If you’re an avid gardener or pride yourself on having a beautiful lawn, you know how frustrating it is to find that some creature has poked holes (literally) in your plans. Gophers, in particular, are a plague to many California homeowners because of how ambitious they are. They eat 60% of their body weight in vegetation (read: your plants) every single day and they make tunnels that can reach up to 2,000 square feet. Essentially, that means they can wreak havoc on your lawn — and they’re notoriously difficult to get rid of.
You might be wondering how to trap a gopher so that it won’t bother anyone ever again. While you may have DIY’d certain pest control tasks in the past, the truth is that gopher trapping is a lot harder than it looks. There are a number of methods that homeowners (and even some pest control companies!) have tried, to no avail. If you want to know how to trap a gopher, you should steer clear of the methods below.
Want to Remove Gophers? DON’T…
- Flood their tunnels: Some homeowners will try to drown gophers using their garden hoses. It may sound like a foolproof method, but it’s really anything but. A gopher’s tunnel is expansive, with burrows to store food, raise young, and provide safety. Because these burrows are located closer to the surface than the actual tunnels, the water from your hose might not do much good. Not only will gophers like the softer ground for digging, but the water could end up damaging your property or even flooding your neighbors’ yards. In some cases, flooding can help you collapse their tunnels, but it’s usually not worth the trouble.
- Use fire: You might be tempted to smoke the gophers out or resort to flames to get rid of the problem for good. Some people use gasoline, propane, or butane to light the tunnels on fire. But even if you manage to eliminate the gophers, you’ll probably do a lot of damage to your property in the process. At best, you’ll kill your grass and plants; at worst, you could lose control of the fire and end up setting a structure aflame. And while there are propane-powered devices that are meant to get rid of gophers, they can be expensive, impractical, or even illegal. In the end, it’s best not to take that big of a risk when figuring out how to trap a gopher.
- Give them gum: There’s an urban legend that chewing gum can solve all your gopher problems. The idea is that if you put a stick of gum in a gopher tunnel, the animal will eat it and will eventually expire when the gum gets stuck in its intestines. While one Southern California man did actually hold the unofficial record for trapping gophers using this exact method, agricultural agencies actually discourage homeowners from trying this technique. It ultimately sounds a bit too easy, which may be why a lot of experts warn that you shouldn’t expect immense success with it.
Here’s what actually works: hiring the professionals. While the pest control industry grew by 2.9% between 2012 and 2017, that doesn’t mean every pest control company knows how to trap a gopher the right way. By working with the experts, you’ll have peace of mind that your property will remain fully intact and that the gophers will be gone in no time.
Gopher elimination is a tricky business, but you don’t have to find out the hard way that these aforementioned techniques won’t work. When you need to know how to trap a gopher, you’ll need to hire the experts. To find out more about our gopher removal services and why our process is so effective, please contact us today.