Hi I’m Tricia, an organic gardener. I grow
organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Gophers can be a serious and frustrating
pest and the first step is monitoring. To make sure that you actually do have
gophers and not moles, voles or ground squirrels. If you have gophers you’ll see a
distinctive crescent or horseshoe shaped mound with a plugged tunnel. In rockier clay soil you may not see a
distinctive mound but you will see the hole that’s been filled back in. Once youve verified that you do have gophers you can control with an integrated pest
management system. IPM starts with prevention keep the borders of your garden weed
free, gophers are a lot less likely to travel in to your garden if there’s no food
on the way. The next step is avoidance if you already have gophers in your yard the way you can get them to not
eat your plants it’s too lay down gopher wire at the
bottom of your beds or plant your plants within gopher baskets. For trees make sure that you only use the fifteen
gallon tree basket Unlike the gopher wire or the
other baskets, this basket is designed to break down and degrade after just a couple years so that it
doesn’t girdle the tree roots. Along with avoidance you want to suppress
the population of gophers and the easiest and most reliable way to do that
is with trapping. Trapping is most effective when you can
find the main burrow so get a stick or use a tool like this. Starting at the freshest mound you wanna probe eight to twelve inches
from the side of the mound where the plug is the burrow will be located six to twelve
inches deep you’ll notice a sudden drop about two inches when
you hit the burrow. So first you wanna open up the plug and I
like doing that with this Hori Hori weeder and this is where you are going to put the trap. This cinch trap is great for the
opening insert the trap six to eight inches into the tunnel you can either plug the tunnel again or
leave it open. Where you’re located the main borrow
open a hole with the Hori Hori. Where going to set two traps down in that burrow. I like these Victor easy set traps. First I’m going to tie a string around the traps so that i can pull it out and check it. The additional traps should be set facing opposite directions in the main burrow. Check your traps in the morning and evening if the traps have not been visited within
forty-eight hours move the traps. Make sure and attach these type of traps to a stake that way you can locate them and remove them easily. In addition to trapping you can’t put up
barn owl nesting boxes. Barn Owls can help reduce the population
over time but they’re not a quick fix and will not a eradicate gophers from
any one area. If you have a large area and are willing to
take the time, training a terrier to hunt gophers is an effective control. If your gopher
problem persists IPM does take it to the next level but
these control measures are usually not organic so you have to make the decision
how far you want to go to control the gophers. This gopher tool can be used to apply natural poisons deep inside the burrows. Never apply natural or any other
poisons to the surface of the soil even the teeny tiniest little grain can
kill a song bird. Be aware that there’s a good chance of
secondary poisoning of an animal that would eat a poisoned gopher such as pets or birds of prey. You can also fumigate with these gopher gases
but university research shows that they’re not quite as effective because the gophers will close up
their tunnel to avoid the gas but there’s no secondary poisoning worries
there. Well i’ve told you what you can do to control your gophers. and now I want to tell you what doesn’t work according to UC davis ineffective controls include: chewing gum, laxatives, repellents of all kinds, plants
like “gopher purge” and scare devices. Once you’ve solved your gopher problems
cleanup all the mounds and come back and monitor to make sure that they haven’t
returned. So get your gophers and grow organic for life!