I have a very persistent gopher in my yard. I tried crushed mothballs in the hole he made, and thought it had done the job, but he's back. Any suggestions on how to get rid of him without killing him?
Jean from Michigan
Sorry, you cannot just go up to a gopher and tell him politely to leave. You will have to kill him in order for him to not be there anymore. If you do not do it soon, he will have a family and there will be more gophers to take care of. Actually, once you have seen him, he probably already has a wife and kids. (05/07/2006)
Here is an "Ask this Old House" article on getting rid of gophers :
Roger Cook replies: "Look on the bright side at least you won't have to aerate your lawn this year. Seriously, though, gophers are wily, destructive pests that throw up big mounds of earth willy-nilly across the landscape and destroy gardens and crops. Here's a quick overview of the remedies for these rodents, but check with your local extension service on specifics that suit your area.
First of all, stuffing things down a gopher hole, including hair or those so-called sonic repellents, just doesn't work. (Neither does dynamite, as Bill Murray proved in the movie Caddyshack.) I recommend box traps, which are the simplest and easiest type of gopher trap to use. You plant them in a main tunnel, which lies about 6 to 12 inches below the surface. (Find it by probing the ground around a mound on the side where you see a plug of fresh earth.) Then, following the illustrated directions below, dig down and set two traps with their open ends facing opposite directions into the tunnel. No bait is needed, but be sure to wear gloves when setting the traps. You don't want your scent to scare them away.
If you prefer not to trap, stay away from the poisons that contain strychnine. A poisoned gopher eaten by a cat, dog, or fox will poison that animal as well. Safer poisons use a bait laced with anticoagulants; internal bleeding kills the gopher (painlessly, I'm told) without endangering other animals. Just be sure to follow instructions for its safe use and disposal.
I've read that gophers can't stand the smell of castor oil (can't say I blame them) and that spraying a diluted mix on the ground is enough to make them skedaddle. There's also some evidence that gophers don't like mulch, so you could try mulching a buffer area around plantings. Or you could encourage predators to come feast on your rich gopher supply. Installing owl boxes in a nearby woods might be a good start." (05/10/2006)
Good for you for not wanting to kill him. That's most people's answer to everything without even looking for another option. Have you done an on-line search typing in getting rid of gophers humanely? But if he's only made 1 hole that isn't to bad. I have chipmunks who have several holes in my yard. I just figure I like having them around more than I mind the holes. (05/10/2006)
Dump used cat-litter down his holes. (05/16/2006)
I have found that when you find a fresh hole clean it out enough so that you can drop a egg down it. Then cover the hole up with dirt and while you are doing that make sure you break the egg. It gets rid of the gophers for a couple of months. (01/02/2009)
By Yucaipa Valley
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