To eliminate gophers, locate the animal's active tunnels by searching for mounds of freshly turned soil. Use a gopher probe to explore the areas adjacent to the freshly turned soil. The gopher's burrow is typically located 6 to 12 inches underground and 8 to 12 inches away from the dirt mound. Place two traps back-to-back in the main burrow to increase the chance of successfully trapping the animal. Cover the traps after setting them.
If an open hole is present near mounds of freshly turned dirt, place a cinch trap in the open hole to capture the gopher. After the gopher closes the hole, return to placing traps in the main burrow. If desired, bait the trap with lettuce, peanut butter or apples. Cover the traps with landscaping cloth or another material to prevent light from entering the burrow.
To easily locate the traps, wire the traps to a stake before setting them. If the tunnel is smaller than 3 inches in diameter, use box traps instead of cinch traps. Reset the traps as needed. Discard the captured gopher, or bury it in the tunnel and remove the trap.
Owls can also help eliminate gophers. In regions where barn owls are common, attract the predators by installing an owl barn in the affected area of the property.