July Question of the Month

TGN Community members:

How do you get rid of gophers without using toxic chemicals?

Please leave your reply in the comments below, or in the Forums by clicking here: https://thegrownetwork.com/forums/topic/gophers-in-the-garden

We’ll compile your answers into an article soon!

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This post was written by Marjory Wildcraft


  • idealize says:

    I’m trying the solar powered sonic stakes. We will see if they work.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Idealize, I used them for a while and found the noise annoying…

  • Emily McLeran says:

    We just use gopher traps that you stick down partially in the hole and then give the gopher to the cats. They work almost every time. Here where we live the county pays a dollar for every gopher tail you bring in, so make sure to cut the tail off before giving to the cats!

  • Marjory Wildcraft says:

    My father-in-law taught me how to use gopher traps – they are mechanical traps you set. He showed me how to look at the series of gopher mounds. You’ll see the mounds are in a zig-zag pattern along an underground central line. You’ve got to kind of imagine that central line as it is underground and you can’t see it.

    You take a shovel and dig around that central underground line until you find it. It is usually not more than two feet deep, Then you set a trap on each side of the tunnel you just exposed. The gopher will come to see what disturbed their tunnel. Since you don’t know what side the gopher is coming from, you set a trap on each side. The traps are usually sold in pairs for this reason. You also should take a length of paracord and tie the traps to something solid (a rock, or log) as the gophers can drag them far underground and you’ll lose your trap.

    The traps were very effective, but I noticed they often killed with a gut wound (the trap pierces them from the sides. That is a very painful way to go – very inhumane. I feel so bad about using these traps I don’t use them anymore. I’ve looked for other kinds of traps that kill more humanely, but no luck as of yet.

    I’ve also tried using cracked castor beans in my garden. Apparently castor is pretty nasty tasting and that keeps gophers and moles away. You have to keep applying it as rain and time tends to reduce the effectiveness of it. To be honest, I am not totally sure it worked, but I do think it helped. I really need to do more rigorous experiments.

    I’ve found my cat Tigger, is an excellent gopher hunter. And so far, that has been the easiest control.

    And here is a short clip I uploaded to YouTube of my cat Valorie who isn’t that good at catching gophers… This gopher just plays with her – https://youtu.be/OlAagCj0tvs And hey, yes I love stupid cat videos!

    A final other note is that for root crops I really want – like sweet potatoes 🙂 I completely dig out the garden bed area and line it with hardware cloth or some other finer woven metal. Then I fill it back in with soil. That lining keeps the gophers and moles out. You can see an example of how I dig out a bed and line it in the video I did on Colony Rabbits at http://colonyrabbits.com

    BTW, and yes, I know this will be TMI for some of you – I consider all the gophers out in the big sandy pasture to be a plentiful survival food. They can be made quite edible. Yes, they are similar to prepare as rats and mice which are also edible.

    I don’t ever really want to eat rats or mice as those are much more suspicious as who knows what they’ve been into?

    Gophers are a much ‘cleaner’ source of meat. The Tarahumara Indians whom I spent some time with a few years ago, love mice and think of these smaller creatures as delicacies. There are ways to prepare them so they don’t actually look like mice, and they do taste fairly good.

    1. orphan3 says:

      We tried everything from traps to flares, and nothing worked.
      Then a pest control friend told us to use dry ice. No more
      gophers tearing up our lawn. Just break the dry ice up and
      put it in all their entry/exit holes, and cover the holes with
      dirt. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the dry ice.
      Finally, we have a BEAUTIFUL, green lawn.

  • Carrie Weakland says:

    After 10 years of battling those darn gophers, I have finally resorted to using an electric fence! I’ve used traps, guns, poison, and other quirky things along the way, but the portable electric fence has worked 100% for me so far!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      How do you use electric fences to control gophers? I am have difficulty visualizing that… they are underground and electricity short out.

  • naturespowers says:

    Never used on Gophers, But “Solar Molars”, but used to sell them and know for sure they work for rats and moles…this ad also says gophers, I I would think it would work for them too!

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