If you own a house and are an enthusiastic gardener, you know how annoying it can be when gophers wreak havoc in your well-maintained garden. These tiny rodents can cause significant damage to your plants, flowers, and even your lawn. The good news is that natural ways exist to eliminate gophers without using harmful chemicals that can potentially harm you or your family.
In this blog, we’ll explore several effective methods for eliminating gophers from your garden and preventing them from returning. Whether you’re dealing with a full-blown gopher infestation or just a few pesky critters, we’ve got you covered.
What are the signs that you have a gopher infestation?
Before we jump into how to get rid of these creatures, it’s crucial to know if you have a gopher problem in your backyard first. Identifying signs of gopher activity is essential in determining if you have a gopher problem.
One of the most common signs is the presence of gopher mounds, which are crescent-shaped piles of dirt found throughout your lawn or garden. Gopher mounds are typically larger than those made by moles, and they usually have a plugged hole in the center that connects to the gopher’s underground tunnel system.
In addition to gopher mounds, other signs of gopher activity include gnawed plant roots, stems, and tunnels that may be visible in your garden soil. Gophers are also known for creating holes or burrows in lawns or gardens, which can be dangerous to people and animals if left unchecked.
To identify gopher mounds, look for a crescent-shaped pile of dirt with a plugged hole in the center. The rise will usually be more extensive than those made by moles and may have visible teeth marks on any nearby vegetation. You may also see tunnels leading to and from the gopher mound.
It’s important to note that gophers are not the same as moles, although they may have similar effects on your lawn or garden. Moles are small, furry mammals that primarily feed on insects and other small invertebrates, while gophers are larger rodents that feed on plant roots and vegetation.
Moles create mounds that are typically more circular and smaller than those made by gophers, and they do not usually create visible tunnels or caves. Understanding the difference between gophers and moles can help you determine the best course for dealing with your pest problem.
What are the natural ways to get rid of gophers?
If you want to get rid of gophers naturally, there are several methods you can use that do not involve harmful chemicals.
Install physical barriers.
One of the most effective methods is to install physical barriers that prevent gophers from accessing your garden in the first place.
Fencing is one of the most common physical barriers to keeping gophers out of gardens. The fence should be made of sturdy material, such as wire mesh or hardware cloth, and buried at least a foot underground to prevent gophers from digging underneath it. The fence should also be at least 2-3 feet above ground to prevent gophers from jumping. Secure the wall to the floor to prevent gophers from burrowing underneath.
Another effective physical barrier is gopher baskets, wire mesh baskets placed around your garden’s plants or small areas. Gopher baskets should be buried at least 6-12 inches deep and extend above the soil line to prevent gophers from digging under or climbing over them. Gopher baskets protect plants with shallow roots, such as bulbs, from gopher damage.
It’s important to note that physical barriers alone may not eliminate gophers from your garden completely, especially if you already have an infestation. In combination with other natural methods, however, physical barriers can be a very effective way to prevent gophers from damaging your plants and lawn.
Use Gopher-Repellent Plants.
Another natural way to get rid of gophers is to use gopher-repellent plants. These plants have a strong scent or taste that gophers find unappealing, and they can be planted strategically in your garden to repel gophers and prevent them from damaging them.
- Castor Bean Plant – The castor bean plant is one of the most effective gopher-repellent plants. This plant contains a compound called ricin, which is toxic to gophers and other rodents.
- Gopher Spurge – This plant has a strong scent that gophers find unappealing, and it can be planted around the perimeter of your garden or in areas where gopher activity has been observed. Gopher spurge is also an attractive plant that can add beauty and interest to your garden.
When using gopher-repellent plants, it’s essential to plant them strategically and in sufficient numbers to repel gophers effectively.
Set gopher traps.
Another natural way to get rid of gophers is to use gopher traps. Gopher traps can be an effective way to catch and remove gophers from your garden without harmful chemicals.
Several traps are available, including box, snap, and tunnel traps. Box traps are designed to capture gophers alive and unharmed, and they typically use bait to lure gophers into the trap. On the other hand, Snap traps are designed to kill gophers quickly and humanely. Tunnel traps are inserted into the gopher’s tunnel system and use a trigger mechanism to trap the gopher when it passes through.
Using gopher traps can be an effective way to get rid of gophers naturally, but using them correctly and safely is essential to avoid harming yourself or the gophers. If you are unsure how to set these traps yourself, it is recommended to call a pest control service like Hybrid Pest Control to eliminate your gopher problems.
Prevent damage to your garden.
Getting rid of gophers naturally can effectively prevent damage to your garden without resorting to harmful chemicals. By identifying signs of gopher activity, installing physical barriers, using gopher-repellent plants, and setting traps, you can successfully reduce the damage caused by gophers in your garden.
However, getting rid of gophers can be difficult and time-consuming, and it may be best to call a professional pest control service for the most effective results. Professional pest control services have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to safely and effectively remove gophers from your property while preventing future infestations. So, if you’re struggling with a gopher problem, don’t hesitate to contact us at Hybrid Pest Control today!