How Do You Control Pocket Gophers?


Quick Answer

To control pocket gophers, locate any actively used gopher tunnels on the property, and place traps inside the tunnels. Controlling gopher populations may require several months, and traps should be checked daily. Use barriers to prevent the gophers from entering specific areas of the property. Use a shovel and a gopher probe to complete the task.

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How Do You Control Pocket Gophers?
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Full Answer

  1. Locate the burrows

    Purchase a commercially available gopher probe, or use dowel rods in soft soil or metal rods in hard, rocky soil. Insert the probe into the ground on either side of the small mounds of freshly turned earth until the probe drops 2 to 3 inches. The tunnel is typically 8 to 12 inches away from the mound and is about 6 to 12 inches under the ground surface.

  2. Place traps in the tunnels

    Use a shovel to dig into the tunnel, and then place two traps inside. The traps should be turned in opposite directions and can be baited with lettuce or another vegetable. Typically, it is not necessary to cover the traps. Check and reset the traps daily.

  3. Install a barrier

    To protect gardens, install gopher-proof fencing. Bury the fencing at least 24 inches and keep it at least 6 inches above ground level. Trenches filled with rocks or gravel can also prevent pocket gophers from eating flowers and crops.

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