongs first, set your Mactrap(s) in the hole. Some pest management experts suggest covering the hole, but it’s unnecessary. Now we wait for the gopher to return and fill the hole. When he does, he typically dies instantaneously.

Sometimes the gopher lives long enough to pull the Mactrap so far back that I have to dig up the yard to collect it. Now, I attach one end of a 2-foot piece of thread to the trap, construct a loop on the other end, and put the screwdriver blade through it. Leave some line slack to tell if you have one. (Grass-roots) The string prohibits the gopher from escaping.

Water hose gopher control?

Using a garden hose in a gopher tunnel works if your yard is level. Be ready with a shovel when he runs out. If your yard slopes, the water will pour out of the ground, and the gopher will take refuge in an elevated area of his tunnel.

Gopher control helps safeguard new trees.

This simple method works great. Wrap a new tree’s root ball with chicken wire. Chicken wire stops gophers from injuring the tree’s taproot, giving it time to grow. With the correct equipment and some planning, gopher control is simple. Gopher management is straightforward with prevention and trapping.

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