One day, you have spent a great deal of time and effort to make your natural grass lawn look like a golf course.
Then one morning, you find out that your front yard masterpiece now has many tunnels which are obviously the handiwork of ground-dwelling gophers.
Gophers present a real problem to many homeowners because they can really lay waste to a grass lawn, vegetable garden, flowerbed or fruit trees.
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Aside from creating tripping hazards with their mounds and holes, they can easily kill a plant or tree since they eat the roots.
Since gophers rarely venture too far from their tunnels and they spend most of their time underground, getting rid of them can be rather tricky.
For today’s post, we’re going to give some tips on how to get rid of gophers.
9 Simple tips on How to Get Rid of Gophers
These are non-lethal, natural ways to repel gophers, thus, you can get rid of them humanely without using lethal methods.
1. Use a Gopher Mesh
You can use a gopher mesh and have it installed under natural grass lawns with ornamental landscaping.
For this purpose, you can use a chicken wire but opt for a galvanized gopher mesh since the latter holds up a lot better. A proper gopher mesh can be quite expensive but it can really save you from more headaches later on.
A gopher mesh is basically a barrier that stops gophers from digging holes in your flower bed or natural grass lawn. However, this method doesn’t prevent them from eating the roots which means that they can still kill your plants.
With that said, this is one of the most effective ways to prevent gophers from making holes in your yard.
2. Use a Gopher Basket
If a gopher mesh is not an option, you can look into using a gopher basket.
This particular type of gopher deterrent looks like a basket or bowl and is generally made from gopher mesh or chicken wire. Again, we recommend that you go for the galvanized mesh or you can make your own if you have leftover meshes lying around.
Gopher baskets are ideal for fruit trees, succulents, rose bushes, and even vegetable gardens. These baskets will protect the main root system around the base of the plant and can greatly increase the survival of the plant.
Like with the mesh method, the gophers can still eat the roots that grow around the basket. However, this is an excellent way to repel gophers without killing them.
3. Using Live Traps
Using live traps is a good method if you wish to relocate the bugger and off your property.
For this, you have the option of buying or renting live traps or have a professional do it for you. For many homeowners, it is far easier to hire a wildlife removal company. Trapping the animal on your own means that you will have to safely handle and transport the trap along with the gopher.
If you are really serious about not harming the gophers, make sure you are dealing with a company that actually releases them. It’s not exactly unheard of for pest companies to use live traps just to please their clients, only to kill them at a later time.
4. Install Ultrasonic Repellents
As it turns out, gophers are quite sensitive to sounds, especially loud noises. While you can add natural noisemakers in your yard, the idea might not sit well with some homeowners or their neighbors for that matter.
In this case, an ultrasonic repellent might just do the trick.
An ultrasonic repellent produces low-frequency sound waves and vibrations day and night which can be maddening to underground pests like gophers and moles. These repellents are solar powered which means that they are absolutely maintenance-free.
5. Plant Certain Plants
You are probably asking: Don’t we want to get rid of gophers because they are killing the lawn and plants? That’s true but there are also plants that gophers tend to stay away from.
If you can spare some time to plan your landscaping, you can strategically plant certain plants that gophers don’t like such as lavender, rosemary or salvia. You can plant them beside your fences or around your lawn where they can act like a natural barrier. For vegetable gardens, Marigolds are known to not just repel gophers but unwanted insects as well.
This is not just an effective non-lethal way to deal with gophers but you’re also beautifying your yard as well. It’s an aesthetic way to win the battle.
6. Use Garlic Stakes
I know what you’re thinking. No, this has not turned into a guide on how to repel vampires. Using garlic stakes is a simple and natural method on how to get rid of gophers. These are small stakes that you place around your garden.
For best results, you can install the stakes near a gopher’s hole. You should be able to purchase garlic stakes or similar options at your local home and garden store or online.
7. Use Coffee Grounds
If you are a self-confessed coffee addict, this option is definitely for you.
Gophers are known to detest strong smells and it happens that coffee is one such smell. Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, you can recycle them by scattering them over gophertunnels. After spreading the grounds around your yard, cover the holes with soil.
While this can be an effective approach, I won’t recommend using coffee grounds as a standalone option. This is only a good addition to your other non-lethal, natural solutions.
8. Castor Oil
Castor oil is perhaps one of the most effective natural gopher control methods you can use.
The most common way to use castor oil to repel gophers is to buy castor oil granules. However, there’s always the option of making a DIY castor oil deterrent at home. To make your own gopher repellent solution, mix castor oil with one-part dish soap. Then, add about 3-5 tablespoons of the mixture into water. Pour the mixture near holes and other areas where the gophers are active.
Alternatively, you may use castor beans and place them in the tunnels which can repel gophers due to their smell.
Another good alternative is to plant castor bean plants around your yard. However, it’s important to note that castor beans are poisonous. If you have children or pets, don’t use castor bean plants or beans to repel gophers.
Using castor oil granules is much more convenient. All you need to do is to spread the granules in areas where the gophers are active. With this method, you can actually direct where you need the gophers to exit. For instance, you can spread the granules in one section of your yard. After a few days, you can spread the granules in a different section of the yard. Continue the spread to push the ground-dwellers to your desired exit.
9. Take Care of Gopher Holes
If you think you have won the battle and have finally driven away the gophers, don’t forget to deal with the holes. You don’t really want the future gophers to move back in your yard, do you? Having a good ol’ handy shovel should do the trick.
Lethal or Non-Lethal Methods?
If push comes to shove, there’s always the option of terminating the gophers altogether.
There’s no shortage of ways to kill gophers which include poisons, fumigation, flooding, and even explosive devices.
However, if you’re going to use lethal methods, make sure that you do proper research. Many lethal gopher control methods can be dangerous to pets and small children, so we advise that you proceed with caution.
Protect Your Yard from Gophers
That wraps up our list of the ways on how to get rid of gophers from your lawn or yard. Again, these are non-lethal methods and are not meant to be used individually.
My advice is that you use about three to four of these methods for the best results.
Which gopher control method do you like best? Do prefer lethal or non-lethal? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments!