Written by Anza Goodbar (last updated February 17, 2012)
Gophers, also known as woodchucks, are known for digging large holes and devouring vegetation. Unlike other pests like deer or rabbits, fencing does not work to keep them out. Homeowners have to be creative to find ways to discourage this creature from using their tunnels to uproot plants and grasses. If shooting the rodents isn't legal where you live, there are other methods to use to encourage them to leave.
Placing objects that move or make noise can be a deterrent to gophers. The more intimidating they look and fierce they sound the better. Placing them near the tunnel entrances will increase success.
Cat urine is also an annoyance to gophers. Sprinkle used kitty litter down the tunnel and around the entrance to the gopher hole. They hate the smell and it may cause them to move. Use as much as you need, it will breakdown over time and is not harmful to the environment.
Cyan pepper is another natural remedy. It is not harmful to the gopher, but it will make his life inconvenient. He will work tirelessly to dig the pepper out of the tunnel. Use as much cyan pepper as you need and go as deep in the tunnel as you can to dispel the unwanted rodents.
Castor oil granules are another deterrent if the cyan pepper isn't effective. Again it is more of an annoyance to the animals than harmful. It might be just enough to make them give up and move on.
Gopher repellents are also a popular option for gopher removal. Choose one that is non-toxic. Just like the cyan pepper or castor oil, place it as far down the tunnel as possible and around each tunnel entrance for best results.
If the rodents are stubborn and more natural methods are unsuccessful; trapping maybe an option worth exploring. Place two traps in each gopher hole, facing away from each other for best results. Place them as deep in the hole as possible so the animal can't find a way around the trap.
Fumigation can also be an effective method of ridding your yard of these pests. Talk to the local wildlife management authorities to insure you follow proper procedures as outlined in local laws.
Flooding the tunnels can also eradicate these animals from your yard. Dig a hole into one of the tunnels, insert a hose and let it run for at least 15 minutes to be sure all of the underground boroughs are flooded. The animals will flee the water and search for a new home.
There are many options to rid your yard or garden from these destructive pests. It depends on how large your gopher population is on which method will work best. Be persistent, they will return if not properly deterred.
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