CSU Extension - A division of the Office of Engagement. Pocket gophers can be killed in large numbers with poisoned bait. Gophers create extensive underground burrows that create unsightly mounds of dirt and damage plants in yards. The gopher pushes dirt out of his burrow from the open end of the horseshoe. Before you can treat you need to make sure you're dealing with a Pocket Gopher, or "Gopher" as they are commonly known. A cat is your best helper. September 29, 2020. I’m considering using the black box trap to see if it might be more effective. It is the most common species in mountain rangelands and aspen forests. You’ll need to know the difference to have any success with pocket gopher control. raptors, dogs, and cats) poisoning. Pulling your hair out over these underground garden pests? One study found that control of pocket gophers can increase alfalfa production by 18 to 28 percent. it’s really getting me down this year as I’ve watched my garden take a turn for the worse over the last two seasons whereas before I never had this problem- just squirrels chipmunks and raccoons which were manageable and the odd Skunk digging up my lawn for grubs ….nothing’s working for me! Pocket gophers, commonly referred to as just gophers, are burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae. One told me it would cost $160 for a first treatment and $90 for each treatment after that, twice a week for a month. Trapping is the most effective pocket gopher control strategy for home gardeners. Our physical location is 1311 College Ave, Fort Collins, CO. Having website issues? You’ll also get my free weekly newsletter, complete with recipes, gardening tips, and a little peek at what’s going on around here — both the zany and the mundane. Read and follow the product label for bait application technique, timing, personal protective equipment and other precautions. They like above-ground vegetation when it is green and succulent. The seeder box has a metering device for dispensing various poison baits at desired rates. They can measure anywhere between 12 to 4 inches in size. The business end of the Macabee traps need to actually fit inside the tunnel, so you may need to use a tool to gently make the tunnel wide enough (without collapsing it). I don’t have very many so this might be too much work for someone with acreage or a big population. Aloha! How do you manage pocket gopher control? Pocket gophers can easily withstand normal garden or home landscape irrigation, but you can sometimes use flooding to force them from their burrows, enabling you to use a shovel or a dog to kill the rodent. I had to empty my pool so I thought I would run a hose in one of the holes and to my surprise half of the pool was empty and not one hole bubbled up. It usually is labeled as a Restricted-Use Pesticide. With the Black Hole, you’ll place the trap at the tunnel entrance – one in each direction – and seal it off with dirt, making sure that the vent is left uncovered. Finally, I took my cat (an indoor/outdoor cat) out to the hole opening and put her right by it and explained that I needed help. I’m Kris Bordessa, author and hobby farmer, gardener and canner, chicken wrangler and eternal experimenter. Lethal trapping is one of the best methods to reduce pocket gopher numbers on small to moderate-sized fields (less than 50 acres) and to remove remaining animals after a poison control program. Determine the location of the tunnel by the decreased friction on the probe. However, the yellow-faced pocket gopher is confined to drier sites. In an alfalfa field an average pocket gopher population can be 50 gophers per hectare (20 per acre). As them for information and what is the best way to live amongst nature, not destroy it and kill it because it is now bothering us when we are the ones who invaded their habitat. Mammals of Colorado 2nd ed. Strychnine, formulated on milo, barley or wheat, is a widely used toxicant but is highly toxic and potentially hazardous to all wildlife. Get my free guide to naturally controlling pests in your garden! Gophers sometimes damage trees by girdling or clipping stems and by pruning roots. These devices ignite a mixture of propane and oxygen in the burrow … Mazama pocket gophers are light brown to black in color, with adults ranging in size from 5 to 6 inches in length. Poison could also kill wildlife that isnt bothering your precious lawn. How do I get rid of what I would like to say is a herd of gophers. Gopher traps can be placed in lateral tunnels or in main tunnels, just make sure to place them in fresh mounds. I also have ground hogs who will eat an entire garden in a few days I mean everything,,,,we surrounded the garden with electic fencing used for cattle and horse.. Cats are very patient and excellent hunters. I’d love it if you asked this over on the forum: https://forum.attainable-sustainable.net/. Burrows are about 2 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, depending on the size of the gopher. I have heard about the shootings of wolves to the point of almost extinction, or the wild horse populations that are shot by farmers and ranchers, the bears that wander into our communities, deer, moose, elk, caribou, etc. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle. Probably really healthy protein there resulting from the great diet they have by consuming the food we planted for ourselves. Andelt, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist and associate professor, fishery and wildlife biology; and R.M. We had pocket gophers which had occupied the property for years before I arrived on the scene. They eat the gum and are unable to digest it and die. Traps can be set in the main tunnel or in a lateral, preferably near the freshest mounds. I tried to smoke them out, my neighbour came by with a small trap that worked once, but never again and eventually I got a black box trap and learned how to set it up. Mix and apply only the quantity you need. I’ve had a trap for which they’d need to step in, in order to trigger the catch that closes the door with them inside. I have a box full of traps, including the Black Hole, etc. Gas them using your car's exhaust. However, in-ground beds can be dug out to a depth that will accommodate the roots of the plants you wish to grow, lined with hardware cloth, and then refilled with the soil. The rattlesnake was hunting the mole or ground squirrel also. Use this economic data to help you determine when it is cost-effective for you to initiate control. Gopher control is most effective when gophers are active near the surface. Make sure this fits by entering your model number. Pocket gophers are beneficial in several ways. Pocket gophers construct burrow systems by loosening the soil with their claws and incisors, and then use their forefeet and chest to push the soil out of the burrow. They seem to come and go, so at least the yard is not unsightly with their passage. That is the downside of cats. Gophers are not a problem here in the islands, but as a longtime California gardener, I know how damaging a pocket gopher can be. Because chlorophacinone (Rozol™) is a multiple dose anticoagulant, more bait is required to achieve adequate control. Their activity is usually indicated by the presence of fresh mounds of dirt. JT Eaton 276 Answer Pocket Gopher Bait Block and Control with Moisture Resistant Bait, 4 Blocks Visit the J T Eaton Store. If they’re working on a larger plant and can’t pull it into the hole, they’ll quietly gnaw the roots until the plant is damaged beyond saving. I have moles and contrary to the article they dig under the garden plants and expose the root to air killing the plants,,,,,Moles hate castor oil….soI make a potion of dish soap, castor oil, and water,,,,,use a gaeden sprayer to spray all of the areas Moles either leave or die of diarhhea, Have decreased the population but does require frequent sppraying….it is natural and does not affect the plants. Pocket gophers are prey for owls, hawks, badgers, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, skunks, weasels, bullsnakes and rattlesnakes. The wet-flooded soil generally prevents diffusion of gasses in and out of the burrow and sticks to the pocket gopher’s fur and claws creating an inhospitable environment. For More Information (Including Pricing): Call Murray: 1-(306)-745-2412 . If the soil is too dry the burrow may collapse and if the soil is too wet the slot over the tunnel may not close (generally, the soil moisture is adequate if a compressed handful holds its shape). I prefer the wire body gripping traps. Providing trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. It is a completely natural and effective way to work with gophers and moles. When we got a cat, the rodents mostly moved out. Oh, rabbits and squirrels. Signs of gophers are easier to spot than signs of moles. Of the night trying to see who the culprit is! The northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) occurs in upland areas of the eastern plains to shallow gravel in mountainous areas to thin soils of the alpine tundra. Their burrowing activities increase soil fertility by adding organic matter in the form of plant materials and feces. In about a week I recover the remaining block and I go to the next mound. CSU A-Z Search You know, we had a couple of outdoor cats but if they were catching gophers, they were quiet about it and we never saw a reduction in population! This method is less effective for plains pocket gophers because they easily survive on grasses. If gophers are present on 10 percent of a field, they may reduce overall forage productivity of the field by 2 to 5 percent. The roughly 35 species are all endemic to North and Central America. Rodenticides are meant to kill rodents but will also kill other animals if improperly used. For those of you with a humanitarian bent, there are sonic deterrents. The southeastern pocket gopher (Geomys pinetis) is also known as “sandy-mounder” or “salamander”. Read more, Previous: Shop Greener with these Small Cloth Bags for Bulk Spices, Next: Alternatives to Styrofoam: 10+ Easy Ways to Kick the Habit, May contain affiliate links. This is how we upset the balance that is nature. Identification is the first step in control. The yellow-faced pocket gopher (Pappogeomys castanops) inhabits a portion of southeastern Colorado where the plains pocket gopher is found. When selecting a damage-control program, consider nonlethal measures such as habitat modification, resistant crop varieties, crop rotation, flood irrigation, or cultivated buffer strips which may be as cost effective as lethal measures and should minimize adverse environmental impacts. A neighbor’s pet cat or puppy could end up getting poisoned if the rodent eats it, but survives to end up in your neighbor’s yard. Don’t smoke or eat while mixing or applying a rodenticide, and wash thoroughly after application. Control operations in the fall interfere the least with growing crops. 2. Gopher mounds dull and plug sickle bars when harvesting hay or alfalfa. Have u tried this?? The second company promptly told me to call our HOA and make them deal with it, which sounded like a good next move. Wear proper protective clothing and equipment. Four rodenticides are registered for pocket gopher control in Colorado: Before using any rodenticide, read and follow the label to minimize harm to children, pets, and off-target wildlife. Disclaimer | Burrow builders are available in a standard hydraulically operated unit or a three-point hitch model. Removing gophers can be tricky, but it is possible thanks to our selection of professional grade gopher control products. I doubt it. Their mounds can ruin the aesthetics of a well kept yard and cause severe plant damage as they feed on roots. This was fascinating. Every time I try to refill and compact the ground after finding an escape hole the come up somewhere else…I’ve even been out w a flashlight all hrs. You’ll never eliminate all pocket gophers. That is why we have no problem destroying or deconstructing nature to suit our own needs. Employment | Fixing pocket gopher punctures of subsurface drip tape can be time-consuming and quite expensive. You’ve got to get rid of them! Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. That SOUNDS brilliant! Figure 1. I have not figured out how to get rid of them. One minute, there’s no sign of them; the next minute one of your pampered plants has completely disappeared. Treat two or three of the freshest mounds within each burrow system (a circle with about a 100-foot diameter). Rozol® Pocket Gopher Bait is a general use pesticide containing chlorophacinone, a multi-feed anticoagulant invented by Liphatech and used for over 50 years. Young pocket gophers usually begin dispersing from the natal burrow in June when about one-third grown. Place bait into a burrow system by hand after opening the main tunnel or with a hand probe. Now it is we who must adjust to wanting to live and be in the wild or rural environment. Moles leave long trails of slightly raised dirt across the ground’s surface. The gopher evaded them, constantly. Here’s what you need to know about pocket gopher control. Probe into the depression, usually in the direction away from the mound, until the direction of the tunnel is determined. Pocket gophers are not protected under Arizona Law and may be controlled freely on private property. Positively identify the pest and determine all techniques that can be used to deter the pest such as habitat modification and exclusion. Gopher mounds dull and plug sickle bars when harvesting hay or alfalfa. Each cut section of roots from a multi-rooted variety will send up a new shoot that may compensate for losses due to gophers. It really upsets me that the first response is kill it; not that we have intruded and must learn to reacquaint ourselves with nature and our primitive human ancestors. Place bait through the probe hole into the tunnel. Good to hear it worked for you. Another study found that forage yields increased by 16 percent within 60 days of control of pocket gophers. If you’re new to gardening, you may not have given these underground pests much thought – yet. Top: Macabee gopher trap. Has anyone tried spraying nematodes to reduce grub population and a vole food source? This pocket gopher produces chattering and grinding sound with its teeth, and crooning and purrs when males and females are put together. I have been told to use the solution to water the garden as often as 4 times a week…..this is the year of NO MOLES. Pocket gophers often invade yards and gardens, feeding on many garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. Gophers are not protected by stat… Trapping usually is most successful in the spring and fall when gophers are actively building tunnels. Trapping is the most effective gopher control strategy for home gardeners. Never store rodenticides near food items for human, pet or livestock. We were absolutely over run with gophers! We do keep the cat inside during the daytime as she will occasionally kill birds which is a serious problem considering that bird populations are way down. Bottom: Victor Gopher Getter. One of te questions is why are there so many of them and what is happening in the area that they are not being eaten by their natural predators. Take an egg, crack it into the hole cover it. A single gopher moving down a garden row can inflict considerable damage in a very short time. I have to say that I find the notion that as a sustainable site the idea of killing a “pest” in your garden is considered okay. No gophers here, but moles, yes. to attract this population…. Persistent efforts can control pocket gophers and even eliminate them. S. Bokan, Small Acreage Coordinator, Boulder County, K. Crumbaker, Ag and Natural Resources Agent, Larimer County, T. Hoesli, Grand County Extension County Director, D. Lester, Park County Extension County Director, & I. Shonle, Gilpin County Extension Director. Grandma told me to place a stick of juicy fruit gum in their hole. 1. My son set many traps but barely made a dent in the population. Just my opinion. Privacy Statement | You should see a small hole in the face of the dirt. 5… California pocket gophers are burrowing pests that are extremely tricky to get rid of. Pocket gophers reduce productivity of portions of alfalfa fields and native grasslands by 20 to 50 percent. Pocket gophers can be excluded from valuable plots of ornamental trees and shrubs with a 1/4 to 1/2-inch mesh hardware cloth fence buried at least 18 inches. The pocket gopher is most active during the evening and morning hours, so I recommend setting the trap in the late afternoon and leaving it in place until the next morning. A gopher showed up in the Spring and I got the traps out, had no success, then decided to try the cat again and sure enough. I have no idea what it is (could be a stray dog/cat or a burrowing critter). This information can be found in most state or provincial government wildlife/ natural resource dept. Choose the most effective, least toxic rodenticide to minimize potential non-target poisoning. Gophers may, at times, destroy underground utility cables and irrigation pipes. Pocket gophers feed on roots they encounter from digging, from vegetation they pull into the tunnel from above, and vegetation above ground near the tunnel. We got out door cats (fixed as to not create a cat population problem) and within one year our gopher problem was under control. So what do I do now? A single pocket gopher can move over a ton of earth in a year, which makes for a lot of mounds. http://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/citizens-guide-pest-control-and-pesticide-safety, CSU Horticulture Agents and Specialists Blog, Capric Acid: A Promising Next-Generation Herbicide for Organic Specialty Crop Production, Columnar and Fastigiate Trees for CO Landscapes, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) on Irrigated Pasture, Pulse Crops and their Key Role as Staple Foods in Healthful Eating Patterns, Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) and Soil Health. Moles leave long trails of slightly raised dirt across the ground’s surface. A single gopher moving down a garden row can inflict considerable damage in a very short time. Household remedies to get rid of other pests often are effective, safe for the environment, and save quite a few bucks. The gopher's diet consists of plant material, mostly vegetation, roots and tubers. Lateral burrows end with a soil mound or soil plug at the surface. In orchards and shelterbelts, forb control will likely limit gopher damage. They do not use cheek pouches to carry soil. Once you’ve found the tunnel, it’s time to place the trap. 3.3 out of 5 stars 59 ratings. Pocket Gopher Control Pocket Gopher (Thomomys spp.) A reservoir-type bait probe dispenser also is available for poisoning gophers (Figure 9). MANAGEMENT. Mechanical Control. Be very careful when you put your hands in the tunnel or hole. Gophers are not protected by state or federal laws but they do play an important role in ecosystem function. It takes care of the few we get coming in from adjacent properties each year. We live-trapped and released them away from the property; 30 or more. To achieve good results with a burrow builder: Recommended application rates of 1 to 2 pounds per acre of 0.35 to 0.5 percent strychnine provide 85 to 95 percent control. I was much more successful with traps as pocket gopher control. A minimum of two traps are needed. ( I just have to remember to turn it off before i go into the garden), Sounds like your electric fence solution has worked wonders for you… it’s not practical for me with the way my flower gardens are set up but it is a great idea for produce/veggie beds… are you saying you used your mixture sprayed on the soil at the openings where the critters have left a pile of dirt/obvious opening -you’re not putting castor oil near plant /roots are you ? These are the "true" … These are the least likely to cause any harm to the furry pests, but also – in my experience – the least effective. usually recommended for gopher control. They are commonly known for their extensive tunneling activities and their ability to destroy farms and gardens. Are gophers a problem in your region? They’re another story! Controlling Pocket Gophers Control operations should be conducted during the spring and fall when pocket gophers are most active near the surface. The tricky part is how. Trapping can be done year round. Place the fence in shallow soil at least 2 feet from the nearest plants to avoid root injury. To place bait in the burrow system by hand, locate the main tunnel by digging with a shovel 12 to 18 inches from the plug side of the mound. Six to eight plains pocket gophers per acre are considered high densities whereas northern pocket gophers occasionally reach densities of 20 per acre. Controlling Gophers with Kaput-D Pocket Gopher Bait - (click here to order bait) Now Clearance Priced Correct Bait Placement & Application Directions. We moved on to bare land that had just been unused fields for years. 11/95. Many trees and shrubs are clipped just above ground, especially under snow cover. Young make twittering sounds. Other Control Methods. It is easier, more affordable and less time consuming to control one or two gophers than to wait until the population gets out of control. Bury any dead gophers found above ground to reduce hazards to predators and scavengers. Revised 2/16. Pocket gophers usually breed in the spring and produce one litter of one to 10 young (typically three to four) after a gestation period of about 20 days. Burrows increase soil aeration, water infiltration, reduce compaction, mixing organic material into subsurface soil layers and increase the rate of soil formation by bringing up subsoil, subjecting it to weatherization. The four pocket gopher species found in Colorado are distributed almost entirely in different areas (Figure 1), possibly because of different ecological requirements or competition. Pocket gophers dig these tunnels using their sharp teeth and long claws. Cover all of the holes up with soil except for one. Plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius) are abundant in sandy and silty soils of the plains but are not abundant in compacted soils. However, operations on steep slopes can result in poorly constructed tunnels or damage to the torpedo. Remove the several-inch plug of soil with a garden trowel or a spade. Bottom line: Barn owls for gopher control is often an unreliable solution. We have 3 regions; Peaks and Plains, Front Range and Western. The species has poor vision, but excels as digging burrows with their long claws and strong limbs. This method is of limited practicality because of expense and labor. If gophers are present on 10 percent of a field, they may reduce overall forage productivity of the field by 2 to 5 percent. Studies conducted show that this kind of population can consume approximately 1.8 kg (4 lbs) of vegetation per day. Webmaster | I know I too feel that way come mosquito season, but we are selfish in thinking we want to live amongst nature, but only if it fits within our idea of what that means. Cylindrical plastic Vexar mesh tubes placed over the entire seedling, including bare root, can reduce damage to newly planted seedlings. My neighbours lawn was covered in tunnels too after the snow melted and I wonder what has changed in the last two yrs. A button is pushed on the bait probe when it is pushed in the burrow and a metered dose of bait drops into the burrow. Pocket gophers reportedly can be controlled by injecting exhaust from an old vehicle without antipollution devices into the burrow for about 3 minutes. Burrow systems consist of a main tunnel, generally 4 to 18 inches below the soil surface, and a variable number of lateral burrows extending from the main. The lateral tunnel usually can be located by a circular plug (sometimes a depression) in the fan-shaped mound (Figures 3 and 8). In some studies, zinc phosphide has been less effective than strychnine. strychnine (0.25 to 0.5 percent active ingredient). One qt (with a sprayer attachment )covers 5,000 square feet One gopher brings about 2 1/4 tons of soil to the surface each year. 3. It’s known as a pocket gopher because of the fur-lined cheek pouches the gopher uses to carry food. Be prepared to take immediate action if you see gopher activity, as damage can occur in a short period of time. Related: Pest Problems: Common Problems and How to Solve Them. Moles can make a lawn unsightly and do occasional damage to plants as they tunnel by, but they’re generally not as damaging as gophers. Grass seed, when the weather gets a bit cooler, utilize management... Not have given these underground pests much thought – yet cheek pouches the gopher vanished–never to be and! Than strychnine actively building tunnels will smell like suffer and they will run away a. 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