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Live Animal Trappings Gophers and Moles

Gophers are trouble with a capital T. An infestation of these furry little animals can cause serious damage, a lot more than just piles of dirt in the yard.

Important reasons to get rid of gophers:

  • Gopher holes are just the right size for twisting the ankles of man or beast (such as cattle and horses).
  • Their tunnels undermine trees, sometimes to the point of toppling.
  • They eat roots, stems, bark, leaves, fruit, and vegetables. There goes the garden, the landscaping, and the trees.
  • Predators will follow gophers; weasels, skunks, badgers, coyotes, poisonous snakes, bobcats and foxes all prey on them and will enter yards or golf course in search of a meal. As they hunt the gopher they will dig like a dog, further tearing up the grass, lawn and landscaping.
  • They chew into water lines and telephone cables, causing flooding and interruption of service.
  • They uproot sprinkler system heads and their tunnels warp underground water lines.
  • They damage dams and retention ponds by chewing through pond liners, causing flooding.
  • Gophers will decimate rose bushes.
  • Dirt mounds cause wear and tear to the lawnmower blades. Plus, rocks come up with the dirt and can be flung by the lawnmower.
  • They bring insect pests such as lice, fleas, ticks and mites.
  • They carry and spread diseases such as monkey pox and rabies.
  • They cause erosion.
  • Gophers are territorial critters; rarely will more than one of them occupy a quarter-acre. Even though infestations are frequently small in population, one little animal can do a great deal of damage as described above.
  • One of the most frustrating things about gophers is that they are rarely seen. Their damage is readily apparent, but as they live underground the animals themselves are quite elusive.

Sometimes people ask me for a gopher repellent, but there are no known effective repellents available, either chemical or sonic. Such products come with considerable risk and expense for limited results, at best. It is almost always necessary to kill gophers in order to control the problem.

How to recognize a gopher problem:

  • Fan-shaped piles of dirt or sand in the yard, as though someone randomly emptied a bucket of freshly dug dirt or sand
  • Holes in turf or spongy spots
  • Trees appear to be dying of thirst because they are. Gophers will eat tree roots, cutting off their access to water and nutrients.
  • Trees are undermined and fall over
  • Roots, bark, stems, leaves, fruit, or vegetables disappear from the lawn and garden
  • Your dog is may dig and tear up the yard more than normal. A dog will smell and hear the rodent and try to find it.
  • These signs may be seen at any time of year.
  • Gopher feed on a wide variety of bulbs, tubers, roots, grasses and seeds. Almost every yard provides something they like to eat, as do golf courses and fields.
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