Gophers Gone Wild

Gophers are the bane of my garden’s existence. For many months, there has been very little activity, no new holes. But it seems in the past few weeks, they’re back with a vengeance, evidenced by new gopher holes and mounds of soil where plants once stood. Their favorite meal in my garden has been the roots of some of my now-defunct roses. They eat the roots and the plant topples over and dies. It’s a costly frustration for a homeowner like myself who wants to maintain a rather modest but pleasant garden, but impossibly costly, I’m sure, for large-scale gardeners and farmers.

As mentioned in a previous post, here are the remedies I’ve tried thus far that ultimately failed to work: (1) paid pest control person dropping gopher bate monthly into gopher holes, (2) inserting plastic devices into the soil that send out presumably unpleasant sounds, (3) putting heavy objects over existing gopher holes to frustrate them to leave my garden. Click on the image above and you will see as I have that gophers are very persistent.

In fact, as shown in the hole on the left, the pieces of heavy brick that were used to cover up that hole – well, the gopher just made a larger hole in response to that. This last attempt was a relatively effective method for me (the behavioral modification strategy) and worked for months, but now, alas, it seems that method is trumped by highly motivated gophers.

The next method I’m planning to try, which I’ve seen in a home-improvement store, are essentially over-sized mouse traps. The traps are reusable, but the thought of having to remove dead gophers is not so pleasant, but it may be what I have to do. I’ll likely use cabbage as bait, since, a few seasons ago, at least one of them crawled up into my plastic container and ate large chunks of the cabbage growing in it.

I’ve not purchased any new plants in the meantime. It’s rather difficult to plan a garden when all of the planning and effort will end up destroyed overnight, so I’m waiting for now.

In the meantime, if you have a successful method of ridding yourself of gophers, please feel free to drop me a note about what has worked for you. I’m sure other visitors to this blog would greatly appreciate it. Many thanks in advance!

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