Don’t Use Ordinary Chicken Wire for Raised Beds, Use Gopher Wire

Chicken wire can rust away in less then 3 years leaving you unprotected. Use “gopher wire”

Gophers will get into your raised beds as soon as they find the chicken wire has rusted away.

Use stainless steel or double galvanized “gopher wire” which is made specifically to last in underground applications like lining raised beds, making gopher baskets, etc.

I saw this article on the web today about lining your raised beds with chicken wire. Link: I wanted to let our readers know of the shortcoming of chicken wire or sometimes called aviary wire. It does not have thick enough galvanization to protect it from the oxidative effects of being in moist soil. I can rust away in 2-4 years.

There are wire mesh made especially for burial under raised beds to exclude gophers. We at Smith’s Gopher Trapping feel lining your beds is an important step to take in the garden.

If you search for “gopher wire” you will find suppliers of stainless steel wire and double-galvanized wire. In the Bay Area some landscaping suppliers carry gopher wire in stock. I know Ewing Irrigation typically does. Maybe Horizon and John Deere do as well.  For the sake of simplicity I’ll list their websites here though I have no affiliation of any kind with these companies and I apologize if I am leaving out any smaller locally owned companies that stock gopher wire in the bay area.   Ewing  Horizon  John Deere Landscapes

If you have a gopher trapping program in place,  and you have gopher wire under your raised beds, you are probably in the best place as a gardener.

If you have any questions about this or any of our posts, please call any time we’d be glad to talk to you. Bay Area 408-871-6988  Chico/ Durham 530-592-0840. Leave a message if we can’t answer (we’ve probably got our head in a gopher hole) and we promise to call you back.

Smith's gopher car under dogwood.
Chico Ca is a nice place to be a gopher trapper in the spring


Excluding Gophers From your Garden

Excluding Gophers From Your Garden

January 20, 2015 by Zachary Smith- Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service


I cam across a blog post today from the Contra Costa Master Gardener’s about what do do about gophers if you want to keep them out of your garden but not kill them. The article on excluding gophers can be found here.

This comes up often. We understand the interest in not killing gophers or moles in the garden. The garden is about cultivating life!  Man gardeners refrain from the use of anything that is designed to kill, like herbicides and pesticides. A gopher trap is not a good solution for this type of gardner.  The problem is pretty complicated though, because it is not really feasible to live-trap and relocate a gopher. Yes it can be done, but there is the age old question of “would it be better to swiftly kill a pest or accidentally injure it and cause lifelong suffering in our attempt to humanely relocate it?”    I feel that it is the best interest of the gopher that it never have to be handled by a human or a contraption, but that it be excluded from the garden altogether.

How to Keep a Gopher Out of a Garden

First off, if you have a gopher now, and you dont’t kill it, you can assume that you will always have a gopher (or many gophers as time progresses) so you will be best off to just build your garden around that fact and start with raised beds. Raised beds are the easiest path to excluding gophers. Line the bottoms of these raised beds with a heavily galvanized wire mesh, that has openings in the mesh no larger than 1/2 inch. You can also find stainless steel gopher wire that will last a lot longer. Don’t use chicken wire,  it rusts away very quickly. When your wire rusts, you will need to excavate all the soil out of your garden beds and reinstall a new screen of wire. This is a lot of work so you want the best gopher wire you can find. Excluding gophers should not cause more damage to the garden than they would create themselves!

Those noise making devises sold in stores tend to not work well at excluding gophers,  and they are annoying to be around. There is also little to be gained from repellants or all the various products that folks may tell you to put in or around a gopher hole to repel the animal. I suggest staying away from these type of gopher repellants because they are taking time away from getting to your final gopher solution, and time is of the essence!

Coming to Terms With Killing Gophers

I trap a lot of gophers, and yes its a little heartbreaking to think about, but we know this fact:  Kill one today or be forced to kill 5 tomorrow. If you have a gopher-free yard it is often best to kill a new arrival. Any gardener will agree that having a yard overrun by gophers is about the worst case situation anyone could ask for.  You will rue the day you let the new critter begin to breed and populate your property. If simple exclusion ins’t working, we really suggest that you have them trapped and killed. (It is a swift death). We don’t recommend using poison. It is less effective and can find its way into the bodies of other animals. See more: “How to trap a gopher”.

About the Author

Zach Smith is the owner of Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service in San Jose, CA.  He started his business as a professional landscaper. Zach needed a better solution to dealing with gophers in his clients’ yards and could not find it in the local marketplace. Smith’s Serves the entire bay area from Santa Clara County, to Marin and Contra Costa Counties. He be reached at 408-871-6988 or or Contact Us Here

Zach Smith, Gopher Trapper
Smith’s Gopher Trapping serves the entire San Francisco Bay Area


Gophers blamed for injury to schoolgirl in Fremont CA

Gophers blamed for injury to school girl in Fremont CA

To view the news report click here


A young lady playing on the sports fields at Thornton High School in Fremont fell while running on afield heavily infested with gophers. Witnesses said it looked as though she fell because she tripped over a gopher pile or stepped in a gopher hole.

Her family fears that she may not be able to play sports again due tot he severe injury she sustained to her leg.  Apparently broken badly and requiring a titanium rod to repair.

This exemplifies why it is so important to get rid of gophers in school fields. Many schools do not have gopher control in the budget until it is too late. A law suit often is the result of these gopher-related injuries.

It is not hard to keep a school or park field free of gophers or moles. A simple trapping program will eradicate them quickly and keep the populations near zero all the time.

Gopher damage to play surface
Gopher damage can cause injury by making fields unsafe


Get Rid Of Gophers In Los Gatos CA

We get rid of gophers in Los Gatos CA every week; and here is why you should consider a gopher control program if you see gopher holes in your lawn:

In Los Gatos we see many lawns and sports fields that have suffered gopher damage. These old gopher tunnels have sunken over time, creating a maze of ankle-twisting depressions that are very hard to see after the lawn has been mowed. Smith’s Gopher Trapping, your bay area gopher guy suggest we get rid of gophers in your lawns and sports fields for the safety of children and adults. See this video on why it is important to get rid of gophers.  As you can see, without a gopher control program, these lawns have become infested with gophers and moles. There are countless depressions that a soccer player could break an ankle in.


get rid of gophers in los gatos ca
get rid of gophers in los gatos ca

The best way to get rid of gophers in a Los Gatos sports field is with traps. Te process of gopher trapping eliminates the need for poison, and is safe to the players because the traps are deep underground. When we are performing gopher control on sports fields, the lawns can continue to be used because the players will never contact our gopher traps.   We come check the traps for gophers or moles in Los Gatos CA after a just few days and remove the dead pests leaving your lawn gopher free.

The gopher tunnels and gopher holes should be filled in and flattened by your maintenance crew and grass seed should be planted to restore the safety and beauty of your lawn after all the gophers are gone. If you have moles in your Los Gatos CA garden, the process is very similar. We use underground mole traps without the need for poison.


Keep gophers out with an underground barrier fence

We have can keep gophers out by installing an underground barrier fence in your yard. Though it sounds difficult and expensive, often times it is not. To keep gophers out of your sensitive areas we dig a trench two feet deep and install galvanized underground. The wire can parallel fence lines, be put around gardens and under  veggie beds before vegetables are planted.

Gophers will not tunnel under a 2 foot barrier and the galvanization on gopher wire is ver thick to protect against rust.

We can keep gophers out of any part of your yard so long as the soil can be excavate to install the fencing. If there are tree roots, pipes, underground utilities etc it will be more difficult.

This is best used to go along a fence that borders open space. It will keep gophers out of your yard because they can’t burrow under the wire or climb over and through your fence. It is important that the underground barrier fence extends above the ground about 4-5″ so that gphers can not crawl over. After the wire is installed, the trench is filled in and you can garden and landscape as usual.   This underground barrier fence will also keep ground squirrels out.

Below is a crudely drawn diagram of how the fence is installed.  It is not to scale but it clearly illustrates how the trench is filled with gopher wire, which has small openings in the mesh so that even baby gophers can not pass through.

keep gophers out with underground barrier fence
Gopher wire is run underground to keep gophers out













Smith’s GopherTrapping, Your bay area gopher guy and master of all kinds of critter control, can keep gophers out of your yard, as well as get rid of gophers that have already gotten in. See our Contact Us page for more info on how to get a quote.


If you live from Morgan Hill to Walnut Creek, and from Los Gatos to San Francisco and even up to Novato,  we can help! See our service area for a list of places around the bay we travel daily.

Gopher Gimmicks Don’t Work

We get a lot of feedback from folks on the things they hear about how to get rid of gophers. Im here to tell you that gopher gimmicks don’t work and why.


List of common gimmicks:

-Chewing gum

-Chocolate Laxative

-Cat poop

-Animal Urine

-High frequency noise emitters

…and the list goes on.
Here is why these gopher gimmicks don’t work:  Gopher’s don’t care about what you do up above them and you almost never actually find their tunnel.When you “open the tunnel and drop (whatever) in” you make a huge mess of things and the gopher  will just abandon that tunnel and  continue on with his life. They don’t care about gopher gimmicks like high pitch noise, they don’t care about pee or poop, they don’t even know you exist and aren’t worried about your futile efforts to deter them. They don;t even laugh at your gopher gimmicks because these animals don’t have a sense of huor, they arent wrathful, they aren’t out to get you….they are just being the little herbivoures that they are and want to be left alone.

Here’s what really happened after you tried the above gopher gimmicks and the “gopher went away”  It was either a) a mole who was moving on anyway and didn’t intend to stick around, or b) the gopher was eaten in the night by an owl, cat, etc. which is normal and usual.  All the while you think because a pile of dirt exists in your lawn the animal is living right under it as if its whole existence was carried out in a little cave it created in one place in your yard. This is why gopher gimmicks are useless and a huge waste of time and money.

Moles make piles of soil that most folks think are gophers. Moles don’t care about you or your poop, pee, noise or gum either, and moles are nomadic and can be long gone by the time you have finishe dreading this article and get your arsenal of insanity together to go get rid of it.

Oh, and 90% of the pictures you see on the internet of gophers are really prairie dogs and ground hogs. A gopher could not be more different in look, habit, or size. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation on gopher control on the internet and i’ts likely beyond me and my blog to set the story straight.


Long story sort; only two methods reliaby work for gopher eradication (and moles too) and they are traps and poison.


Woodside and Portola Valley Gopher Removal

Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service visits the communities of Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park and Atherton every day of the week.

We are the number one gopher and mole control company providing Woodside and Portola Valley Gopher Removal. We are licensed by the state, we have workers compensation and liability insurance, and our employees are thoroughly trained to get rid of gophers.

The process of gopher removal starts with a site inspection where we set traps deep underground and then flatten all the gopher piles. The gopher is killed humanely in the trap and any new piles indicate another gopher. More traps are set until all the gophers are gone. We guarantee results, and we also back our service with a 100% money back guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with anything about our service, we will refund your money.

The process for mole eradication is very similar to gopher trapping. We locate the deep tunnels where possible, or we open up a mole hill, and we set traps. No poison is ever used. Traps are better at killing gopher and moles than poison. Our non-toxic approach sets us apart.

Residents of Woodside and Portola Valley choose Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service because we do not use poison, and because we guarantee results.  They know our traps are safe around their children and pest. We do not harm other wildlife. Poison can last for a long time and end up in the environment. Dead gophers full of poison can kill wildlife. We disdain poison.

The landscapes of Woodside and Portola Valley are often very healthy, and well cared for. These landscapes are surrounded by oak woodland that is a prime natural habitat for gophers and moles. When these animals get driven out of the woods by drought, they enter the nearby awns, vegetable gardens and landscapes causing much damage. Gophers eat plants  and moles eat worms and grubs- both of these animals make “gopher holes” or soil piles or mounds in the grass that reveal their presence.

Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service, Your Bay Area Gopher Guy, provides gopher and mole trapping, as well as raccoon, skunk, vole and pack rat trapping to the greater SF Bay. Give us a call to find out more about our non-toxic approach!

“Critter control” or “gopher getters” as some call our pest control method, is important to protecting lawns, plants, and landscapes. These burrowing critters (gophers moles and voles) will cost you hundreds of dollars if not controlled. Smith’s special form of critter control is effective because we do not need pesticides. We use a lethal trap that kills the critters instantly.  Our state licensed trappers are the best  of the Bay Area at critter control. We have a 100% money back guarantee and 35 top-rated reviews on yelp to back up our claims.

Please call Smith’s for Woodside and Portola Valley  gopher removal and mole trapping. You will be glad you did…and with our guarantee you have nothing to loose but your gopher problem!

Our happy customers include:   City of San Leandro, Town of Los Gatos, Palo Alto Muni Golf Course, several public school districts, and hundreds of private residences around the San Francisco Bay. Give us a try! We think you will be impressed by our results.

We Return Phone Calls!
Call Today and Stop the Damage!

 For the Greater Bay Area, Call:

(408) 871-6988  

We service following Bay Area neighborhoods twice weekly:
San Jose, San Francisco, Woodside, Los Altos, Novato, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk,
Pleasanton, Fremont, Oakland, El Cerrito, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Napa, and Sonoma.


Hillsborough CA Gopher Removal and Mole Removal

We here at Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service, “your bay area gopher guys”, get a lot of calls for gophers an moles infestation in and around Hillsborough California.  This quintessential Peninsula community is a great example of what prime gopher and mole habitat looks like…yet it has fine landscapes and gardens sprinkled throughout. Of course, folks can’t tolerate burrowing pests in the garden so they call us and say “get rid of gophers and get rid of moles!”

You see, gophers and moles love the bay area’s soils, plant species, and climate. And when the heat of summer sets in, these animals find refuge in the residential landscapes and gardens that provide them fresh food and water. That’s what makes towns like Hillsborough, Millbrae, Burlingame, and San Bruno such a high impact gopher and mole area.

The nicer the landscape, the more sensitive is to the disruptive habits of moles. and the plant-devouring appetites of gophers. A mole will tunnel and upturn an incredible amount of soil and annual flowers in a day on its search for worms and grubs. A gopher will eat its fill of herbaceous perennials and woody shrub roots so that you may feel like your garden is being destroyed as fast as you can plant it.


This is why folks call Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service. We use the most effective methods for eliminating gophers and moles from your yard without danger to your children or pets. In fact we trap gophers in many high schools, elementary schools and parks while the fields are still in use. The secret (no secret really, this is an age old method) s that we use commercial-grade subterranean traps that lethally capture the animals safely underground. No part of the trap is above ground and can be reached(that is unless we’re using the Victor Out O Sight mole trap, which is safe but part of it can be seen, call for more info 408-871-6988 or email us

We eliminate gophers every day in Hillsborough CA and the surrounding cities. Call us and we’ll come help you with your Gopher Removal and Mole Removal needs.


Zachary Smith, your bay area gopher guy, is dedicated to preserving your landscape. Home mole removal for Yard Moles

Our happy customers include:   City of San Leandro, Town of Los Gatos, Palo Alto Muni Golf Course, five public school districts, and hundreds of private residences around the San Francisco Bay. Give us a try! We think you will be impressed by our results.

We Return Phone Calls!
Call Today and Stop the Damage!

 For the Greater Bay Area, Call:

(408) 871-6988  

We service following Bay Area neighborhoods twice weekly:
San Jose, San Francisco, Woodside, Los Altos, Novato, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk,
Pleasanton, Fremont, Oakland, El Cerrito, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Napa, and Sonoma.


Locally owned company specializing in burrowing pests

Locally owned company specializing in burrowing pests.


You have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a home services provider. Especially when dealing with pest control. Many pest control companies deal in ants and termites and rats and mice, but few are really specialists in eradicating gophers and moles.

Even fewer still are the pest control companies that are locally owned and specialists in getting rid of gophers and moles.

Enter Smith’s Gopher Trapping Service! Not only are we locally owned but we do nothing but trap (way better than poison) gophers, moles and voles around the bay area at an affordable price.

We’re your bay area gopher guy, treating burrowing pests from San Jose to Novato using nontoxic methods that are superior to poison, safer than poison, and targeted at only the pest you need to eliminate, with no side effects.

Our traps are placed underground, out of reach of children or pets, and they kill the gopher or mole quickly and humanely. We burry the bodies deep in the tunnel where they quickly decompose quickly because they are so small.  There is no smell or other sign that we’ve been there- just clean trouble free lawn and landscape.

When you call Smith’s you are calling a small, locally owned company who is licensed and insured, and is an expert in their craft. You can leave the dirty work to us an we will eliminate your gopher problem quickly.

Thanks for checking out our website Give us a call today!


Monthly and Annual Gopher Removal Service is a Great Value

Annual Gopher Removal Service is a Better Value

Having your gopher trapping done in a proactive manner can save you a lot of lost plants and torn up landscaping. Plus your gopher guy will appreciate the ease of scheduling your work.

Every year we have such a onslaught of new gopher calls starting in the spring. This large call volume slows in the fall and in the winter things can be pretty quiet. Gophers and moles do not hibernate, but their activity often does become less obvious in the colder months.  The problem we and the customers face is, when the spring comes and people get back into their gardens to see that a gopher has been in the flower bed, it becomes hard to get this new work scheduled.

You see, we have to hire new help in the spring because the winter slowdown necessitates layoffs. This is very disruptive to the employees’ lives, to our business operations, and to the customers’ petunias.

We encourage folks to go on our monthly gopher plan because they can count on us being available when gophers and moles get busy in the spring, our employees can count on a year-round paycheck, and the overall cost is comparable to the one-at-a-time  gopher prices.

The greatest benefit of an annual ongoing gopher trapping plan is that we are checking your landscape for you, every other week, throughout the year. You can take your mind off the gophers and moles, and focus on enjoying your garden. With the annual gopher plan there is no cost for each animal- it is an unlimited plan. This is a great value for folks who have gopher or mole re-infestations each year.