Me vs. Gophers

Me

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Gophers

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21 thoughts on “Me vs. Gophers

  1. I’ve got gophers. The first one I got using a hose to chase him out, then a shovel to dispatch him. But there is another still lurking. What method do you use?

  2. I am almost convinced that gophers are smarter than we are, and they are just out there laughing at us. I have become quite good at gopher trapping on my one acre Los Osos site. I bait a “Black Hole” gopher trap with a carrot, and tah dah, good-bye gopher!

  3. I have a huge problem with gophers. Veggie beds got 2 layers of crazily over stampled chicken wire and each plant has to have a double chicken wire custom sculpted. I learned a valuable lesson, I made a basket to completely cover an iris bulb, i should have made it bigger because gophers decided to take the whole thing away down a tunnel. may be one day that stunning iris will pop up somewhere on the property. i love all animals but gophers slightly less.

  4. Hmmm… Sounds like you need some Irish Terrier therapy. I can pack em up and send them out for a while – their handler lives in Santa Barbara, maybe they can take a gopher hunting holiday up north?

    • Jack Russell terriers are good, too. Also, I’ve watched crows (!!!) wait by gopher holes to kill (and eat) them!

  5. Gophers have so far not been as huge a problem as I thought they would be. I bet they are just waiting for me to get complacent and stop caging valuable plants. The biggest problem so far has been the mess their tunneling makes in cultivated areas. Plant death so far has been very minimal.

  6. My favorite cartoon, which I failed to clip, showed a woman in a checkout line at a hardware store buying “gopher-proof chicken wire”. The customer directly behind her was a gopher waiting to buy wire cutters.

  7. I live near you, Kaveh. My landlady tells me there have never been gophers in this yard, these 40 odd years. I try to guess why. One guess: good (environmental) karma? That’s a hard one to know. Two, if gophers are a non-native species (anyone know?), then maybe they just don’t like the way this yard is planted, especially the perimeter, with so many native shrubs and trees. Three, when I first started cultivating in the front open patch, I couldn’t help but notice lots and lots of dry brittle roots, like, everywhere. I was stumped, as it appeared there had never been a tree or shrub of any size there in that 20′ by 20′ patch. Now, three years later I understand clearly that these are the remains of the wild (coastal variant) California poppy that are so numerous here in the yard. They make for a not inviting environment, I’m supposing. Now I worry because I don’t let very many of them grow, but I have Gopher Purge volunteering now, here and there for a second year. I plan to distribute them widely as there is no scourge like gophers. Snails and slugs are certainly my nemesis, though, what with all my hand watering.

    • Gophers are definitely native to California. They are native to the western half of the United States. I didn’t have them back in NJ but we had groundhogs which we thankfully don’t have here. If you don’t have them in your yard it is basically just luck. They are all over the place. They do eat natives too. I’ve had them take newly planted California poppies and another blog I was reading said they stopped growing Nemophila because the gophers loved them so much.

  8. Gophers have destroyed our vegetable garden. The pepper plants (18″ high, complete with 4″ peppers) disappear in the middle of the night. 3′ x 3′ squash plants and the thriving tomatoe plants beginn to die. Upon investigating….we find that the roots are completly gone. Anyone have any ideas?

    • I use Macabee traps but the gopher digging around in my new garden has outsmarted me with 3 traps and sprung them without getting caught.

      For veggies I would use a gallon pot and mold a chicken wire basket around it and plant it in that to protect the roots. They sell them too but it is cheaper to make it yourself.

      Another good idea for veggie gardens is to make raised beds and line the entire thing with chicken wire.

    • Do yourself a favor buy some Cinch traps. Buy the mole size traps for CA gophers. OURS are smaller. I have taken 23 gophers out of our yard here in Altadena. They now are nonexistent except for an occasional one here and there. From the I detect a mound to my cinch getting the offending creature usually takes less than 3 hours. Here’s a video.

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hQbZ4Z_3uXU

  9. Gophers have several litters a year, so you have to be vigilant. They are very cute when you meet them in person. You have to look past the cute, and see the destruction they do. I trap them, and it is not unusual to catch a dozen or more per month,,,,and they just keep coming. Try to collapse as much of their tunnel as possible after trapping them. I have never found a plant, spray, or sound that will keep them away. A past owner of my property used broken glass. The gophers just laugh as they push the glass to the surface. Good cats and dogs will also keep the population down to a degree. If you can entice birds of prey to your neighborhood, they will make a dent in the population. I really believe you have to trap them, and you have to learn to live with them.

    • I don’t really think that they are so cute! Their teeth and claws make them look like some kind of mutant. I haven’t really lost that many plants to them but they displace SOOO much soil it is really annoying.

      • Do yourself a favor buy some Cinch traps. Buy the mole size traps for CA gophers. OURS are smaller. I have taken 23 gophers out of our yard here in Altadena. They now are nonexistent except for an occasional one here and there. From the I detect a mound to my cinch getting the offending creature usually takes less than 3 hours. Here’s a video.

        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hQbZ4Z_3uXU

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