No outdoor critter wreaks as much backyard havoc as the gopher. These underground creatures rose to their zenith of fame in the hit movie, Caddy Shack, earning them a reputation for stealth and elusiveness that could put a covert CIA agent to shame.
Gophers are small, destructive rodents that live in burrows below the surface of the earth. Their days are spent creating extensive networks of subterranean tunnels, referred to as gopher towns, in a never-ending search of food. The end result of this constant digging? Destroyed landscapes and stunned homeowners staring at their once immaculate lawns in disbelief.
When it comes to getting rid of gophers, the best methods of gopher control include the use of traps, baits and repellents. There are also a few preventative measures homeowners can take, but be forewarned – gophers can be sneaky and hard to get rid of.
If you are an adventurous gopher warrior, trapping is an extremely effective method of gopher control. Trapping can be done throughout the year but generally is most effective during the spring and fall. As soon as gopher activity is detected, it is important to set traps immediately to catch females before they give birth.
Sweeney’s® and Victor® Gopher Traps safely protect lawns and gardens from gopher damage without the use of chemicals or poisons. The fully assembled traps are easy-to-set and are built-to-last for repeated use.
Traps are the most effective at killing gophers when placed in main tunnels which are typically used by gophers several times a day. To identify an active tunnel, use a shovel to dig it open. If the tunnel is repaired within a day or two, you’ll know the tunnel is an active tunnel.
Check the traps once or twice a day. When used correctly, traps can produce a catch within 48 hours. Move the traps to another location in the runway if a gopher is not caught within this time frame.
Poison gopher baits provide homeowners with an effective and easy way to get rid of gophers. Sweeney’s® Poison Peanut pellets, in particular, are formulated to be enticing to gophers. When consumed, the poison pellets work quickly to kill the gopher.
Placing the gopher bait in the right location is the key to success. To locate an active tunnel, make one-inch holes in the roof of a tunnel and mark the openings with a stake. Re-visit the holes in 24 hours. Tunnels that have been repaired are an indicator of gopher activity. After identifying an active tunnel, brush away soil and place the bait inside the tunnel. Re-cover the hole with dirt and wait for the gopher to take the bait.
Be aware that poison baits should never be used around pets. Pet owners should opt for a different method of gopher control, such as gopher traps or gopher repellents.
If you’re wondering how to keep gophers away without killing them, you can easily and safely do so with granular, spray and sonic gopher control repellents.
Sweeney’s® Dual Action Tunnel Penetrating Formula Granular Repellent and Sweeney’s® Yard Spray Repellent are both highly effective gopher repellers. Both products work to get rid of gophers by taste and smell. They are safe to use on lawns and gardens as well as around children and pets.
If you want to safely drive gophers away in a hurry, Sweeney’s® Sonic Spikes are the answer. When inserted in soil, penetrating sonic pulses are emitted from the spikes every 30 seconds. The high pitched sound drives gophers crazy and encourages them to leave the property within 7 to 14 days. Better yet, when left in the ground, the sonic pulses discourage return visits.