The pest control industry is an important industry, especially in America. It is so important that residential communities account for 68 percent of the share of pest control services, which includes getting rid of bed bugs, rodents, squirrels, cockroaches, and other similar species. Those who live in warmer regions are more likely to experience infestation, which also includes gophers.
What exactly are gophers? What can you do in case it decided to visit your home and stay there for good?
Here are facts and things you need to know about this type of creature and how to get rid of gophers:
- Also known as pocket gopher, this creature is well equipped in digging using their powerfully built forequarters and large-clawed front paws.
- Their average lifespan is one to three years, although they could survive up to five years in the wild.
Pocket gophers can prevent dirt from going inside their mouth while digging by closing it with their large four incisor teeth.
- Mounds of fresh soil, which are often horseshoe or crescent-shaped, are obvious signs that there are gophers in the area. Believe it or not, one gopher is capable of making several mounds in one day.
Gophers live in burrow system, which could cover 200 to 2,000 square feet by area. The burrows are about 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches in diameter and six to 12 inches below ground. The nest and food storage chambers are often found six feet below the ground for added protection.
- Hibernation is not in gophers’ vocabulary. They are active all year-round, day and night, despite the absence of fresh mounds of soil in the area since they spend most of their life underground.
- Generally, gophers usually live alone within their burrow system. The exceptions are during the breeding season and when female gophers are taking care of their young.
- Gophers are considered herbivorous. Nonetheless, they prefer eating herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs, which they are able to locate using their sense of smell. Most of the time, gophers will eat roots and flesh portions of plants, which they encounter during digging.
- During feeding, gophers make an opening from the burrows, also called as “feed holes.” It is characterized by the absence of a dirt mound and a circular band of the clipped plant around the hole. The hole only reveals a small portion of their body from the tunnel opening.
- Since they like plants, gophers could come and invade gardens and yards, thereby eating crops, vines, ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees.
Now that you know what are they, the next question now is this: how can you get rid of them without actually harming or killing them? Because of their nature, pocket gophers are considered destructive diggers and could compromise your property.
Here are several ways to get rid of gophers:
Mess With The Gophers’ Sense Of Smell.
Gophers have sensitive noses, which you can use to your advantage. If they smell something they don’t like, they could leave.
Some of the scents they are not fond of, which you can place near their holes, are:
- Fish scraps
- Coffee grounds
- Tabasco sauce
- Castor oil
- Dryer sheets
Plant Gopher Repellents In Your Backyard.
Aside from the gopher repellents mentioned above, there is a plant that this type of animal doesn’t like: gopher surge or Euphorbia Lathyris.
Gopher surge is an effective repellent, as long as you plant it near the mounds gophers created and other infested areas. Aside from this, daffodils, castor beans, marigold, and oleander are also effective repellent that will help drive gophers away from your yard.
Make Your Home Noisy.
Just like any other pests, gophers are not fond of a noisy environment. In case you noticed that gophers are taking over your yard, you can install wind chimes, so it won’t be irritating on your ears, or purchase a portable radio and place it in the gopher tunnel. Make sure to seal the radio using a resealable bag to avoid getting wet.
Decrease The Gopher’s Food Supply.
One of the reasons why gophers are hanging around your backyard is because of the plants. They need to survive and they see your yard as their source of food. You need to cut their supply off if you want to get rid of gophers for good.
Here’s what you can do:
Use gopher baskets, which are baskets made of chicken wire, to keep the plants protected.
Limit plants in your garden. If you really like having plants, then consider water or rock garden to minimize temptation.
Build a fence on your yard using wire mesh. Make sure it goes at least 12 inches below the ground to make it difficult for gophers to burrow further.
Trap The Gopher.
This is another humane way to address gopher problems, although it may take time. Nonetheless, you can purchase gopher traps and place it in or near their main tunnels. Make sure the trap is set up in fresh mounds so that the gophers could easily fall into the bait.
Are you ready to say goodbye to gophers in your yard?
This article was contributed by one of our readers.