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Getting Rid of Gophers

May 23, 2013 - GrowOrganic
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Did you ever want to poison a gopher? If you have gophers in your garden you know how hard it can be to control them organically. One of the worst moments for a vegetable gardener is watching a tall tomato plant disappear underground. That’s a gopher at work, pulling your carefully nurtured plant down to his lair. In our latest video, about Getting Rid of Gophers, Tricia shows the organic controls for gophers including creating barriers in your garden and setting traps. Sometimes the organic…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener. I grow organically for a healthy and safe food supply for a clean and sustainable environment for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Gophers can be a serious and frustrating pest and the first step is monitoring. To make sure that you actually do have gophers and not moles voles or ground squirrels. If you have gopher you'll see a distinctive crescent or horseshoe shaped mound with a plugged tunnel In rockier clay soil you may not see a distinctive mound but you will see the hole that's been filled back in. Once youve verified that you do have gophers you can control with an integrated pest management system IPM starts with prevention keep the borders of your garden weed free gophers are a lot less likely to travel in to your garden if there's no food on the way. The next step is avoidance if you already have gophers in your yard the way you can get them to not eat your plants it's too lay down gopher wire at the bottom of your beds or plant your plants within gopher baskets. For trees make sure that you only use the fifteen gallon tree basket. Unlike the gopher wire or the other baskets this basket is designed to break down and degrade after just a couple years so that it doesn't girdle the tree roots along with avoidance you want to suppress the population of gophers and the easiest and most reliable way to do that is with trapping. Trapping is most effective when you can find the main burrow so get a stick or use a tool like this. Starting at the freshest mound you wanna probe eight to twelve inches from the side of the mound where the plug is the burrow will be located six to twelve inches deep you'll notice a sudden drop about two inches when you hit the burrow. So first you wanna open up the plug and I like doing that with this Hori Hori weeder and this is where you are going to put the trap. This cinch trap is great for the opening insert the trap six to eight inches into the tunnel you can either plug the tunnel again or leave it open. Where you're located the main borrow open a hole with the Hori Hori. Where going to set two traps down in that burrow I like these Victor easy set traps First I'm going to tie a string around the traps so that i can pull it out and check it. The additional traps should be set facing opposite directions in the main burrow. Check your traps in the morning and evening if the traps have not been visited within forty-eight hours move the traps. Make sure and attach these type of traps to a stake that way you can locate them and remove them easily in addition to trapping you can't put up barn owl nesting boxes Barn Owls can help reduce the population over time but they're not a quick fix and will not a eradicate gophers from any one area. If you have a large area and are willing to take the time training a terrier to hunt gophers is an effective control If your gopher problem persists. IPM does take it to the next level but these control measures are usually not organic so you have to make the decision how far you want to go to control the gophers This gopher tool can be used to apply natural poisons deep inside the burrows never apply natural or any other poisons to the surface of the soil even the teeny tiniest little grain can kill a song bird Be aware that there's a good chance of secondary poisoning of an animal that would eat a poisoned gopher such as pets or birds of prey You can also fumigate with these gopher gases but university research shows that they're not quite as effective because the gophers will close up their tunnel to avoid the gas but there's no secondary poisoning worries there Well i've told you what you can do to control your gophers and now I want to tell you what doesn't work according to UC davis ineffective controls include chewing gum laxatives repellents of all kinds plants like "gopher purge" and scare devices Once you've solved your gopher problems cleanup all the mounds and come back and monitor to make sure that they haven't returned. So get your gophers and grow organic for life!

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Solutions: Gophers

Categories: Animal & Bird Control, Gopher Traps, Organic Pest Control

William T. Weseloski Says:
May 24th, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Hi Trish:
When you say Gopher, you are talking about Ground Hogs, Right?
I use a have-A-Heart trap baited with of all things, Catnip! They love it, I caught about a dozen last year, I put the critters in the Witness protection program and relocate the miles from my property on open land.

Dean DaCosta Says:
May 25th, 2013 at 8:25 am

Gophers do not like garlic or onions. You can plant these around the perimeter of your garden to discourage them from entering. Ornamental garlic also works

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