Gophers and Consumer Alert

The biggest time-consumer for me has been gopher control. I thought that once I’d finished planting, it would be a routine matter of watering, feeding, pruning, and removing or replacing spent plant material. However, I hadn’t figured that pest abatement would be part of the equation. Gophers apparently love to eat the roots of plants and the one or more gophers in my yard have enjoyed the bounty of roots of healthy, watered plants.

What has NOT worked for me are the following: (1) gopher bait (from professionals who came once a month), (2) gas pellets (from these same professionals), and the worst of them all, and quite costly, (3) gopher alarms. These alarms (the humane, environmentally friendly solution) are supposed to send signals into dry soil and scare off the gophers. The holes that remained after two months are a testament that these devices (about $25 each) only scared my pocketbook, not the gophers.

What I’m doing now is putting heavy objects, such as bricks and heavy, very large rocks on top of any new holes, in an effort to frustrate the gopher and have it go to greener pastures. Hopefully I’ll be successful with this approach. I’ll be awash with bricks in the meantime!

Interestingly, over the winter, I’d planted in 5-gallon pots cabbages. It looks like gophers don’t just eat plant roots. At least one of them climbed atop the pot and devoured a huge chunk of the cabbage plant. I’d later found on the internet that gophers enjoy cabbage and will feed above ground.

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2 Responses

  1. I feel your pain – a LOT. I’ve been planting trees around my 5-acre lot, only to watch them get eaten alive by pocket gophers. On top of this, I also have voles and ground squirrels. I use the sonic moles chasers, and have had limited success. Poisons help, but not a lot. I’ve trapped more than anything else.

    Maybe I should try cabbage. How many of these critters can be on 5 acres??

    • Dear Brad,
      So sorry to hear that your pocket gophers are attacking your trees! I’ll be writing a new post with at least one photo within the next few days showing the result of my latest gopher attack. I’ve not known anyone who has had success with the sonic devices. So far, my strategy of plugging up holes on my comparatively smaller yard has compelled them to relocate to a different part of the yard, which may not be a feasible option for 5 acres.

      From experience, it takes but one gopher to tear up a nice garden. They’re very active and sometimes are not alone so a bunch of them can really tear up your lot. If you try cabbage as a bait, please let me know if you have success with that. I will keep trying my behavioral approach, but will try other strategies as needed. And I agree, I’ve hired various companies over the years who have administered gas and poison pellets, but with no effect.

      To protect your trees’ roots, might there be a way for you to wrap your trees’ roots with some type of combination of burlap for the inner wrapping, and outside of the burlap perhaps wrap some chicken wire to at least give the roots sufficient time and a fighting chance to become strong enough to withstand a gopher attack? I’m assuming that you’re planting young saplings. I don’t know if that would work, just thinking out loud.

      Thank you for visiting my blog!

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