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Gopher & Bird Control in Your Organic Garden

By on May 20, 2011

This is an animal that may look cute, but can devastate your plants

The small fry of the animal world can inflict big damage on your garden. The gophers drill down, and birds can go anywhere, anytime.

Scare the Birds with Your Garden Decor

You might be able to scare some visiting humans too. Birds will be frightened by our inflatable predators—we have a snake (with a forked tongue!) an owl, one that moves its head in an eerie way and and a Peregrine falcon.

Alarming balloons with reflecting eyes, and an “octopus” with shiny legs, will spook your neighborhood birds. Move the spooks around every week so the birds don’t get used to them.

Barriers

Bird netting

This is an effective way to save fruit for yourself, instead of donating it all to your feathered friends. The black plastic netting becomes almost invisible in your garden and it’s easy to install over berry bushes and small fruit trees.

In our video Tricia demonstrates how to attach bird netting to a frame. Pop PVC frames on before the fruit colors, and remove them after harvest. Or leave PVC and metal frames up year-round in a dedicated vegetable garden, like Tricia’s.

Underground wire baskets

We have gopher wire in rolls and as prefabricated baskets. The baskets are designed for protection of a select plant or tree, and the roll can be used around rows, beds, or the entire perimeter of your field, as subterranean fencing. The rolls come in 3’ or 4’ x 100’ (note: gophers have been known to burrow up to 6’ deep in soft soil); the baskets come in several sizes from 1 Gallon to 15 Gallon.

Extermination

Traps

In the video we demonstrate how to set two kinds of gopher traps, the Cinch and the Victor. Both kinds of traps are intended to be fatal.

Bait

We two types of gopher baits. These baits should be used with an applicator, a metal probe that is inserted into the tunnel and the bait is delivered. The bait is eaten by the gopher and the result is fatal.

Gassing

Gopher Gassers are not considered organic. We offer these for home gardeners who may be extremely frustrated by their gopher situation. Gopher gassers contain potassium nitrate, carbon, sulfur (all components of gunpowder) and dextrin (a polysaccharide) which, when used sparingly, are not harmful to soils. The idea is to activate the gassing unit in a tunnel, and gas spreads through the tunnel system with fatal consequences.

KEEP THEM AWAY

If you have a gopher problem, repellents alone will not shoo the critters away. As part of a coordinated control plan, repellents can deter more gophers from coming into your area, while you get rid of the existing population. The question for the gopher becomes: Is the temptation of the food in your garden stronger than the deterrent of a bad taste/smell (castor oil)?

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