Gophers Gone Wild: What to do When You Have Uninvited Yard Guests

As a homeowner, you put a lot of thought, time, effort, and money into your yard. Whether you’re the guru of gardening or the barbecuer to beat, you take pride in your pristine yard.

So, if you were out pulling weeds by your backyard fence and noticed some odd looking mounds of dirt but no holes, you might be experiencing yard damage from gophers.

If you are trying to get rid of yard pests, one of the telltale ways to know you have a gopher problem is to look for tunnels or holes that are covered by mounds of dirt. Gophers do not leave the openings to their burrows open; an effective way to know if that particular tunnel is being actively used by gophers is to partially remove the dirt from the hole and, if it is covered up again in a day or two, you know your culprit is using that hole.

Here are three facts about gopher damage to know:

1. Gophers can cause damage to farm equipment when they burrow in fields. They will interfere with crop fields, irrigation systems, and the drainage and appearance of your lawn and garden.

2. Gophers use their burrows to hoard food. They consume over half of their own body weight each day. That being said, they could be damaging your lawn by stripping your fruit and vegetable garden, your grass, and the leaves off of your shrubbery.

3. Even if you suspect your lawn has been seized by only one or two gophers, they could still be around for one to three years, which is the average gophers’ lifespan.

Okay, so now you are ready to call the gopher exterminator. Having getting rid of your yard pests on your to-do list can be a real headache, so here are some common gopher abatement methods that your local gopher removal experts can help with.

Non-lethal preventative measures. 

These non-lethal measures are options that allow you to attempt to chase gophers from your yard. You may choose these measures if you have children or pets in your home that are frequently outside. Granular repellents and yard sprays contain tastes and smells that are highly repulsive to gophers, chasing them from your property without killing them. An additional option is sonic spikes, which are staked into the soil and emit sonic pulses every 30 seconds. The pulses drive the gophers out of your yard in a week or two and discourage them from returning.

Trap elimination.

Traps will swiftly and effectively eliminate your gopher problem with no poisons or chemicals involved, as long as the traps are placed in active gopher tunnels. Traps are durable enough for repeated uses. Gophers that are caught in traps do not suffer any pain and can be removed by your local exterminator.

Poison elimination. 

Poison is another popular extermination method that is quick and humane to get rid of yard pests. After the gophers consume the poison, they are quickly killed. Simply watch for an active tunnel and place the bait inside it, then wait. However, poison should never be used in an environment where pets and children frequently play in your yard. If that is the case, stick with repelling measures and traps.

So you were successful in your attempt to get rid of yard pests. Hurray! Even though you can now take the steps to repair the lawn that you have put so much time and effort into, it is important to incorporate some active preventative measures into your yard recovery. Keep in mind that no gopher prevention method is foolproof since the pests can burrow deeply under the surface to reenter your space. It will help to protect your garden with plastic netting or in raised planter boxes to make it difficult for gophers to access food.

After you get rid of yard pests, you may feel frustrated that you have almost no control over whether or not gophers rear their ugly head in your yard again. Just remain proactive in your yard, checking constantly for signs of burrowing or eating, to keep your lawn and yard healthy, beautiful, and pest free.