D G Members have been very helpful to me as i have asked questions about different plants and flowers, so i will repay that help by describing the one sure and definitive way of ridding your property of gophers. When i moved to our half acre property in Vista last Spring, which is located smack in the middle of Gopher Heaven, having lush, undeveoped land on three sides, there were probably fifty fresh gopher mounds on the property, which had been neglected for many years.
Having had experience in gopher control before, I immediately located a "Gopher Getter", one of several simlar devices that consist of a hollow tube, a small container for poisoned grain or pellets, and either a trigger or a crank that will release a small portion of the bait. You stick the hollow tube down in the tunnel, pull the trigger, smear the mound with your foot so you can tell if there is further disturbance to the mound, and move on.
We have Cavalier Spaniels running in the yard and if i thought there was any chance of danger to them, i would allow the gophers to remain. But having killed probably hundreds of gophers here and in Idaho without seeing any come to the surface to die, i do not believe there is any more risk to the dogs than the Castor beans that are growing across the fence, or the Oleander tree down the street, or even the potato vines in the garden, all of which are also poisonous. And, even if the dogs did eat a poisoned gopher, the amount of poison it would take to kill a gopher should not be lethal for a dog that weighs many times as much as the gopher.
To go back to the circumstances here, After the treatments of the many hills and tunnels last Spring, there was an occasional new hill as gophers would move in to re-occupy the existing tunnels, which i would treat, but no new mounds had been seen for the last few months.
Below is a picture of three Artichoke plants next to undeveloped ground. The lower leaves had been allowed to completey cover the ground, and unbeknownst to me, a gopher came under the fence and chewed off two major stalks from the middle plant. The difference in size compared to the other two, illustrates the damage a single gopher can do. I treated the tunnel, and have not seen any further activity.
The picture mentioned above is not coming up for this post, so i will send this now and send the pictue in a separate post. E
This is a second attempt to attach the photo of Aritchokes that illustrate just how much damage one gopher can do to our work in the garden, described in my prior post sent earlier.
One more remark on using the Gopher device. You will clearly feel the tunnel as you push the probe into the ground as the resistance will disappear as the probe hits the tunnel. Do not pull the trigger until you feel that lack of resistance. It will tell you on the instructions how to locate the tunnel from the shape of the mound.
I was also told to place a rock over the hole before you kick the dirt over it so as not to cover up the bait with dirt.
Ernie, are you talking about the gopher device that has a handle to dispense the bait or is yours homemade? I bought mine from a landscape supply but didn't have much luck with it.
The one i have down here is different from the one i had in Idaho, but similar principle, and i think i have seen other designs. I bought the first one from a Nursery Supply place, and the one i have now from Home Depot. All have a hollow tube with a movable cap down at the bottom of the tube to just dispense a measured amount of the bait. The one i have now has a little crank on top of the bait box. Flimsy but it works.
If you have been feeling the tunnels lack of resistance, you have been placing the bait properly. If you have not felt the tunnel, then it will not work. Sometimes i do not cover the hole made by the tube, just trying to figure out what works the best. It is not uncommon to have other gophers come back to the same spot but the return trips rapidly diminish.
I also think the dead gopher bodies in the tunnels must keep some of the others from moving in, because i have seen them working on the other side of the fence this summer but only the Artichoke bandit came over, or under i guess is the proper word.
Be sure and kick all the fresh piles as you treat them so you will notice any new activity and please keep me advised if you do not start getting results. I do not want to mislead people if this only works for me.
I have a new dog that digs huge tunnels, he is part Bull TERRIER, so now I can't poison. I am so upset, because that did help keep the numbers down. That along with my every 3 to 4 months. application of pured jalapenos has made me only see the near demise of one Josephs Coat cl. rose and for the second time the same rose was cleaned down to one large nub of a root. (must be delicious) anyhow, it has been in a pot for a few months and is not dead so must be developing roots once again. This rose will remail in a pot from now on since it seems to be so tasty to gophers.
I do feel like it is an exercise in futility to some degree now with the new dog in our yard. We have found gopher snakes in our yard which is not very comforting since they go under the house. If they just stayed there eating gophers it would be great. Not appearing in the lawn.
I had a gopher snake tangled in some bird netting this spring - scared me to death when I found him by moving the ball of netting with hands. At first glance I did not know it was not a rattler! At first I thought he was dead, but then, my neighbor and daughter carefully cut the netting to release him - lastly cutting the net out of his mouth. We gave him some water to drink, then released him into an existing gopher hole. I can only hope the little guy was able to get to work earning his keep!
Our gophers are very cheeky and will stand with their heads out of the holes watching the dogs or me, even right next to my shoe! One Miniature Pinscher was able to catch one and chewed on him, but more typically the dogs just end up making the gopher holes larger. They are not so active right now, but that Gopher device sounds great - especially since the dead bodies do not have to be handled. My neighbor and his nephews had several of those traps they put into holes this year and were able to get about a dozen gophers, but then someone has to pull that dead body out in order to reset the trap... Yuck.
I have one of those Ernie and it works pretty good as long as you keep it away from young boys who think it make a great weapon!! I was able to have almost no activity for a while but they are back in full force this year. i need to try and find mine and get some more bait
Thanks for the confirmation that it works for you, too. New ones do come back, as it is easier for them to move to an old tunnel than to dig a new one, so i expect to have to kill some more, too. But i mowed an easement that runs across the back of my lot, and found a new hill just outside my fence, so i got the jump on him, and will keep fighting them.
I have used three kinds. Up in Idaho, it appeared to be made from Oats, but of course it was dyed bright colors. The first pack i bought here in Vista, at Hydroscape, was a small round grain, either barley or Milo Maize, and the pack i am using now is a pellet form, so i do not know what the carrier grain is. I liked the small round grain the best, but the gophers seem to like them all about the same. I think the round grain runs through the machine faster, so may be more expensive, but i want to be sure it does not plug up. Home Depot is where i think i got the pellets.
The old Doctor that holds forth on FOX Sunday mornings says there is a little bit of deadly poison in every medicine people take. So perhaps you could talk to a vet and see if the small amounts of poison it takes to kill a little animal like a gopher would be deadly to a dog. Sometimes people have more fear of things than is necessary. I remember one time on the Nursery a worker accidentally sprayed me in the face with high pressure Roundup, when it was new. I did not even have time to close my eyes and mouth, and i thought i was in serious trouble, so i hurried to the house. I did not have one single reaction or problem, no stinging, not even a bad taste was left in my mouth. So i am no longer afraid of Roundup, but have not tried gopher poison yet.
We have gophers back for the first time in years. I have found a silver lining to this. The man living next door swears by the waterhose. It's fun to watch him run the hose into a hole and then watch all over for a gopher. I've never seen one come out but I wish one would. He says he'll catch it when it does. I'ld really like to see that.
Back in 1950, i lived in Norwalk, CA, and had gophers. I stuck a hose down the hole and was holding it right at the hole, and the gopher came up along side the hose and bit my finger. Scared the stuffing out of me, as I was not expecting it. That may work on short tunnels, but some tunnels are so deep and big they will never fill up. I have not seen any actual gophers lately, but have dropped poison near two new piles of dirt, and have not seen any more fresh piles either place. Cottontails are coming THROUGH the wide meshed chainlink fence so i have been double fencing with 24" Poultry netting.
Ernie, that is funny! Probably not for you at the time though!
Water doesn't work here either. I dread going to the garden to see the mess that the gophers have made there and hope they aren't filling up on my irises.
Another method of gopher control that is sometimes successful is to tape a vacuum cleaner hose on to an automobiles exhaust pipe, and send the exhaust down in the tunnel.
But one of the most difficult factors we face is that we do not know how extensive the tunnels are. I have been amazed at how far from the visible gopher holes we have found tunnels, as we dug and graded around here. So, if the tunnels are far enough away, that gives the gophers time to just push up a plug, and stay on the dry side or the non smoky side of the their tunnels. That is probably why sometimes smoke or water works and other times it does not.
They worked really well for my brother. But like the opening to this thread. He had several rocks available to put over other openings where smoke came out. In fact he had a friend helping him because there were so many openings. My mini pin was good at getting them but when we got the boxer pup and he started playing with them, she started to play with them. The last couple of years we had quite a few outside cats around the neighborhood and the gopher problem went away. This last summer it seems like the number of cats went down and now the little monsters are back. I'm thinking about getting some outside cats. Of everything that I tried, the cats were the best and the least amount of work. If I wait for the dogs to catch them, I'll be living outside and the gophers will be inside.
I never tried either smoke or gas, as i have been satisfied with the poison. Since i have never seen a dead gopher from all i have poisoned, i feel safe using it, even with the Spaniels we have in the yard. But i know a lot of people worry about their pets, and i would never suggest anyone that worries about that use poison.
I hope everyone finds a solution, because it is terrible to see the damage. When they nearly killed the big beautiful Aritchoke plant here, it almost made me sick at my stomach. I saw some fresh workings in the easement behind my place last Friday, so i poisoned those mounds, and there has not been any more dirt shoved up, either over there or on my side of the fence, so i am in good shape now until some more move in.
Did your dog try to eat the gopher, or chew it enough to draw blood? I saw my farm dogs with either gophers they had caught or that had naturally died above ground, a couple of times, but the taste or the smell kept them from breaking the skin, and they soon dropped them and I did not see them do it again. Cats may be more likely to eat them as I have had a couple of outdoor cats in past years that would do that. Good luck with your efforts. One more observation. There is a healthy gray feral cat that i see frequently, that has been living off the wild animal life around here, and i toss it the squirrels and rabbits i trap or shoot, so he does the local cleanup jobs. I do not see him inside my fence, but he would have been at risk, if any, from the poisoned gophers, but i saw him just the other day, looking good. I admire him. I saw him dragging a rabbit i had shot that was nearly as big as he was. It may be a female, for all i know.
I think the poison would only be a real problem if the dogs dig. My dog digs so I would be afraid to use it but if he didn't I would have no trouble using it. I wonder Ernie, could you get that cat to teach my cats. A mouse got into the house about a month ago and kept running across the kitchen sink when I was doing dishes. I have four inside cats. I put out those snap type traps. Nothing! Four cats, four traps, no mouse. The cats would sit in front of the refrigerater and stare at it. Finally caught it with a sticky trap. Kept telling the cats they better start earning their keep, they just roll there eyes at me.
QG, If you do use the poison probe, keep in mind that the pile of dirt is not at the end of a long tunnel, it is usually a short side tunnel, so i probe around 8 or 10 times trying to find the main tunnel to drop bait into. I have been having such good luck, i sometimes wish a few more would show up, so i could kill them, too. Need a little bit more revenge for what they did to my Artichoke plant.
MM, You may be able to discourage your dogs from digging if you keep their toenails clipped as short as possible, because that may cause them some discomfort when they try to dig.
I am not a house cat person, but people would dump cats along the road when i was on the farm, and if they survived until winter, i would help them survive by keeping feed and warm water in the barn for them. I never saw rats or mice around the barn, so i am sure they learned how to catch them. One would bring parts of her kill to the door step sometimes. The other cat was a big Siamese Tom, in Norwalk, 60 years ago, and he always had food at home but his hunting instinct was so strong and so many gophers around as Norwalk was in the country then, that he stopped eating cat food and lived mainly on gophers. He got thin, and the Vet said his choosing to eat only gophers was killing him. But he left a lot of blue eyed kittens in the area before he died, so he probably died happy. If you could put your cat and a mouse in a cage or room and leave them there until the cat got hungry, that might ignite his hunting instinct, but if he does not have that naturally, i do not think you could train him.
If my cats had to catch their dinner they would starve. I put them in the garage once to catch mice and I found them huddled on the washer. They must all come from a very long line of spoiled house cats because they have no hunting instinct. I move their food dish and they get confussed.
That is all possible, but i think it is more likely that they are so smart they are just deliberately taking advantage of and exploiting your kindness. There is nothing that i know of that will change anything's behavior like really getting hungry. lol.
Ernie - how do you probe for tunnels? Isn't it hard to get through the ground? Even though we are kn what used to be river bottom and is fairly sandy it is not always easy fir me to dig through. Revenge us good.
Pretty funny about the cats huddling on the washer and not finding their bowls. Our older cat is nearly 17 and has no front claws so he is kept indoors. Sometimes he wants out so I let him think he is escaping onto the front porch on rainy days. He does get off but not for long. When he gets out o. Nicer days he explores then scratches at the door like the dogs do - not very noisy with no claws.
I'm in the city so we don't get the coyotes this far down. I'm sure they do up in the foothills. We have possums and some of them get huge and are not afraid of humans. I think the cats are smart enough to leave them alone but I'm not sure the dog would be that smart. He thinks everything is a toy. Caught him playing with a possum pup one night and had a heck of a time getting it away from him. He didn't hurt it thank goodness and I put it over the fence so it could get away.
QG, We have a terrible hard crust on our soil, and when we started breaking up the ground for planting, we had to use a mattock and pick, as the rototiller would not scratch it. It is DG with clay and gravel in it. But it gets softer when it is wet. The tunnel that goes to the dirt pile may come at a slant but it will not be completely verticle, and you can usually push the probe through it, to find that first short tunnel. Then this winter and Spring, you may be able to push the probe through the crust away from the dirt pile. But I know the crust will get so hard here i will not be able to probe again next summer, so i have already planned to make a thinner probe to locate the tunnels away from the dirt piles, and help get the poison probe through. Just take a threaded piece of 3/8th rod, available in hardware stores, and put a handle on one end and sharpen the other end to a point, and that will be a lot easier than the thicker pipe probe on the gopher tool. I think this will work for me, but have not done that yet. Where i irrigate, which is also the places the gophers like the best, i can push the gopher probe through.
We had a coyote here last Spring, and it did eat a lot of rabbits, but they also eat cats and small dogs, etc. They are real travelers. They follow the Rio Hondo and Los Angeles rivers all the way to the ocean. Los Alamitos, just north of Seal Beach, has a problem with them killing cats there.
We are having a cold spell down here, and i have lost some begonias to frost. A friend just told me it is expected to be 20 degrees below normal. which will be below 30 again tonight. It frosted Sunday night but not last night, but supposed to again tonight.
We've had some frost but not too bad here. Being a neebee I haven't got anything this year to lose so I'm thankful for that. My problem has been wind. It tore up the bachlor buttons and wandering jew. The petunias seem to be immune to everything right now. They just keep blooming. As for wild life, I hope the coyotes don't get this low. Lots of big dogs around here so maybe that will be a deterant.
We have a flood control channel behind ou house that goes equal to another block into foothills a d we see coyotes almost daily traveling back home to the hills. There is even a path they take in the hills that is visible. Sometimes when we leave home we are tempted to leave our gate open as we will be back soon, but I am afraid that even with cats and dogs inside a coyote or bobcat would come on and we could a cidently close him IN when we got home. We were gone fo about 10 hours today and our declawed cat somehow was outside all day and evening. Pain in the butt that he is, I was sure glad to see him show up!!!!
Our ground should not be as bad as yours, Ernie, to probe. One end of our property gets visits from neighbor cats regularly and I don't see holes there!
QG, My primary career was building highways, and i have only seen dirt that compacts as easily as this soil does a few times in all those years. The prior tenant either collected or sold cars, and the entire yard had been driven on. But we have a wonderful source of Compost from a Green Recycler, so we have hauled in many loads of compost, as well as some sand from the flood control channel nearby, and the soil is getting better. But there are unimproved areas with old gopher tunnels deep beneath, that will still be hard for me to probe. The poison works if placed in the tunnels beneath the dirt piles, but seems to work even more completely when i am able to locate the main tunnels away from the piles. I see a big colony working in a neighbors yard a couple of hundred feet away, so they are very active now, but i do not have any at the moment. A Cottontail got in around the end of my rabbit fence this morning, so i will get more fencing and double up the rest of it.
I am still hoping to find out the names of some good thin skinned, high flavored tomatoes. Since i am going to eat them and not ship them to distant markets, i do not need the tough skins. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Those winds were horrible Monkey. No damage just a lot of overturned pots. Thank goodness it did strip the birch trees of their leaves. The cleanup continues.
I had a gopher service come take care of the gophers in the iris garden. I just don't have the time to get there right now. I got a real good deal, my niece is very good friends with the manager!
I glad the winds are gone. The north end took alot more stress from them than my area. They did strip my tree too. Finally got all the leaves cleared or moved to an area I wanted them to sit out the winter. Just checked on everything and everything seems good. I guess whats left isn't bothered by the really cold nights. The new naked lady bulbs look really good. I hope they stay happy.
The gopher service is a good idea. My daughter has a couple of acres in Chino, and she could not keep up with them, so she has had a gopher service for several years and is very pleased with the job they do. What method did the control service use to treat for them?
I agree Evelyn...they can't have my plants!
Correction, anyone can buy 'gopher getter' but the professionals get a stronger bait then the public can buy. I'm sure you'll find one Evelyn, they are sorely needed.
Where is Grizzly Flats?
We live about 20 miles southeast of Placerville. We are in the Sierra foothills at 3500' in elevation and it snows here every winter, and stays hot all summer, but not as hot as Placerville or Sacramento. It is about and hour and a half to Lake Tahoe, and about an hour to Sacramento.
My daughter, Karen, lives on McKinley, north of Chino Ave. Just off of 71. She has flowers and trees, but her main interest is about 10 horses, and several stray dogs she has taken in and given good homes.
I tried the exhaust thing and the c02 just came up out of uncovered holes all over and the gophers block off where they are to stop the fumes from getting them.
My son in law used to do something cruel but I can't remember, it was something like setting the tunnels on fire with a small torch and putting gasoline or something in the hold. I can't remember. Someone on DG said they did gas in the holes and it blew up his garage which was far away.
I think most of the homemade gopher killing ideas work sometimes for some people, but nothing works all the time for all people. I had the gophers cleaned out of my yard, but one slipped under the fence, from an unused easement behind my place. He made no piles of dirt to reveal his presence, but chewed the 5 inch diameter trunk of a four foot tall artichoke plant off, just below ground level. Still no visible sign of him when the plant fell over.
I have fifty pounds of water pressure here, so if he wanted war, i would give him war. I was aware that there were many old abandoned tunnels in the easement, so i turned the water hose in there and let it run until it came out at a lower elevation. I had my helper dig the tunnel out, by following where the running water was coming from, so we demolished several tunnels that way. Vicente saw and killed one gopher that was trying to escape by following the hose up, but that is all we saw. Then we turned the water off and waited over the weekend to see where the activity was, and by Monday morning we found none in the easement near the artichokes, but found a couple of new hills up at the far end. So, we focused on flooding and digging them out today, and now, if and when they dig new tunnels, i will know where to place the poison. I believe there is a good chance of drowning any babies, or even some adults that get trapped when their dams fail, but i do not think they will all drown, as some dirt makes better dams than other dirt does. So, i intend to try everything necessary to keep them away from my garden.
There are lots of them on my neighbors properties, so i am sure there will be more come over, but i do not see anyway to prevent that. The poison inserted in the tunnels is still, in my opinion, the best way, and that will be my first choice each time i see any sign of them. I also bought a digging bar, which is made for digging post holes in hard, rocky ground, and it has a knob on the top end for tamping around posts. It works well for collapsing the feeding tunnels which are usually within the top 8 inches of the soil, where most of the roots are, but it will not collapse the deeper living tunnels. I feel like the work we did digging out the old tunnels was worthwhile.
I do not know if it will stop a dog from digging completely, but it helps to keep their toenails trimmed almost to the quick. They will not dig if it has to be done with just the pads on their feet.
For those of you that do use the Gopher Getter devices to implant poison, I just found out the hard way that moisture, perhaps even humidity, can soften the pellet type poison, and it builds up in the tube and plugs it. A difficult job to clean out, as it hardens against the tube walls.
I do not have that problem with the bait made from grain, just the pellet type.
You, or a Vet or a dog groomer will have to do that, just like you trim your own. In nature, dogs, sheep, cats, etc., kept their toenails worn down by having to walk, party on rocks, digging for food, etc, but now that they have such easy lives, the toenails grow too long. You can trim them with large toenail clippers, or they have a painless battery operated device. Just like our nails, if you trim too deep, into the quick, it hurts for a little while, just like ours do, but not for very long. With a little practice you can tell how close you can come without drawing blood. If you can keep the toenails short enough they do not protrude beyond the pads, he will have nothing to dig with. They do not dig with their paws. They scratch it loose with their toenails and then drag it out with their pads. Younger dogs dig worse than older ones, so it may just be excess energy and boredom. He may outgrow it. All of the dogs i have had really wanted to please me, and if i could make them understand what i wanted or did not want, they seemed anxious to do what i wanted, so you might be able to train him to not dig, toenails or not. You might go on Google, asking for ways to stop dogs from digging, and get some more ideas. Basically, it would just be another form of obedience training.
We have a nail trimming event periodically where I hold the animal and DH trims their nails. I say 'event' because we have 28 feet to take care of what with 4 dogs, 2 cats and one bunny. Poor bunny, we must have missed him the time before last and his nails were scary long! I have not thought about the nail/digging relationship. Our girl Miniature Pinscher is quite the digger, trying to dig under our fence line to go explore. When she does that she is going into coyote territory. the boy MP cannot fit through all her holes, so is left behind, but if he does get out, he is likely to come back soon and not go too far on his own.
QG, I think some special trimming for the Digging Pinscher might cure her of it. When she starts a hole, cut her nails back to the pink, even draw a bit of blood would be okay, since you want her nails to hurt when she digs. Then let her go back and try to dig some more, and if she does, cut them a little closer. A little bit of temporary pain would not hurt her near as much as a Coyote bite. Pain would probably not stop here if she is in estrus, and they do still get the urge, even if they have been spayed, but it might stop her digging other times. The most frustrating thing about training dogs for me is when i am not smart enough to make them understand what i want them to do or stop doing.
If my dog would dig the ground just enough to make it ready for planting I wouldn't mind. If he would dig a hole big enough to put in a swimming pool, I might be ok. But he is digging for China. There's really just the one hole that is about three feet deep. I fill it in and he digs it deeper. I'm going to clip his nails and see if that works. I hope so or else he might hit water or oil and that would be a mess.
Linda was trimming the nails on the Cavalier Spaniels today, as they are lap dogs and scratch jumping on our laps when their nails get too long. If i had been trimming them i would have used some trimming shears i used to use on sheep hooves, but she has a battery powered sander made for dog nails, and it took them right down. She did not go deep enough to stop them from digging, but she could have if necessary. The name of it is Pedi-Paws, so i am sure you could find it in the Pet stores or on Google, if the regular nail clippers do not suit you or the dog.
Oh yes. I never tried to trim his nails but my Shar Pei is really hard to do, their quick is so far down that the groomers refuse to do it and we gave up trying to trim them. It hurts her and she bleeds. I should try the sanding thing though. It may be easier.
I have broken my fingernails part way, and when i have pulled the rest off, i have gone into the quick, and it bleeds but only hurts for a little while, and then heals over, but i know from trimming the sheep, the quick can be at very different depths. Does your Shar Pei dig, like the Bull Terrier and the Pinscher?
I think i have my gophers under control now, until some more move in as they are ejected from their mother's areas. The easement area which had never been treated was full of nice ready made tunnels, but we have flooded, excavated, collapsed by compacting and treated all of those that we could find. One or two gophers remained after the big push, but they left small new dirt piles which revealed their locations, so i treated them, and have not seen any fresh signs for over a week now. It has been full of foxtail grass and weeds, but i will keep it mowed.
It is becoming obvious that our microclimate is 4 or 5 degrees colder than the local forecast, so after they were damaged by the frosts, i built shelters for the Guava, small Avocado and Mexican Lime, to prevent more or deeper damage, and will prune and regrow them as only the new growth and leaves were killed. The trees will survive. I will cover them whenever the local forecast is for 40 degrees or less.
We had some good Kohlrabi and some beautiful yellow cauliflower from the winter garden yesterday. First time i have grown either one, but i will plant some more. Bugs like Kohlrabi, so will need to give them some of the attention i have been giving the gophers.
Ernie, welcome to gardening in So. Cal! We can't depend on even the local forcasts due to our micro climates. I always put off any serious prunning until late Jan. because I don't want any new growth on anything yet. As long as the frost is of short duration, most of the tropicals will bounce back. The only thing I protect is the warm growing orchids. The rest of my tropicals do just fine out there. About 5 years ago we had a cold winter, and all the tropicals suffered badly, but come spring they all came back.
We bought this place last February, and the Guava was fine, and then while it was in escrow a frost hit, and killed every leaf on it. There are other sub-tropicals in the area so i assumed that was just an unusal frost, so with forecasts of 34 or 36 i was not concerned, but the actual was about 28 or 29 for a few scattered nights, and that took off 85 percent of the leaves from the Guava and half from the Lime, and all the leaves from the small avocado. I moved the lime up near the house where the frost line on the grass had not reached, and built shelters around the others with PVC pipe and tarps, and i cover the lime tree, by draping a tarp from the porch railing. No more damage. The trees are still alive but the softwood and the leaves that were hit are dead. The Guava came back fine last year, but the fruit was just getting ripe, and we only had one guava from it when the others were ruined by the frost. I will protect it earlier next year. Statice, cyclamen, camellias, blackberry foliage, are on higher ground and none were hurt, but the begonias near those froze down. It will be fun learning the details here.
Last year the coldest part of the day, early AM, got down to 23, as it did here in Dec (19 AM's 32 degrees to 23 degrees that month). But, here in SoCal, we are fortunate that we spring back with warm temps in the daytime or damage to plants would be a lot worse. This year, as last, my lantanas freeze melted along with cannas, begonia, some annuals (while other annuals like petunia and alyssum thrive) and some salvias. I planted, in ground, 2 new citrus - mandarin orange and dwarf Meyer lemon - and info on both said OK only to 32 degrees, so I put tomato cages over them and draped them with flannel sheets and tiny Christmas lights inside. I think the Mandarin was damaged before being covered, but don't want to cut anything yet. It is crazy needing to water everything!
For those of you that cannot use poison on your gophers, if you would like to try trapping them, my granddaughter caught six in her mother's front yard. If you are interested, i will find out the details, or put you in touch with her direct, to find out how she did it.
LOL! Ernie, that is a God given talent! When I worked for CalTrans , we had a new hire that had been raised on a farm, and was averaging 17 gophers a day in a 3 mi. section, until the great state decided that wasn't cost effective. This guy tried to teach the rest of the crew, to no avail. We hired professionals to gas them, and it worked, but they punctured several irrigation lines in the process...which , of course, we had to go out, dig up , and repair. We ended up with 2 doz. Macabee traps hanging in a storage locker, and left the gophers to the Coyotes. You can't possibly appreciate how destructive the gophers and ground squirrels are until you work on a freeway with steep slopes and heave rains. I've been remembering that since you started this thread, and just had to put it into some perspective. LOL!
I have never been burglarized, but that is how i felt when the gopher came in and chopped down that big beautiful Arichoke plant, so I was really driven to exterminate them. My place is still free of them, but i know it is just temporary.
I did a lot of work for CalTrans between 1954 and 1979 as a Highway Paving Contractor, mostly on the Arterial Highways for the L A and Orange Counties, but joint ventured the Asphalt on a couple of the Freeways. They were good to work for until Jerry Brown got the idea that if he stopped building highways, that people would stop moving to California. Since Freeways were a small part of my work, it did not hurt me much, but Contractors that specialized on the Freeway work were just wiped out. And it did not work, as people kept on coming.
Hellnzn, If you can send me a contact email address, i will put you in touch with Heather, my granddaughter, and she can share what she has learned about trapping them. Last year when we moved here, we saw squirrels all the time, either a few moving fast or a lot moving slow, not sure which, but trapped some, using peanut butter for bait, and probably the dogs and activity discouraged them, but for whatever reason, i have not seen any the last month or two. Maybe the feral cat has learned how to catch them.
For the first time, i think i have my gophers under control. Temporarily, of course as my neighbors are letting them propagate and multipy, but in addition to the poison which i put in the tunnels, [I have not seen a single instance of collateral damage,] I have been using a digging bar with the nob on the end to crush and compact the tunnels as far as i can follow them while the ground is soft from the winter rains. By reducing the ready made tunnels as much as i can, it forces the immigrants to reveal their presence by digging new tunnels instead of sneaking into the old existing ones. I am hoping that once the ground dries out, it gets so hard here, that the gophers will not be able to dig new homes. I will still have to keep a close watch on my irrigated areas, but i do that in the course of gardening, anyway.
To follow up on my last post, i have had two episodes of transient gophers moving in and trying to re-establish. With the maze of old tunnels partly crushed, they are not able to move in without doing some excavating which reveals their presence. So, now with the shorter tunnels we are getting more help from the water hose, and have flushed out the last two. Smacking one, and drowning the other.
This last big rain we had probably softened the ground again, but it was drying out and getting very hard before this storm, so hopefully, that will help. I am really pleased with how well the grain type poison works but do not care much for the pellets. They dissolve in the gun when moist, and i imagine they dissolve soon in the damp tunnels too.
But the digging bar with the tamper on one end is an important factor in control, too, as that is much less work than trying to dig the tunnels out with a shovel as they are so hard to follow.
I so totally am with you on the rodent issue, We've even gone to the point of planting some trees with glass around the chicken wire wrapped root ball. Rotten rodents.
However, last year we spotted a burrowing owl on our farm. We know that they build their nests in squirrel burrows. So unless I can catch me a gopher snake, we'll be using both traps and poison to keep them out of the garden.
You don't know the heartbreak of growing the perfect pumpkin until you go to harvest it and find it full of dirt. Sigh. : - (
They ate my artichokes too. : - (
My YB#1 has a twisted sense of humor. He sent me this link, along with a message saying that while it seems rather sociopathic, it also seems sort of satisfying. I don't think I could recommend it because of the other wildlife out here. OCCAROL and Ernie, what effect do you think it would have in an urban setting?
Here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2umEFHeo6mw
I have to admit it was kind of fun to watch them blow up the tunnels, but you know, I think my black, long haired tom cat is much better and more environmentally friendly. He generally brings me a rodent every morning. Good kitty! : - )
It never ends. LOL!
I saw that video of the tunnel explosion when you posted it before, but agree it would do too much damage to plants, pipes, innocent victims, etc, to be worthwhile. But since you live on a farm, perhaps you have one of those six foot long tamping bars that are used to dig post holes and compact around the posts. If you do, try running water into your gopher tunnels and after it soaks a bit, try to follow the tunnel by the feel of the tamper knob crushing the tunnel. It will go down easily where the tunnel is, but hard if you get off course.
They do keep coming back, so it is a never ending battle. I probably loved that big Artichoke just as much as you loved your pumpkin, so i do understand the heartache. I am not normally a hater, but i did hate that gopher. I was sorry i could not know for sure which one of them that i killed did that dirty deed.
Back in 1950, i lived in Norwalk, which was country then, and i adopted a big Siamese Tom cat, that was a gopher killing machine, and he changed the eye color of all the neighborhood kittens to Blue, but he became so addicted to catching and eating only gophers that he finally lost weight and died. The vet said it was strictly from eating only gophers.
Haha! I've seen the video before too, and I have to admit, it would be satisfying. That being said, I think it would do more damage than the gophers. At last count we had 79 ferral cats in the park (they're working on it), and we havent had any gopher problems lately.
We only have one hunting cat here in the area and one big fat one that probably does not hunt. But the one cat does not keep up with the gophers so several of my neighbors do not even bother treating for them.
I do a gopher patrol every morning, and hope they give me a sign before they kill anything else.
Incidentally, i bought some beautiful daylilies today from Amaranth, who is forced to give them up to go take care of her Mother that has Alzheimers. I brought down more than i can use, and would like to sell some of them with the money going to Amaranth. She paid a lot for them, but i think 10 dollars for them would be a good bargain, as they are in one gallon to 3 or 5 gallon pots, expensive metal name tag holders for each one, the best names, etc. Kind of bargain for us buyers and a chance to help a fellow flower lover. Jules is going to auction some off at the reunion, so if anyone else sees this and is interested, email me. All of the proceeds will go to Amaranth.
OC, I understand, and while i have a big lot here, i am running out of sunny spots, so i am coming to the end of my planting phase, too.
I do think i have found a new way to help with gopher control. We had a gopher pile here, and we ran some water down there, and then used the digging bar to mix the dirt and water into a kind of Mudshake, and so far the gopher has not dug his way out of it. So, since this dirt does make good mud, i am going to start doing this along with my other control efforts. Possibly the gopher is not equipped to handle the slurry. It would not work in sandy ground.
I thought that while it might be satisfying that the concussive force would be too much for the other ground dwelling critters. I know that OCCAROL has worked for Cal Trans and me being me and having just repaired a (PVC) water pipe, I can't help but wonder that the gophernator thing would do more damage than good. I can always watch the video if I need to. Heh, heh, heh.
I realized after I posted the link the first time I had posted it on the wrong thread. Ooops!
Ernie, if it works, it works.
OCCAROL, we had a problem here with feral cats and had to resort to trapping them and then spaying or neutering them. Good luck with them. Now we are having other cats show up. Arrgghh! Not to mention the dogs. : - O
I think some daylillies are in my future. : - )
Ernie I have used your method of collapsing the tunnels before. They run them into the rocks on the farm, but every once in a while we can get one. DH usually uses poison grain, or a trap. I let my big black furry guy bring me presents. : - )
He doesn't eat the gophers BTW, he just brings them to me. I thank him, and then the dogs disappear the gopher. I really wish they wouldn't eat them but I am not arguing with a dog over food.
Got to feed my DH and kids, speaking of food.
I hate them but one was blindly running around after I flooded him out and I drown it. I cried after a while because I hate them but don't like to hurt animals and especially blind ones who die in terror at my hand. The alternative is too bleak to imagine not killing them though.
I do not know if it will make you feel any better, but i think it is Moles that are blind and that gophers can see, but if he had mud in his eye, he might not see very good. There is a neglected easement across the fence from me, and i mowed it this morning to check for gophers, and there are some over there, but have wait until they get closer before i will do anything about them.
Don't feel bad about the gopher. I despite joking about it, abhor violence. I whacked the one that popped out of the hole I was covering with a shovel and put him out of his misery. The cats were waiting at the other entrances. They like to play with their food.
It's okay to feel bad about it too. But remember that gopher was costing you time, money and energy.
I'm a softie too, and with the exception of ants, and rodents, my philosophy is live and let live.
Yeah I know. You definitely have that kind of yard too, where they can easily take over your garden and ruin your lawn. Did you end up deciding to do the RU? I saw you were having an interest thread at one time. It's too much for gas right now for me to go down there or I'd go. I loved your place and never forgot the cool old house and all the antiques in it and the cool shady giant tree on the back 40.
hellnz, I wish you could catch a ride with someone. The RU is coming up April 14th, and there is a sign up thread. We hope to have it under that giant CA Live Oak tree. : - )
You know you are always welcome here. I wish that we weren't so far apart, it's really difficult to get together anyway, but it seems that there is so many other things to do that are closer to home. Besides unless you can carpool it is sometimes financially impossible to go places. Sigh . . .
I'm glad you enjoyed your last visit and hope that you'll come visit again, sometime. : - )
The gophers I'm sure will always be here. LOL!
I console myself with the knowledge they are part of the food chain. : - )
Nice hearing from you hellnz, I was wondering where you got off to. : - )
I was spending more time doing other things for a while and planning my Class reunion.
I will not be able to go though because my sister is coming up from Washington for a week and my dad is about to move back east.
Thanks. I love my RU plants, they have been so cool to have all these free plants that you can try out. If you lose them, you lose nothing and if they do well, it was an experiment you would otherwise not known about, that does well in your area. Thanks so much for the include. I did enjoy the RU there.
Me too. I had a large cl. rose. Josephs Coat. Gopher ate it almost to nothing a couple of years ago. I somehow cut it down to nothing and it came back as good as ever. Last year I was not so lucky. I had a little green still , so I ripped it out and put it in a container, it made it for months, but I could see one side of the canelooked like brownness was climbing up half of the cane. Winter came and it has not shown a sign of life. I keep trying to see if a root sucker popps up but I don't think it is going to. : (
I have a mandarin orange I received at the RU last year that Heather said she had only had in the big pot it was in. Looked like just ground dirt in the pot and not much of it. I put it into the ground last summer, in an anti-gopher cage of course, and it was doing great, new leaves and in fall a bunch of blossoms. Then, it just appeared to have died as the cold came - even before it hit 32. I put a tomato cage over it ( and the Meyer lemon), draped them in non-LED Christmas lights and a flannel sheet, but it was dead (not dwarf lemon).. Neighbor said too bad it didn't make it. I stopped watering it a couple weeks ago and gave up. This Sat, post RU, while giving my visiting friend a tour, she noticed a little shoot of green coming from the side!!!! Maybe...
Here's how I deal with my gophers around here, I posted this a few years ago. Maybe it will help some of you:
I went outside, the full moon was blazing in the sky like a big silver dollar. I sat there on a rock freezin' my behind off, but even so I ended up falling asleep and when I fell over, my crossbow went off. The arrow hit the wall, ricochet into a light post, then ricochet off the bumper of my truck (I have 2 new parts in my hair, you know, those fancy zigzag parts like on tv?) and lo and behold! it nailed that gopher right between the eyes. Just before it happened, I saw his peepers gleaming bright red, just like the garden demon he is/was. He knew I was out to get him. I knew, he knew I knew and once that arrow bopped him, that red gleam faded like dyin' embers. But once I got up close, I couldn't be 100 percent sure that it was that arrow that killed him, he fell on a stob and it went right through his heart, so he could have been stobbed to death for all I know. So I did what any self respecting gardener would do. I grabbed him by the hind legs and flung him over my shoulder. Did I mention that he weighed almost 30 pounds? Anyway, I lugged him to the back yard. (I had anticipated I'd win this fight) so I threw his carcass into a hole I had dug earlier. I threw some dirt over him, just a few inches, you see. And then I planted some tomato plants on top of him. He's now fertilizer.
Here's a new tip. At least I think it's new, but this thread's so long that I can't remember everything in it.
According to Hidden Valley Hibiscus, one grower succeeded in protecting his plants from gophers by stuffing fabric softener dryer sheets in every new hole he found in his garden beds. I personally have used dryer sheets to line my plant containers and have learned that they repel (or kill?) earwigs and sowbugs, so maybe there's something to this.
That will be an easy gopher fix if it kills them, but if it just drives them over to your neighbor, they will have a lot of babies that will be back to see you in a few months.
I have successfully cleared them out from my property by poisoning with a gopher gun, flooding, and stomping the tunnels closed, but still get a new visitor once in a while. The gopher gun seems to get those new ones pretty easy if used before they get extensive tunnels built.
Calif_Sue Northern California United States (Zone 9a)
No, I knew exactly what you meant Ernie, I had Googled it a long time ago to check it out but it just reminded me of this photo I came across. Trying to inject some humor in this frustrating business of trying to keep the gophers out of our gardens! :-)
Thanks for contributing so much to this informative thread!
When we moved here a year and a half ago, the entire neighborhood was crawling with them and as i had the only garden the gophers along with the rabbits and squirrels were just eating garden as fast as i could plant it, so it took me a while to get good at it, but i am very satisfied with the procedure now.
Ground in this area gets very hard and dry in the summer unless it is irrigated, so unless they can find an abandoned tunnel, not many move in during the summer, but now that the ground is getting wet, we will have more, i am sure. But i watch closely for them, and hope to be able to keep them under control now.
There are two types of bait for the guns, and if you can find it in a farm store, the more powerful works the best. It smells like they flavor it with anise seed.
Well I have a whole new house in the woods in the mountains in Tehachapi to contend with so I'm really going to have my hands full. I'm thinking of how to rid myself of gophers, squirrels, voles, moles, groundhogs, deer, raccoons trying to get in my dog door. Just shoot me with some of your gun bait.
I have an idea. If it works I'll let you know it may help on top of the stuff you guys do, but the deer are another issue all together. I'll be the one with the garden hanging from a giant cage from old Oak trees.
Helln, Iearned the hard, expensive way the ONLY thing that works for deer depredation, too.
When i started the Ornamental tree Nursery in Idaho, Deer would do thousands and thousands of dollars in damage to my flowering crabs and such, just by biting a few small branches off one side as they ambled all over the fields.
The Game department furnished a propane canon that would explode every minute or two, and stink bait. I tried all the home made remedies that people had heard about, and nothing worked, so i built an 8 foot tall electric fence with a powerful New Zealand fence charger on it. That did work, but the wires were difficult to keep charged as different things could short them out.
So now they are using a woven wire fence that does not need to be electrified. If you plan to have any garden near where deer are, you can save your self a lot of grief and frustration by building an 8 foot fence first.
The other, smaller critters can be handled with conventional methods that work well.
But of course if you create hanging gardens, you will not need earthly measures to control the ones that do not climb.
I know the hanging garden is a fantasy. I have a patio above ground, it would keep deer off, but climbing stuff that scurries over the roof from trees is another issue. I know we need taller than 7 feet walls but it may be a tricky thing with ccr's there. I may have to buy a few dog kennels and load them up with plants or invest in cattle fence and tall poles to add hight to the 4 foot fences that are there now. Grrr
Wow Hellnzn11. Hardly a critter left off your list of predators! There is one we have here that I have been lucky enough not to see in our yard and that is javelinas! Have seen a herd of deer on road in front of house las July and antelope in nearby fields. Neighbor spoke of when she was new here and a large family of javelinas went through her yard at night screaming and
bumping into house. Almost called 911 before turning yard lights on.
This house has been here 10 years with 2 previous owners and NOT ONE PLANT has been put in ground or one cf of concrete! Hard dirt with lots of rocks should keep gophers and moles away but need fence against bigger critters.
No plants and you like it there? Holy Moly. If that is my destiny, then I will have to buy a green house for sure or just learn to garden on my upper deck, if possible. I will have to look Javelinas up, never heard of it.
Living in the mountains will be a first for me Quilty, like you, it is a learning curve and those of us who want to have a landscape will figure out what will survive. I have been contemplating building a lasagna garden in a dog kennel to protect plants from deer etc. I do shrubs, flowers, grasses, trees and not too much in the food zone so it may work, but I don't know? Have you started on a planting plan up there yet?
No planting yet. Friday I brought a bunch of my pots indoors in anticipation of winter coming Sat. It came, we had light snow and last 2 mornings were in the teens. In a couple days the lows will be warming up to 32 - wowie, lol. Yesterday in 40's, but 60's coming back for highs tomorrow, Some left outdoors now look like when you put lettuce in freezer (banana succulent, society garlic, cannas, purple queen, petunias.11AM now and all the way to 41. I was 9 when we left WI for the SF Bay Area, then later to SoCal. Need to rethink how to do things.Dug all those gloves, scarves and fleece shits out - and that is for inside ha-ha.
There are some native plants here on the property, large juniper shrub/trees and some grassy almost pampas grass plants as well as some Nopales cactus.
I am including shots from Pre-monsoon in June when we bought, then during monsoon, Aug, and then Sat when it was snowing.
Ernie, we know to keep our distance from those javelinas. DH saw one on our street while I was in CA last week and thought at first it was a dog/coyote (eyesight issue is why he does not drive anymore) and went down deck stairs with those grabber things then realized what it was (still far enough away). I said good thing. Grabbers vs tusks = tusks win! Now, I am waiting to see one of the giant jack rabbits neighbor have talked about while holding their hands about knee high.
I like that high desert, and yours is a pretty part of it. I like the Junipers, and I think the Greasewood, right after a rain, is one of the best smells there is, but the greasewood seems to be more scarce now than it was 60 years ago.
Light frost in Vista last night, and i know, it is NOT supposed to frost in Vista, but it does. I am protecting a few trees this year, especially a Guava, as it has frosted back the last two winters that i have been here. It has a nice crop on it, and i do want to at least taste one. If i do not like them i will not go through this again next year.
Oh so nice. You should get some Attriplex bushes, they grow so fast and because they are salty, gophers and bunnies don't like them, but apparently deer don't mind them, so I put some jalapenos on the branches and so far they appear to be there. It snowed last Friday in Tehachapi, but we weren't there. It melted by the next day except we saw some flurries and had icey snow on our upper deck.
I haven't read all the posts on the two threads so hope I'm not repeating what someone else has said. This topic didn't click with me until this morning because I haven't had gophers for a year or so, but when someone on Facebook was also asking about gophers I remembered about using dry ice.
Here's what I posted there: A method my husband (a scientist) came up with is to use dry ice. When I googled it there are multiple listings and I listed the link to the one that gives step by step instructions. It works by the dry ice gas vapor changing into carbon dioxide gas and it sinks down into the tunnels and nests and suffocates the gophers by displacing their oxygen.
It's a much more humane way to kill them than poison, gas, etc. which are a horrible death. Using dry ice is cheap, safe and non-toxic, and leaves no mess. Be sure to wear heavy gloves and eye protection. Some ice cream shops carry dry ice and our local Albertsons grocery store does, too. http://www.ehow.com/how_5352714_kill-gophers-dry-ice.html
I am not reall sure i would like being suffocated any better than being poisoned, but i will never know for sure, will ?
But i do see one serious flaw in the actual use of the dry ice, as good as it sound in theory. The gophers keep their tunnels plugged, so unless you have some way of locating the tunnel and inserting the dry ice without disturbing the tunnel so the gopher will be aware of it and plug it, I do not see how it will work. I am always interested in learning new things, so when someone does actually eliminate their gopher problem, using only this method, i hope they share the experience with all of us.
I found a couple of new gopher mounds this morning where one had come in from the neighbor, and I had a difficult time locating the tunnel. In that particular case using the dry ice would not work. But i have, in the past, found hidden holes, that they use for an exit. These holes never have a gopher mound near them, to help locate them, and they always have a small plug of dirt near the bottom.
Thanks for the sharing the method, and i hope to hear it is successfull.
I like the idea of suffocation as it's faster and not horribly painful as poison can be. We have rat problems yearly and one year resorted to poison and a few days later saw one that had consumed it. It wasn't pretty and we swore off poison.
I think the problem of finding an open gopher tunnel is a challenge with any method. From the reading I did it sounds like you'd have to put the dry ice in any and all holes you can find, hope for the best, and maybe try multiple times to be successful, as in most methods. The one time we had a gopher at this house my husband was lucky and had drowned it (yuck to that too!) before I returned home with the dry ice so we don't have any actual experience.
I have had far too much experience killing them here, but as because of all that experience, I am having excellent results now. It is painful watching anything die, and there are probably not any good choices. I never see the ones i kill, as that happens int he tunnel, too. The poison we use now on gophers kills pretty quickly, but rats are too smart for it and the rat poison that works kills slowly, so the rats do not connect the death of some rats to the food they have been eating for a week or more. I do not know which is the better way, but personally, i am hoping for a quick death when my time comes.
Incidentally, i finally got about forty of Amarantha's Day Lillies planted and they all bloomed beautifully. i also kept the plant tags with the plants, so if you still want some of them, you are welcome to come cut off part of the ones you would like to have, as they are all plenty big enough to divide. It is too difficult for me to get up and down so i cannot do the actual digging and separating for you.
Singing Wolf, Jules, got rid of the rest of them at the Roundup, and her son took some fo them, i think.
Yup, Ernie, we still have the day lilies, or at least what survived the summer heat, a herd of puppies frolicking and last but not least they were swarmed by rabbits and eaten back to nubs! But I got mad and my ES and I pulled them into the gh for the winter. They are growing again and quite happy. I hope to be able to separate some of them out, because I'm going to need them for landscaping along the road when the city widens it. You know, I'm really bummed out that the puppies took all of the name tags out the pots. Hopefully, Amaranth can help me id them when they bloom again. Sigh! Say Ernie, I have some yellow Lantana started. Are you interested? LMK, okay?
So far this spring the gophers have not been a problem, but I can't wait to try the fabric softener sheets, but tell me, do you use the kind that have already been through the dryer, or the kind that haven't? Just want to know, because I need to transplant a POB into an area frequented by gophers.
Thanks for all the updated information.
Also the new thread!
I heard the dryer sheets because the smell is so strong so I'm pretty sure it is not used ones. I like the idea of the quick kill of dry ice if you can get the ice in the area where they are going. If you get a few, then maybe the others won't come for a while if they see death everywhere.
I sure want to hear about it, if that dry ice works. but they are so quick to block their tunnels I have not been able to visualize just how it can work. Fortunately, i am completely clean of them now, but i saw some about 100 feet up the road, so i am expecting a few when the new crop is born and the tunnels get crowded.
Thanks hellenzn. DH and I were talking about it yesterday, and that's what he thought too. It's that time of year again. Have to look for standing water and dump it out! So until it all drys up, I'll be tucking a fabric softener sheet in my hat.
I am interested in finding out how well the dry ice works. We have an Albertson's nearby, and ES and I will no doubt find a new gopher hole soon. I'll let you know how it works.
I wonder about use of moth balls in the ground near the plants or in the tunnels, they would last a while and my dogs have this horrid reverse sneeze when we used them to drive cats off our Mustang Cobra. I imagine they would not like it, they are so strong from far away, if you inandated your yard with them under ground maybe the critters would just scram with a reverse cough and choke to death. It looked like my dogs were going to do it. If you don't know what it is, look it up on youtube. I would not want them too near my plants in case they killed them.
I would sure like to hear about something that works besides the Type I Wilco Gopher Bait, too.
I have pounded tunnels shut and flooded and probed them, as much as 2 or 3 feet deep,and it is pretty obvious that whatever is put in the tunnels is going to have to be forced in by air pressure, as just dropping a dryer sheet or mothball is only going to drift a little way.
My neighbor is a very successful gopher breeder, has a nice weed patch and feeds them well, and so i keep getting all i want, and a few more from him. I usually kill or drown them within 2 or 3 days of first seeing them, but i had a real scare today, when the supplier told me Wilco has stopped making Type 1. It is the only bait i have \good consisten results with.
I did find some Type one online, and ordered it, but when the current inventory is used up, the gophers are going to win the war.
Helen, if you do get the gophers to go to your neighbors, i hope they appreciate that more than i do the ones my neighbor sends over to me.
Do let us know if any of you find something that does work for you.
Oh Ernie, if you only knew how my neighbors, who I call the Hillbillies, lived, you would care less. They don't have landscape at all. The one side is an exterminator who sprays non stop, any living thing, plant and other, he sees and I am sure he sent them all to me, the other side has 27 thousand members of one family living together and does not have anything but Cacti. Surely they would give the little kids something to do, stomping out mounds.
We live in an area with Mobile homes on 3/8 acre to 5 acre parcels. Why we bought here is something we rethought many times.
Well if you have not tried my jalapeno thing, than you don't know what you are missing. It is definitely a helpful addition to drowning and poisoning them, to keep them off your delicious plants IE roses.
It is possible the Gophers enjoy the jalapenos, but as much as they hurt me, i do not think even a gopher will ever eat enough of them to commit suicide.
I still say again the only sure thing i have found that is a dependable way to kill and control gophers is the Type 1 Wilco Gopher bait. It does not do any one any good to just drive them away as they will have babies that get kicked out and will be back to see you next year.
But the worst news i have heard in a long time is that Wilco has stopped making the Type 1 bait, and when the current inventories are sold out, there will not be anymore. I have bought a little bit extra, and hope it lasts as long as i do. Then, i guess after that, the gophers will take over the world.
So, if you really want to get rid of them you should try to locate some of the last remaining Type 1 bait, before it is all gone.
The gopher growing neighbors that i have are not Hillbillies, per se, but they keep the front yard looking nice and the back yard is knee high in weeds and trash. I guess that is what is called putting up a false front. lol
Outside of your neighbors, when I look at Rosamond via satellite, I see your terrain must be similar to ours here in No Az where we moved last summer. Your neighbors are the neighbors that our neighbors used to have with the previous owners in our home (including the son who stabbed a neighbor to death). Our neighbors are lovely, though. I do see some gopher mounds outside of our property, but that may be because NOTHING has EVER been planted in the ground on this property in the 10 years this house has been here. A neighbor down the road said they get voles, so not only do they get the roots, but then come up and eat the tops. I have started digging to put in fruit trees and even though I knew the ground is very hard AND FULL of rocks, I was amazed to find caliche clay (I thought there were clumps of concrete buried a foot down). My helper at 10/hr worked hard for 6.5 hours on 4 holes and I STILL do not have trees in ground. At the nursery I said "well at least the gophers won't be able to dig through that stuff", and she said not to count on that. OH POOP. So, now very little will be in ground (with lots of gypsum) and even a few trees will be in pots. Veggies will be in pots and strawbales. It is even hard to just walk around the property with surface rocks and us being less steady on out feet as we get older. Hats off to you Ernie for all you do in your yard and not being a spring chicken.
I too am wondering of the wisdom of the move to where we are. The house is a foreclosure and way more work than we can do ourselves or afford to get done. A HD rep. suggested pulling this mobile out and buying a new one to put in as it would cost so much to get everything done. A new house could cost as much and EVERYTHING would be new and better than we could fix this one.
One thing i am doing now, in order to get the last mile possible out of me, is using a John Deere lawn tractor mower for a scooter. It only takes about 45 minutes to mow my lawn but i use it ten times as much or more, just running back and forth. I put a milk crate on it to carry tools and sprinklers and such, so i do not waste my energy walking back and forth, and can just do my tasks as i find them. So, that really helps.
That Caliche is tough stuff, and i had it in some places in Lucerne Valley, but i found it varied in thickness and depth, so you might want to dig some sample postholes and see where your soil is deeper, and if you find some deep spots just do your planting there. Digging a hole and planting something in Caliche is not going to give you very good growth.
Or, scrape up some good soil and pile it up to plant on a mound, to avoid digging in the caliche.
Girl you should dmail me. Anyways. I have caleche bad here and once I started lasagna gardening and got a good tiller, I started to have some progress. Then there are plants that like that stuff that spread like Coyote bush. You are best to plant roses in tall pots with drain holes or plastic trash cans buried to make some strides at keeping gophers off that type of land, that is open to all the vermin. They don't seem to like the Lady banks roses, they can go in ground, protected from rabbits when young. They don't touch Rugosa roses here either but what the heck, nice for only a few months of blooms.
Ernie, the jalapenos are only good to repel off the good salad bar they like to eat at, while poisoning them. Less damage.
I have not seen any new gopher piles for several days, so i think i have killed off the last crop that moved in from the neighbor. The last three were taken care of with one dose each, as i found the tunnel with the probe. Sometimes it takes a couple of doses, and even some flooding, to get it in the right place.
Just reading through this post to see if someone had come up with a new solution. I plant most everything in baskets and pots. I actually had my gophers take out a 10 foot tall Jacaranda tree, that was one hungry gopher. I was not happy to hear they like campanella as I was going to remove some ivy and put in an area of them, not so sure I want to do it now. Well, I guess I'll pull myself together and go put out some more traps. I like the box traps too, I may have to try to make one using a mouse trap.
Hey, I heard of something different, and am willing to try this. Go out and buy Juicy Fruit Gum, (get the kind with sugar). Bring it home, break it up into small pieces and place inside the gopher hole. I don't know if it works, but it will only cost a pack of gum to find out. :-)
Ah yes, the old Juicy Fruit gum trick. Problem is how do you know if it's working? I've put a lot of gum in the ground over the years and never had any indicators that it killed anything. But it's a nice thought since it wouldn't kill my dog or cat, probably even safe for snakes and hawks.