Thanks for starting a new thread Zuzu. I second your vote, thanks Chuck, good eye! :~D
Perhaps wrap the birth control pills in shaved carrot with a tooth pick holding it together...with luck the gophers will think they're horsdeouvres (how the heck do you spell that anyway??)! My Grandfather made a contraption that he felt worked. He stuck an aluminum pole in the ground and cut up a bleach bottle so little fins stuck out on the sides and caught the wind. He placed it on top of the stake and it rattled when it spun, supposedly thumping the ground and scaring away the gophers. He thought it worked, I thought it looked silly. There are those batteried or solar powered "thumpers" for lack of a better word. Anybody have any luck with them?
Gophers are tough. I just gave up and started with the baskets. I have ground squirrels too. Mostly they just eat grass, though they will come on the deck and chew on things if you do not run them off. There was one inside Home Depot this morning. They are more fun to watch. The hawks, cars and cats keep them somewhat under control.
I asked the guys at one of the local nurseries about those battery things you plunge into the ground. The companies selling them swear they work by emitting some noise the gophers can't stand. The nursery guys almost fell on the floor laughing. They said it was a total scam and that none of those contraptions had ever worked.
Another scam is the gopher plant. I have hundreds of them. They come up all over the garden. The gophers save them for dessert, after eating everything around them. The plants themselves are pretty ugly, and they can give you a nasty rash if you try to pull them out of the ground without wearing gloves.
I hate to say it, but gopher traps work the best. You put them in the entrance to a hole. They work like a mouse trap.
I took a half day class on gophers at UC Santa Cruz. The instructor said that all the folklore remedies were ineffective. He recommended the traps, since they didn't have any adverse effects on other animal populations. Gopher baits, on the other hand, contain strychnine and will kill any animal that eats them.
The traps are a boon, but only if you don't have thousands of gophers. There's no way to set enough traps for that. Besides, some of my gophers stay so far underground, getting the long tap roots, that I don't know they're there until it's too late. There's no sign of them on the surface.
A class on gophers sounds amusing. As amusing as "gopher mix," which is what some of the baits are called. It always conjures up visions of "just add water and stir, and voila: you have created a gopher." Gopher bait is a terrible thing, but cats luckily will not eat terrible things, in contrast to dogs, which seem to love eating terrible things. My cats usually only leave hideous little innards and the faces of gophers on my kitchen floor, but once in a while they bring me an entire gopher and choose not to eat it. I always assumed these were the ones that had been poisoned by the neighbors.
There is a castor-oil based mixture that you spray onto your flower beds that works, but you have to do it at least once a month to keep them away. I use it on my bulb beds, but I don't have the money or the time to use it everywhere. I think it's called Gopher-Med or Mole-Med or something like that.
Oh my, so your cats bring you dead gophers? That must be a sight! I do have a dog that would eat anything, so I no longer use the gopher bait.
It is time-consuming to use the traps on a large gopher problem. The instructor was actually in charge of trapping gophers at UC Santa Cruz and he exclusively uses the traps. However, I'm sure that the university has to use the safest means possible to control the problem. He probably has 20 or more traps set every day.
The instructor did mention that there are gopher eradicators who will inject certain chemicals into the tunnels to take care of a large problem quickly. I can't remember the chemical he mentioned, but he said it was a controlled substance, so not everyone is authorized to use it.
I was out looking at some artichokes I planted bare root. Sure enough the gopher had dug all around the basket, but the artichoke was doing fine, though a little buried by all the excess dirt. I could watch with equanimity his efforts to eat my 'choke.
Oh, I like that trap.. the first two years here, (a little over two acres)... The only acre that we garden on has tons of gophers. I used macobee traps for a very long time and they really work. You have to put two traps in each hole, one facing one way and the other facing the other way with the backs to each other. It will catch it coming one way or another.. I love these traps (caught 17 gophers in one week), the other trap that does work but is bigger and more expensive is one called the Black Hole made out of plastic.
I will go find the traps and take a photo of them.
Kachinagirl, what is the name of that trap up there.
With the flooding we had here, I was hoping that they would drown. The dogs caught two that the rains forced to come up from the ground. Now, we have tons of cave-ins all over the yard. Some are really deep, like three feet deep and about a foot wide. We fill up the holes and as soon as we water a plant, it goes right into that darn spot and it is like a never ending tunnel.
This is just a box trap. I place it in the hole and tuck dirt in all around it. The vent has a "shade" on it so no light comes into the hole, but the gopher can smell the fresh air coming in and goes to check it out. I place peeled carrots just outside the vent...my record is 15 minutes til the trap sprung! This is the gopher our Lab paraded around the yard with (trap et al), so proud of his catch. We just laughed at him. Dufus dog!
Where did you find the box traps? They look very appealing! We're having some yard work done now and were warned that disturbing the dirt was likely to cause more gophers to come investigate our yard. I need to arm myself for war.
I actually found them at a garage sale. I have heard that they are not available anymore, so if you find some, grab them quick!!! Originally I got mine at OSH. I'll keep my eyes peeled and let you know if I come across any out here in the valley. Perhaps one of the box stores will carry them, or maybe we can find them online.
Here in my area, Rancho Cucamonga, we have a company that comes out and puts some sort of gas pellet in the ground where the main tunnels are. I forget the name but if anyone is interested, I'll call and get that info. I haven't had a gopher in a year and we were bombarded with them.
The pellet is inserted into the ground with a PVC pipe and covered with dirt, the moisture in the ground releases a gas that goes through the tunnels and gets the little boogers. My neighbor is now using them and we're very happy with the result.
You might want to call your local pest services Diane. I believe that product is regulated and must be used by someone licensed for pesticides etc. Here in the Valley, the farmers use them and can buy them but regular folk like me...can't.
The company is called "Wildlife Pest Management."
They use a tablet called aluminum phophide and it turns into a gas in the tunnels. I've had 3 treatments in 2 years and no sign of gophers! The neighbors around me have them, but I don't! There is no danger to the doggie as the big tablet they use is inserted into the main tunnel and covered up with alot of dirt. We have cats and dogs there and they've never gone near it. I hope I helped gopher haters out there!
With the baskets, not to beat a dead horse, you do not have to do any of this stuff. Plants do fine, gopher can only eat what grows through the basket, leaving plenty of roots to allow the plant to survive. By the time the basket rots, there are plenty of roots to survive almost any attack. Only one plant lost to gophers in four years that was in a basket.
I'll beat my dead horse too. Gophers can travel overland and they get into the baskets from above. As for the "plenty of roots to survive," this week the gophers got my Zephirine Drouhin rose, which I planted 16 years ago. It had grown big enough to cover half of the front of my house. You can imagine how many roots it had, but it doesn't look like it's going to survive.
They've plagued me for the last 7 years and continue to search and destroy. I've done baskets. bombs, fogs, pellets, feeding stations(that's poison!), commercial pest services, sound emitters, water, saying bad words, stomping my feet, throwing tantrums, crying, pleading, begging. All of them work some of the time, none of them work all of the time.
I no longer plant Campanula or Eryngium...they will plow through anything to get to them. A 10' Red Abby Banana had the entire root ball and interior heart eaten out of it overnight. It was leaning precariously one morning and toppled when I barely touched it. (It was in a basket)
And they will go overland for especially tasty morsels, as will ground squirrels which are just as destructive and just as difficult to eradicate. The damage done by the hundreds of burrows from both of these pests has undermined the stability of our downslope hill in some areas.
I keep telling myself they were here first and they have to survive and feed families too...that works on a good day when they stay out of the garden.
Well, I haven't been here long enough for the gophers to attack anything big, since oldest plant is only four. So far, they seem to work an area and then move on to some place else, leaving churned up soil in their wake. The HOA has had very severe attacks, wiping out whole plantings of certain species. We have tried trapping there, just to cut the numbers, not to do a wipeout with limited success. We are going to plant much smaller plants, more perennials and grasses to see if that helps. This year should be the acid test as most of the baskets from two years ago will be rusted out and many plants are quite large.
Believe me K when I say that would have been my #1 choice...but the city officials frown upon the use of firearms within the city limits.
The gophers have been after one bed for a couple of weeks now, they are after one of the few remaining Eryngiums I think...all they've managed to do so far is make lots of tunnels and chew through the power line to the big fountain. Didn't faze them at all!
Change your fountain to 220 and light up their world! LOL I have clients who swear flares work. I haven't tried that in a long time. They open up holes all over, wherever they can find them. Stick a lit flare in each, then cover up the holes. Worth a try I suppose.
I wonder if one of those electrical rat traps would work?
I had a coworker who used spreadsheets at work in his job, he was a computer nerd He had a nice garden with sandy loam soil and gophers.
One day I look up at his desk and see a plotted xcel graph going back several years with a line rising and falling. I looked closely and every gopher he had bagged was plotted. He too used the chair, sunscreen and beverage method. However his tool was not a revolver but a small gauge shotgun...he lives in a rural area. He took great pride in that graph and disposing of those critters.
Well the gophers got a second E. citriodora. I didn't bury the basket deep enough so they were able to eat right to where the roots branch off the main trunk. Basket was intact, had not rotted out after three years. Gotta remember to bury the baskets to the rim. Not too bad though, out of 1200 plants, only lost two to gophers.
I'm resurrecting this thread because I just heard of a new solution. A guy said he had killed all of the gophers on his property by dropping dry ice into their tunnels. In contrast to most eradication methods, this one's supposed to be good for plants. Has anyone tried this method or heard anything about it?
Incidentally, he told me about it after I complained that the gophers had just killed three big lilac bushes. Not one root left on any of them. As usual, I found out about it when I watered. After the sprinkler had been on for a few minutes, the trees came toppling down.
Hey Zuzu... I feel for you. Haven't heard about the dry ice one yet. I'm like you, I hate to spend more on a cage than I did for a plant! (I think I'm going to the yellow pages to see where I can buy dry ice...) Good luck, and keep us informed!
[quote]Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is generally ineffective. At high concentrations, it displaces the oxygen in the burrow. But no one knows how much is necessary to produce results.[/quote]
But it sure sounds like it may be worth the try. I think the problem is that the tunnels are so vast, that it takes too much volume of most anything to be effective - flares, car exhaust, CO2, cats, ferrets, etc.
You're not kidding. If 18 cats don't equal volume, nothing will.
I'm getting a little nervous about the very idea of handling dry ice, so I'm probably going to stick to my traditional combination of gopher poison in the main tunnels and Pine-Sol in the auxiliary tunnels.
DH just drops a lit flare or M-80 fire crackers into the holes. I think it sends em packing a whole state over. The local orchardists use Fos-toxin. Can't buy it retail, have to have an orchardist friend who will give you a sealed mason jar with some in it. I can vouch for the fact that THAT works!
We garden on a rather large chunk and are surrounded by open space on all sides. Our gopher battle is ongoing, year-round, but especially so when the native forage goes brown (in about two weeks). We fight it with the Maccabee traps. We catch dozens of the little monsters each week and they keep coming back. Last year they took a rose (Honor), almost ate an entire tree dahlia, ate a Ceiba tree, and nibble about on lots of different things. On any one day there are between 15 and 40 traps checked and placed. I will never say we've got a handle on the doggone things because I'm afraid they can hear my typing and will get that 'oh yeah?' attitude...lol. There is a machine out there that some of the golf courses and schools are now using that is about the size of a weedeater and generates a huge blast of compressed air that is reported to be so violent that the concussion of air crushes their skulls right in the burrows. I used the 'sonic' things a few years back when we lived at the coast and they are indeed a joke. I think the gophers dance to the tune. The gassers just seem to get them high, and although the cages to work on ones coming in from below, they do seem to catch on and just come in from above...oy vey, they're persistent. Candy, please don't tell be they love Eryngium. I've got a huge bed of them this year coming into bloom and would just hate it if those buggers found the bed.
Out here in the rural areas, not a lot of gardeners fight them. We've had some luck chasing them away (temporarily) with predator urine, but stopped using it when we found out that collecting the urine was a rather inhumane act. So back to the traps forever it seems. I'll do some research on the compressed air machine and share it here.
I think that was worth considerably more than two cents, especially if it saves someone the price of a "sonic thing." Thanks, DrDon, for sharing your expertise. My cats are like your traps. They also catch dozens of gophers a week. Unfortunately, there must be hundreds of the nasty rose-eaters burrowing around under my poor garden.
Zuzu, when I lived in Scotts Valley the soil was very sandy and we had generations of gophers eating everything in sight. Here was my solution-- the kids in the neighborhood went snake hunting every Spring and I offered to pay them for every gopher snake they would bring me (and put them down the hole for me too), it worked like a charm! I can't remember how many snakes they brought but we didn't have the goplers for a few years after that. We only had 1 acre though, not a lot of land.
That's such a great idea. Unfortunately, some kids came sneaking around the neighborhood a few years ago, caught all of the gopher snakes, and took them to San Francisco to sell. One of them later bragged about it to us. My neighbors and I were furious. The snakes made things so much easier while they were here, except when they pretended to be the garden hose and scared me to pieces by running away just as I reached to pick up my hose.
Yeah , the gopher thing is a problem. It's taken me years to plant the property here because I plant almost everything in wire. The good news is that if you can put up an owl box (or two or so, don't know what amount of spacing they require as far as territory) it's gonna help you out a lot in the long run. There are people here in Fallbrook who have filmed their owls (and babies) in their boxes through the whole cycle and the owls are bringing in something like 8 gophers per night for feeding. Since this has been on the list of things I'd like someone at our place here to get to, we haven't built any yet...But...my neighbors have and we have owls!!! I see them and hear them nightly, so I'm liking the idea that they're out there fighting the gopher problem for me. Good for the owls, good for me, maybe you could check into for your various areas. We need all the help we can get.
Yes, Zuzu, Keep the cats safe. Owls are definitely bad for cats. Our cats cannot be outside here, the coyotes like them too much.The most recent addition to our feline menagerie is very stubborn and does go outside for a while in the daytime. He was being difficult about coming back in at night,but he now has what look to be scratches on both haunches (healing now, scars) and he suddenly comes in as soon as it gets dark. I'm hoping for the best> Life gets a little complicated when you've taken in 6 cats and in mid-life your husband becomes allergic to everything.
Our lot is getting dangerous to walk on in some areas because of the squirrels and gophers. Gopher snakes are good - wonder if we can buy them anywhere? We've only seen one in two years here, but it had a lumpy belly. :-) I like the owl idea, too. We hear them occasionally anyway, and if we could entice a pair to nest it would be great.
For special plants, we do use the baskets, and extend them a few inches above ground. However, my husband hates them and it's a battle every time I want to use one, as I need his strong hands.
We have also used the gas cartridges and they work for a time - like anything else, needs repetition. Black hole traps work, but they have to be placed just right. Think I'll try the other traps - a lady in Fallbrook told me she just puts them at the entry to the hole and gets them all the time.
as to farmerjs' "rodentator" a friend of mine runs a pest control busuness and uses this[or some version of it] in central calif. and he tells me that it is 100% effective on all gofers at home at the time of the treatment but as you know re-infestation is a problem [they breed like,well, rodents] and he has his customers on contracts to maintain a "death zone" by re-bombing them at regular interals.
Well we had a flood last year with all that rain here and I would have thought all those blessed rodents would have drown but Here in the Antelope Valley we seem to be having a blue light special on rabbits, goghers, mice and kangaroo rats which tear up your lawn too. So in retrospect I think all that drown was the preditors. The smoke bombs seemed to help a bit and I poisoned some in the deep holes but then I freaked out because my dogs eat critters so They would be poisoned. I wonder if a house foundation ever caved in from these verman?
oK I did not read all the replies, so this may be posted already.
I had a gopher man come round to our house, it was cool, he explained what where gopher holes, and what were mole holes by the dirt around the hole.
But he sold me these traps called "cinch" traps, they work real great, i have all my plants outside, no baskets...tomatoes, beans, dahlias, you name it, it is all not in baskets, just straight in the soil.
I may lose the odd one, in 6 months they got one pepper plants, but i set these traps and 90% of the time i get something.
I found gophers come in two's, so if you get one caught there is always another running around, normally of the oppersite sex.
Unsure where to buy the traps, but maybe do a search on cinch traps.
It took me around 6 months to see the difference, but well worth it, as i have a huge garden and i hate gopher baskets.
So now i am deer free and gopher free...so it is nice, no chewed upon geraniums or roses and my veg garden is just out there, all happily growing..
I haven't tried this but I read it in a book by Jerry Baker. He says that if you pour some used kitty litter down the hole/run the, little pests will stay away as the scent tells them a predator is around. Good Luck! I am lucky enough to have cats that do keep them away.
By the way, either Home Depot has creatures often I was in the store the same day you were Chuck! Small world.
We have been trapping with success for around 2 months, haven't seen any new activity until TODAY tight in the tomato area!!!! OH NO!!! Oh my I hope we can catch it!! I have 200 dahlias planted nearby...There was no evidence of a gopher at ALL!! Derned things!!! Our neighbor told of us an item called this :
I've tried the kitty litter with no luck, also the castor oil -- liquid and granulated. The gophers were busy at work one or two days after all of these applications. I have found that Pine-Sol will send them in another direction, so I circle my favorite plants with applications of Pine-Sol down at root level. I plunge a stick into the soil and pour the Pine-Sol into the holes.
I see one guy out there dig, dig, digging. I was sitting here wondering if I poured ammonia down the hole when he's that close whether that might gas him out. I know ammonia sure is hard for me to breathe. What think?
The only plant near him is a lemon balm, a volunteer. I have lots of volunteer lemon balm and wouldn't miss this one. Otherwise just brown grass. Maybe it'd kill the grass in that region and I'd have a permanent brown spot there but I think maybe I'm gonna risk it. Right now I don't see any action anymore so maybe he's moved on. I'll let Lionel loose on him in a little while; we'll try that first. Right now Li's sound asleep and I don't want to interrupt his beauty rest.
Yes, by all means, use it near the lemon balm. I'm at war with the stuff. As soon as I think I've pulled all of it out, it springs up again in a new spot. I hate the smell of it, so I can only pull up a little of it at a time. Then I have to run away and find some other scent to neutralize my poor nose.
Well the war still rages! I have tried all of the aboved mentioned except the Rodenator I have all the parts but the long igniter. I wonder if I can just buy that? Anyone want to buy a Sonic Chaser? LOL! (My dog just stood & cocked her head back & forth when I put it in the ground, I think they are useless. I tried the traps & they worked for awhile. The gassers worked ...for awhile. Won't use poisions around my animals. I just got some of that Mole Max the Castor oil based stuff. I thought that was working but then today I see they are Baaccck! They are coming up in the bed I just put that stuff in last week! Then I have a mole that is driving me nuts. I think they are worse than the gophers, well maybe not they don't eat plants. Last year I rigged up this tube thing & hooked it to my tractor exhust & they disappearded from that area for the rest of the year, my tube thing melted & I don't wanna go buy the real deal. I kinda like the soda, chair & gun thing, sounds time consuming tho & mine mostly seem to move at night. We have 2 cats & they catch an occasional gopher but mostly field mice. We do have owls, I have heard them, & a family of hawks live nearby, but I still am plauged with these darned rodents. My neighbor says there is some sort of poison worm that his BIL uses to kill burrowing critters, said Home Depo has them but the neighbor can't find them at our HD. I'm about ready to just pour some gas in the hole & light er off! So the war continues!
Well, I dumped a whole bunch of ammonia down that new hole last evening. So far nothing seems to be effected, even the stupid lemon balm. If anything the gopher probably just moved a little further down the pike. I have a family of hawks (peregrins) nearby too, and for a while, while the wee ones were still in their nest mamma hunted my yard every day. Now I haven't seen her nor heard the babies for a week or so; maybe they moved, or maybe they take August off like the French. I've pretty much given up planting any larger plants in the ground. They go in containers now. Containers are soooooo expensive, if you want anything decent looking that is. I have had great success with the small six-pack size plants by wrapping steel wool around the roots. I have a lettuce I'm letting go to seed that has gopher mounds all around it but it's still perky and thriving. I experimented - used steel wool around three plants and not the other three. The ones without were gone within days and I harvested from the other three beautiful, healthy, gorgeous plants all summer. Same with any annual flowers I planted, the steel wool ones made it but the others didn't. So that seems to be an option for small plants. I mean, I can say, no matter how wicked my teeth were, I still woudn't want to chomp down on steel wool. Not very practical for larger plants though - Oh! I have a banana that was lying on its side because half the roots had been eaten. Since it still had a good bunch of roots on it on the other side, I used the opportunity to shove steel wool around those and then replanted it and staked it. The remaining banana next to it (they've already killed three, with only two left) is starting to look maybe like they're working on it now. It'll be interesting to see if the steel wool one stands while the other gets eaten. Then I'll know that just shoving clumps of steel wool down around the roots works pretty good. We'll see...
4 things I didn't see listed
1 . Juicy fruit gum plugs them up - unwrap a piece and drop into each hole .
2 . Exlac - you know what a little piece does to you . unwrap a piece and drop into each hole .
3 . buy cheap small radios , put on a hard rock station -put in MT can and put in hole at top volume .
4 . go to barber shop and get some hair drop into each hole .
Well, you've all definitely convinced me. I'd been planning on trying the rodenator and the castor oil...last hopes for something that might really work, foolish me! So, I'll continue to buy my rolls of chicken wire. I've been planting in wire on this property for 10 years or so, planted in wire on the property next to it for 10 years, I've forgotten what it used to be like years ago to just go out and put something in the ground. I do have a heck of a lot of plants,so you can see why it's taken me 10 years to do it! You'd think that by now our own little local tribe of critters would have been born with the instinct that there's something wrong with these plants, let's go somewhere else, but no. I also have about 35 whiskey barrels for things like gladiolus and some of my roses, fig tree,etc. Thats where all my small items go also that I can't bother putting in wire, things that are too small that one would normally scatter seed for, annuals and such. The people who don't have gophers can't imagine how difficult it is for us.
Oh hi! I didn't know there was someone in Nipomo on DG. I live right off Burton Drive, as you turn to the right from Hwy 1 northbound. So Lodge Hill, but the town-side, between Hwy 1 and the Cambria Pines Lodge. It's a wonderful area. Gets more sun, less wind than many places here. I don't think I've experienced Arlington yet, but I see it on a map. They're certainly centrally located, aren't they? Probably walk to the farmers market on Friday. I love it here.
I have been on scrapbooking retreats up at the Cambria Pines Lodge. It is so pretty up there. We are going to be up there at some park in two weeks for a family reunion. My MIL's family own some land up there. They have a house, I forget what street. and they own some retail space that they rent out that has apt. on top. That is where they are at. Just a block up from main street. It is pretty up there.
We have another DG'r in Arroyo Grande, his name is Chuck, I haven't seen him on these boards lately though.
Dayna, I haven't seen Chuck on the forums for months. Hope he's ok. I'm gonna D-mail you my phone number and address in case you have am minute to drop by so we can meet. I'm literally only a block off of Hwy 1. That would be fun.
I feel your pain, zuzu. I used to live in Sebastopol, and now I've moved to the unincorporated county south of Santa Rosa. There are so may gophers here! Even though my three cats each kill at least one a day, there is no end in sight. Mine must have diamond teeth, because if they want something on the other side of the hardware cloth, they just chew through.
The only things they don't seem to eat are daffodils and garlic. This week I have 1800 daffodil bulbs arriving. I'm going to ring the next area I'm landscaping with them, and hopefully ward off the critters. Even the delicious tulips I had mixed with daffodils survived last year. The tulips that were by themselves were muched - my barrier was only the bottom and sides, I forgot them could scurry around the surface and dig down to the bulbs.
I planted garlic and daffodils all around my vegetable garden (which is also behind a 10 foot fencr to keep the deer out), and it kept all but one gopher out of the garden this year.
What a great solution, and a beautiful one too. I love daffodils. The gophers have moved my daffodils in the past. I see lots of gopher activity and then the daffodils come up far from the place I planted them. I can only wonder how many they've planted upside down. I guess it's time to buy one of those huge bags of 1,000 daffodil bulbs. This is a solution I really, really like.
One of the growers here said that he had lots of gopher problems until he planted lots of tulbaghia/ society garlic all around. I can't attest to this, but if garlic works, perhaps the society garlic will also (and prettier!)
I have also heard daffodils are good, and our resident gopher(s) certainly never touch the few daffs we have.
Otherwise, although I hate to advocate killing anything, I've done it so I stand in no place to judge! Spring traps do work, although when I used one it took me three tries to get it positioned right. I left it in place for a month, and at the end a perfectly clean gopher skull was all that was left. It's on my mantle now; he shouldn't have gone after the tomato plant.
I was struck by the post that says "The traps are a boon, but only if you don't have thousands of gophers. There's no way to set enough traps for that." While I'm sure that's literally true, gophers are solitary, they do not live in colonies; I'm on 1/3 acre and after I killed the first gopher, we didn't have another one for over a year, so I think their territories must be over 1/3 acre. So I'm not sure if this refers to an enormous tract of land, or if it just sometimes *seems* like you have thousands of gopher because of their awesome destructive power.
Anyway, if you are lucky enough to live in a particular mid-peninsula part of the San Francisco Bay Area, I cannot recommoned Steve Albano's company, Peninsula Animal Trapping, enough for gopher control. His prices were a fraction of the price of larger places, and he solved our gopher problem right away, for over a year. The "larger place" in question sent out a guy to do an estimate, and he *literally* threw up his hands and said they couldn't help me. So Steve is the king of gopher control, in my book.
Though it would be nice if we could all just get along, gophers, tomatoes, people and all.
I've heard that they're solitary creatures, but they must have very confined territorial limits in my garden. My cats catch literally dozens each week, but the damage continues, and I only have half an acre of land. Two years ago I lost 29 roses to gophers in a period of just three days. That couldn't possibly have been a solitary creature.
On a more positive note, I bought tons of daffodil bulbs and society garlic plants today and I'll start planting them around the roses soon in the hope that they'll have a deterring effect.
Well here is a topic I started and participatedin often and I am sad to say that I too live in an area where there is a lot of undeveloped land so tunneling is extensive. I heard on the SW forum that planting castor beans wrks, a lady said she`d send me some but they have not touched hers in a year or two since. We`l see? The hair I heard just makes them crazy but kills no. I am despirate. I put that horrid carburator cleaner down the hole,that is horrid, Never tried amonia but bleach yes. I lost 6 or 7 established roses this year and each winter I lost 3 trees to what,I did not know till I saw the tunnel? I kept ammending the soil. I am about to lose a weeping mulberry but there are some roots left so for now I put poison all over and under the roots. Here are some ideas to toss over. Have you ever had a bedspread that had those nylon threads in them and you moved your foot on top of it and almost got your toes severed? I bought fishing line spools and I am going to wrap all my root balls with it to see if they don`t get all tangled and severed in it. Too Cruel? I love animals and it kills me. I tried the gass exhaust thing but you have to have an idea where all the uncovered hole are to seal them off and it works better with an old old vehicle with out a cadalytic converter or an old tractor. I am going to try a bunch of pain in the but stuff in new beds but old ones forget it, It`s a nightmare.
I recently talked to a guy that smashed quart glass jars and placed the broken glass in the tunnels and filled the holes back in with dirt. He says when they come back and dig, it kills them. Definitely sounds cruel and painful. He says it completely eliminated his gopher problems. He says to put the jars in a sack and smash them with a hammer, enough so there are sharp slivers of glass.
I certainly hope I never live on land he's been on before...I think I'd rather have gophers than slice my hands open every time I dug into the dirt. It took years on one property to get rid of the broken glass left from people who seemed to think that glass would burn in their burn pile.
I'm new to this thread and feel like there are other gopher warriors out there now! The gophers have eaten the roots of my favorite bamboos (the new culms are eaten by the rabbits) and there are now so many in the back yard that it's like a housing development! I hired a tree trimmer to try and save my diseased Olive tree, and his chipper fell almost three feet down in the back yard while he was pulling it up to the tree. Took the guys all day to try and dig it out! I saw a product at Home Depot made from dried blood in powder form. Anyone try that? It's called Uncle Ian's Mole and Gopher (something). We have about an acre in Ventura County in a semi rural area and after being here 13 years this is the very worse I've seen, as well as a major population of cottontail rabbits. I'm thinking of an owl house or five, but worried of the danger to my neighbor's chickens. Any thoughts?
Thanks for reminding me to get some owl boxes together. I definitely want to try them. None of my neighbors have chickens but I can understand why you would worry. Maybe you should just ask them what they think. If you have gopher problems then they surely do too. Haven't heard of Uncle Ian's formula but I'll do a bit of research. We had a nice long day of rain yesterday and this morning have the property is sunken a foot from gopher holes. They're such a pain.
We have neighbors with an owl box and I keep intending to get at least one upon our property, but well, good intentions.I knew that owls are really, really hard on cats, but you have to watch them with small dogs around, also. One neighbor's miniature pinscher got out and the owls got him. :o(
Sherry, I read up on the barn owl on the above site. I wouldn't worry about barn owls with the cats. Horned owls definitely. But the boxes are for barn owls. I'd be more concerned about the birds in my trees but if rodents are their preferred diet, I sure have enough gophers to keep them busy for a good long while.
"Rodents are their preferred food, but small birds roosting in trees or bushes frequently become victims of the barn owl. Cats are not threatened, and ground squirrels, not being nocturnal, are unfortunately not controlled."
We must have other owls around here also..I've heard from neighbors of small cats being carried off by the hawks even. Whichever owls are nesting in the owl boxes carried the small dog away. Looked as though they had perhaps tried to carry it to the box and dropped it from that height right under the owl box. Fenced property that the dog could not have gotten into without being carried over fences. I didn't find it and didn't really want to ask whether or not they had then started eating it from that spot on the ground. Our one cat who was going outside in the daytime didn't always come in by dark and we don't know if it was an owl or hawk, but something had definitely tried to *lift* him. He had parallel claw wounds on each haunch. He's an unhappy but safe all the time inside cat now. Our other 5 have always been inside, but Pippa had a lot of *attitude* about this whole *inside* thing.
When I was moving here I was worried about the hawks and owls getting Lionel. My niece Megan's remark was "it would take a pterydactyl to pick Lionel up!" He's a pretty big dude (three times the size of a min pin), over 20 lbs, and the hawks sit right up there and watch for gophers and ignore him completely. Course, these are the red shouldered hawks; something bigger might be scarier. Lionel is only outside when I am. Night time around here would be very scary for cats. There are mountain lions (seriously, one reported in someones yard just last week), and plenty of other big and scary things that would eat a cat.
I have to say that those things you put in the ground, with batteries DO work. They beep every so many seconds, and I see piles of moles and gophers all around in my neighbours yard, but not mine anymore...
This is my mandarin tree, with delicious roots! It got eaten, and since I have that green thing in the ground; nothing anymore!
I knew an old guy that had an old junker car he used for this.. He hooked up the dryer vent pipe and poured diesel in the carb... sure did smoke like crazy! Soon you could see it coming out all over.. he'd run and throw a shovel full of dirt on the "leaks" and then the pastures and alfalfa were gopher free for another 6months to a year. Just a thought..
I have had great luck with Black Hole Traps. The cheapest place to find them is The Snare Shop on line. They are about $11 shipping included. You get 2 and place one facing each way in a tunnel. They get both gophers and moles. They are very easy to set, you don't have to touch the dead body to get it out and they really work. I told my nieghbor who has never trapped anything in her life about them. Told her to buy 3 as you have to have 2 and if one happens to break, you will have the replacement. She was nervous but frustrated as she had her entire 1 acre lawn torn up. She said, but there are so many! I told her to stomp down the mounds and as soon as one came up to put the trap in. She got 2 moles the first day. And that was all she had was 2. She is a happy camper. Nothing else has worked for me, I have 2.5 acres and for the last 2 months I do not have one gopher or mole. As soon as I see any small mound, 2 traps go in and I always catch them, usually within a day, except when its cold, then they don't come up as much so I leave the traps in for at least a week. These traps are safe around pets and kids, they would have to put their nose or hand deep in the trap to activate the snare. Can you tell I am very happy????
Can you come set mine for me? lol I have only had one success with the darn things and had to switch to poison, which I don't like to do (we don't have dogs at least). I search and search to find a good sized tunnel, but either they get covered up or the darn critters go around the trap. Do you put anything as bait inside? How do you cover them? I'm sure it's my technique - I need training!
First are you using the black hole traps? They are the only ones that work for me. This is how I set them. I take a very long screwdriver and start poking near the mound until I find the tunnel, where the screw driver goes in very easily. Then I poke to find the direction of the tunnel. I find a length of tunnel of a foot or more by poking. Then I use a hand trowel and dig the area out, using the screwdriver to find the direction of the tunnel. Sometimes they will make turns. Once I find the area and a nice tunnel exposed with walls that you can feel with your hand, then I set the traps. I widen the hole to the tunnel until the trap is inserted about an inch or so in the tunnel. I do the same on the other side, so you have 2 traps, end to end. I do not bait them and only cover with a bit of loose dirt right where the trap is inserted in the hole. I put a grass clump between the traps to darken, but let the air in. Make sure the entrance of the trap lines up with the tunnel floor so he just comes trotting out and is in the trap before he knows it.
To find the tunnel, do not dig in the mound. Poke around the outside of the mound till you find the tunnel with your screwdriver or bamboo stick or whatever you use. If they are moles, they will not eat the poisen, gophers will, moles will not. I don't mean to gross people out but I take the dead body and shove it in the tunnel and close the tunnel with a dirt clod. I think it deters new ones from coming when the critter starts to smell. I have not had a single mole or gopher for 2 weeks, my nieghbor has caught 2 more, she is still finding mounds.
I think your problem is not preparing the tunnel well. It takes some time to properly prep the area, widening it so the trap actually tucks a bit inside. They should not go around or miss it as it is an extension of the tunnel if set properly. Soon you get good at locating tunnels. I wish you were closer so I could show you, I have never been so frustrated with gardening as when the whole area looks like a moonscape with the darn critters. But do not give up, once you get the technique down, its quite easy and fast. I can set the traps in about 10 minutes, used to work on it for at least 20. Good luck to you, less of these nasty guys any where makes me smile.
Rebecca, I had to quick look where you live to see if you could come show me, LOL! I need to do this so bad. They are taking over. I put any larger plants in containers and smaller plants and bulbs get wrapped in steel wool, which works remarkably well. They were after an apricot tree and I planted 2 dozen narcissi around it so they're leaving that alone. But I came out one morning to see an 8x5' Cestrum that I just loved looking like someone poisoned it. Cut it back and dug it up and potted it and it'll be ok but anything that was in the yard before I moved here is going, one-by-one. Only one rose left out of a dozen. They took several lavenders and, of all things, the lantanas! Two huge bananas, gone. I poke around out there to try to figure out if I can recognize the tunnels for a trap but the places where they are worst don't have mounds at all. I guess they tunnel under the rock walls and come up to the beds. Absolutely no sign that they're there until the plants are dead. I need to get serious about traps I guess, though it worries me because Lionel does poke his paw down into the tunnels, feeling around, hoping to get lucky I suppose. I'd be devastated if he caught a leg in one of those traps!
If you are using the black hole traps there is very little chance that anything can get in there. The baffle that causes the snare to activate is half way inside the trap. If there is a critter in the trap it is already sprung. If you are concerned, place a bucket or tray over the area where you have the trap.
If you are not seeing mounds, it is probably moles. Moles will not eat your plants, but gophers and voles do. Gophers and voles do eat bait, but I have never seen a gopher that will not make a mound, even in rocks. Moles on the other hand do long tunnels sometimes without mounds. I would say try and stomp down the tunnels if you see any, look for fresh ones, especially around your dead plants, use you very long screwdriver to locate tunnels and just keep trying. Believe me if you are determined, you will get them. Its so much easier than protecting each and every plant. One last caution, try and use gloves so they do not detect your scent on the trap or dirt.
When I first started I concentrated nearest the house, a smaller area where they were active. I ignored further away and worked to get the ones closest first. I have 2.5 acres so it took me a few months to get them cleared out. Keep trying, you will find your technique and then gardening can be fun again.
Thanks for the tips, Rebecca. Yes, I do have the black hole traps. The first time was so easy - guess if I keep trying I'll get it right again. Part of my problem is a steep slope.
BTW, to all - anyone watch Gardening by the Yard with Paul James? Some time ago he talked about a product to deter gophers - I think it is castor oil in granules. He said it really showed promise, but I haven't seen it anywhere. Haven't looked for a while, so I'll have another search. Apparently they hate the smell and will just move on. Wonder what happens when the whole neighborhood uses it? :-)
Unfortunately, it doesn't work, Ecrane. I've even poured straight castor oil into some of the tunnels without any effect whatsoever. It has no deterring properties at all. Pine-Sol does work, but only temporarily. I occasionally pour it in a circle around a plant that seems to have attracted too much attention, but it wears off eventually.
Yes, Kathleen, boo indeed. Don't waste your money. Trackinsand used it in Florida and found that it actually must attract the moles there. She had never had them before she used the granulated stuff. As soon as she used it, her garden turned into a vast expanse of molehills.
Gardens Alive sells the granules. I have not tried them but did try the MoleMed, I think it was called. It is a spray with caster oil. It was on sale at the end of the season for 70% off. I got 3. Took the first one and sprayed it as directed in the area where the moles were active. Woke up the next day and it looked like a bomb went off. It really P...them off and did not keep them away at all. I believe with all the gass, gum, pinesol, peppermint oil, gasoline, etc, it does work. They do not like the smell. So they make a u-turn and just make a new tunnel. Would anyone really expect them to leave the county?? I do have 2 full containers of the molemed left, but its a waste of time.
These traps do work, I had given up on the moles and it was horrible here. Then they got into a special garden of mine and uprooted nearly everything, regardless of the wire netting, etc. It was war. I put the big cinch type traps in, they pushed them out of the ground. I put poisen, they tossed it back up to the surface. I found these traps and got 2 moles in one day. I have some set now, I leave them in a place until I get a mole or find a new mound. Then I move them. I have little flags I stick in, one for each trap so I can locate the traps. I only set 2 traps in one location at a time, but I am diligent if I see a new mound, the traps immediatly go in. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to see all my grass green and FLAT, and my gardens undisturbed. However I have a rat or something that is digging at stuff and eating some bulbs. I have been smelling skunk in the mornings so it may be a skunk.
I seem to have had my best luck repelling the pests with daffodill bulbs. I planted some about 5 years ago with my roses and the little buggers leave them alone. If I'd know to plant them with my artichokes...but never mind that. I have the bulbs scattered all through my beds, and it really does seem that they leave the stuff in those beds alone----and focus on the places where I DON'T have them. I'm dealing with a yard, not acreage like a lot of you, so this may not be practical solution for large areas, unless you can get a heck of a deal on bulbs. I planted tulips the same year I started the daffs, and there wasn't one tulip left by spring, but the daffs were there, and as they multiplied, they seem to have formed a barrier. I still have places where I haven't planted any daffs, and I always have gophers there.
I have 4 cats--you'd think one of them would be interested in a non-feathered meal, but sadly they seem to be afraid of the gophers, and prefer to attack my yard-birds. Most annoying.
Anyway, I really do think the daffs work year-round (I've tried everything else), and they sure are pretty when they bloom!
imapigeon, good to know. I got a boat load of daff bulbs and planted them around my yard this year. They're just now coming up. We'll see how the gophers react. Of course I still have many, many plants that don't have them around yet, but here's a tip: I got my bulbs through a co-op here on DG. I think that's the very best way to get lots of bulbs for a really good price.
I can't stand the smell of the paperwhite narcissus, either. In fact, I have a couple of clumps I'm going to move to the farthest-away corner of the garden so I don't have to walk past them. But my experience is that the larger daffodills have a lighter and MUCH more pleasant fragrance.
I'm glad to know about the Society Garlic, too, as I just planted my first few last fall. It does fairly well here in the Garlic Capital of the World (LOL).
Has anyone noticed if the gophers care whether the variegated variety or the green is used? I want to be sure to plant lots of the one they dislike the most!!~
Oh, and Stella, I'm new to DG---would you mind pointing me to the coop area where you got the bulbs? There's so much info here...it's like "OOOH--SHINY THING!, and off I go into a new forum...
imapigeon, here ya go. Notice there's a caladium co-op getting ready. You missed the calla lily one by a few days but just keep a close eye on this forum (I check it a couple of times a day) and you can get some great deals.
Zuzu, society garlic isn't bad as long as it's not a whole bed full! We visited the Getty museum in Los Angeles years ago and were sitting on a bench in their beautiful garden wondering what the odd smell was. There was a whole slope planted in the stuff! I'll give it a try, as it's a nice looking plant and won't look too odd in our native landscape. Thanks for the tip.
Sherry---LOL! I actually started collecting miniature disco balls when they came out for Christmas a few years ago so I could put them in the garden. They are GREAT "shiny things"!~~ Seriously, though, DG is horribly addictive---I almost didn't get my apple tree pruned on Saturday because I couldn't tear myself away. There should be warnings and disclaimers!! "Not responsible for weeds in your REAL garden"...
imapigeon, yes, it is terribly addicting and everytime I think I know a lot, along come all of these people who are so knowledgeable that I'm in awe of all the new things I learn. It's enlightening and humbling...that alone is worth the price of admission...not to mention the seed trading!
You'll have fun here.
They've plagued me for the last 7 years and continue to search and destroy. I've done baskets. bombs, fogs, pellets, feeding stations(that's poison!), commercial pest services, sound emitters, water, saying bad words, stomping my feet, throwing tantrums, crying, pleading, begging. All of them work some of the time, none of them work all of the time.
I had to smile, then chukle, then laugh out loud. She knows gophers, ground squirrels, the difference and realizes better than than anybody I know that you may temporarily control them, but you will not beat them into submission. If you think you have done it, wait awhile. I could write a good-sized book on gopher remedies. There is no book on guaranteed gopher riddance. I can't figure out how to say that, but you known what I mean.
Our succulent gardens in N. San Diego County are a few miles from Gopher Canyon. Now, this is a deep canyon that runs mostly east-west . Gophers actually dug this canyon. I don't know how many years it took them, It was probably before Columbus..I think the indians knew it and stayed away from it. The descendents of these gophers are busily working their way west. There goal is to extend Gopher Canyon to the Great Pacific Ocean. They only have about 7 miles to go. We have probably already lost the battle. But we keep fighting it. Maybe one day our property will be an island if we fight hard and they have to go around us:>)
Ive been here for 22 years. First year I had 23 macabee traps. This battle is hard work. During burrowing season, (mid winter to late spring)we did gopher patrols every day (still do that). I patiently listened to no less than 50 people tell me ways to control gophers. sometimes while I was setting traps neighbors woulld come over and talk to me while I sweated digging holes, sticking traps in then staking the traps to chains.
We motivated ourselves by taking photos of trophy gophers (these things aren't cute - they are vile rats). We began numbering them and put the number page in the photo. That was motivating too. I finally had to bribe my 6th grader 25-cents/gopher just to have his company on the lonely business of dragging equipment around digging holes and setting as many as 3 traps per hole. (gotta put one in each burrow) - sometimes there are as many as 3 burrows.. Had to put chains on the traps. I lost a few traps due to gopher carrying them off before we started chaining them to stakes. We caught 26 gophers and probably set traps 20X that number. probably 300 holes dug. Edit (oh yeah, I almost forgot the camera - we had to carry a camera to record our victory also the log.) It was a joyous event worthy of celebration... stuffing the dead gopher deep into the burrow and packing the hole. We savored those battle victories!!
I chased one alpha gopher with traps for 2 years. caught it deep in the roots under a fig tree that came with the property. It was a monster easily 3 times the size of a normal gopher. whew.
Meanwhile, I developed a number of deterents. So-called 'gopher-purge' Euphorbia is a joke. I've watched gophers pull it into a burrow as they chompped on it. I use and have found that succulent Euphorbias are effective deterents.
San Diego County had a baiting program in the 80's and so we started baiting. I still bait. We have 3 dogs in a fenced yard so don't any animal protectionists jump on my case. I've always had dogs (have 3 outdoor dogs now) and outdoor cats - none has ever been affected by gopher bait. I am very careful and it is recommended by every govt agency out there. I use a probe now for application and it works well.
Sound probes are excellent for special cases where I can't get a bait probe into the burrow. Gopher always depart within a couple of days. I have several friends that they work well for also. Sometimes they will come up to the probe and dig around , but within a few days they are gone. the probe irritates them... i have 4 of them. They are good for a radius of about 10 feet in my DG soil. I use them around many of the retaining walls. if they burrow into anyplace I can get a bait probe in they will be history.
These are migratory animals and will always be a pest here. I live with that. kinda like real cold weather. we have to live with it. They don't make me go crazy anymore. I'm shell-shocked I guess... lost so many rare plants to them.
Oh for the old days...The original ownerof this hill killed gophers by shooting highyly lethal. ethyl bromide into the burrows...in the late 1940s. It is so dangerous now that I think it is controllerd by the Atomic Energy Commission (lol). The old guy who lived well into his nineties said he had to be careful around trees, the gas was so potent it would kill trees if the burrow he was shooting led to the tree.
Here's some things Gophers don't really like too much.
Most Agaves are low on Gophers list (sorta like me and boiled okra) If I was staving I would find a way otherwise give me almost anything
Most Aloes are low on Gphers list
Aeonimums I haven't seen one touched by a gopher
guess what we grow...lol
Thats about it...they eat everything else I've tried to grow Edit we also grow nolina, some of them are resistent to gophers Beaucarnea can be severely victimized by gophers and I have a real thing for Beaucarneas, so we have to fight with them a lot for Beaucarneas.
By the way, There is a use for the Euphorbia so-called "gopher purge" . I learned from a nursery owner that if you cut the stems at the base (careful with the sap) and lay the stems in a contigious closed circle around plants on Cotton-Tail rabbit menu, they will not cross the circle. Pretty simple solution to that. a deterrent.
Oh thank you bob! I particularly appreciate the list of things they stay away from and, yes, I'm adding to my succulent list constantly because they seem pretty safe. Everything else I'm potting up. Containers are so expensive! But it's either spend $60 on a container for your $30 plant or have the gophers get it once it's a $120 plant. My next project is learning how to make papercrete containers to save myself a bit of money and create my own "style."
You're a wonderfully witty writer...just wanted to say that. Made me laugh and at 8am that ain't easy.
BTW, I planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs in the fall and I can say the gophers are staying away from those areas. You can see one heap of mounds going right up to the edge of a daffodil bed on its way to the last banana left in the yard. They tossed a couple of the bulbs out onto the ground but then gave up and went away. Just thought Zuzu and anyone else who is trying this would appreciate that information.
Anyone else with plants they've noticed gophers don't go for?
Another thing...it seems like they stay away from the ferns in the yard too. I haven't seen any evidence of them going for ferns when they've eaten everything else around it.
bob, it's a shame John Wayne has passed on, because I could see him starring in the move version of your story, which I totally loved! The sunset (or sunrise), the boy, the traps...the enemy...it's a Western classic! Thanks for sharing!
John Wayne, lol. Could this be John Wayne? This guy was hunting gophers today (totally unusual to see a red shouldered hawk on the ground but he was after that gopher!). He kinda walks like John Wayne.
Thanks for the lengthy and informative post, Bob. After 23 years of first-hand experience with these monsters and with the inefficacy of all the presumed solutions, I couldn't agree more with everything you say.
Stella, I think you're right about the daffodils, although they do have to be planted en masse to do the job properly. I tried ringing my favorite roses with 8-10 daffodil bulbs but that wasn't deterrent enough to save the roses.
As for the list of plants the gophers don't like, I can only say they're the ones I don't like either. Ever since I moved in, I've been trying to eradicate the previous owner's legacy of Arum italicum, blackberries, ivy, St. John's Wort, and Lemon balm. I've failed miserably and the gophers have been no help at all.
Since my one outside cat is now totally inside, I know I'm going to be inundated with the gophers. Pippa was one gopher catching cat! So 2 days ago I'm out watering andI hear rustling in the leaves under the trees/ tall shrubs and up pops this fat, sleek very healthy gopher trotting across the open ground. I didn't have a shovel or he'd have been a goner. He ran back in his hole, I jammed the hose in and hoped the water was faster than he was. Sure. Anyway, I could see where he's been looking around, up next to the house where I've never had any before, next to the Mexican feather grass, in the middle of Shasta daisies. Poured PineSol and used cat litter down his hole. This morning I'm sitting at the dining table reading, look out the French doors, and the little bugger sticks his head up,looks at me through the doors and I swear he was smirking! Among the things that have spread (and spread) that they never seem to eat on my property are geranium incanum, vinca minor/ periwinkle, erigeron/Santa Barbara daisy, sword ferns, centranthus/ red valerian, alyssum, leonotis, tradescantia/ the "wandering"one, crinums, and I don't believe they've bothered the Lindley's buddleja. Some of these things spread so fast that maybe the gophers can't keep up! But that's okay, too. If I can grow things that they like to eat and that aslo spread a lot, maybe they'll eat that and leave the other things alone. I know they love the perennial morning glory and it gets out of hand anyway, so it's good that they eat that. I'll have to go out and look around tomorrow and see what other things are spreading without wire to protect them, and doing okay.
edited to add...yes, lemon balm also
gypsy, strike Santa Barbara daisies. They will eat Santa Barbara daisies. But you're right, maybe they reseed fast enough to stay ahead of the gophers. I wish I could find that perfect plant that multiplies really, really quickly but the gophers just love. Then I'd just set them up with their own corner of the yard. I don't mind maintaining a 'gopher corral."
Gopher Canyon is East of me. Rattlers hang out in areas that haven't been cultivated nor civilized, etc.
We've never seen rattler in 22 years. Several gopher snakes, (who eat gophers) Owls (who farm gophers for food) and King snakes who eat gophers. Altogether we've seen maybe 5 snakes. Owls live in an old wind tower year round on neighbors field 200 feet from our gardens. They eat gophers year round 2 or 3 per owl per day. Often there are 3 or 4 owls in the tower. These critters can't solve the gopher migration problem though... wonder what it would be like without the predators...??
That's what happens when I'm reading in a hurry! I saw the Gopher Canyon part..the friend who lives in Gopher Canyon is in the country club section and their dog has been bitten twice by rattlers. Another friend who lives above Pala Mesa has rattlers at her place repeatedly. I've only seen one here once this last year though our surrounding neighbors have had them turn up occasionally. We're in the Winterwarm area. We do have owls and I know they help tremendously. It's neat to be outside at night and see them come gliding through.
I have to go to church but will check in more on my favorite, depressing subject. I wire basketed a bunch of trees and I am tring my fishing line thing too, near every plant bastet or possible above ground entry I put wads of fishing line in all around and under, some of it wrapped around the wire , but I am hoping they will get all tangled and stuck in it while tunnelling they will die with severed body parts or be frustrated and leave. Those stricnine peas, turn into grass that I watch my dogs eat all around. As soon as I see it , I have to pull it, but one day? I need some other thing. I put a lot of my plants in bigger containers, cut the bottoms out, put wire over the cut out and fishing line all around where they may dig to get under the wire and i put heavy wire around the basket but I am going to try duck tape next.
Hey most here are from Ca. , did you check out the round up on the Ca. site? I am doing a side of my yard that has been untouched in forever, so i decided to do a lasangna garden with wire first layed down, then all the layers. I am on the first layer but need to put a sprinkler system in at this layer before I go on.. I may put regular chicken wire before I put sod down in an area too, with some garden soil over it, then the sod. It is rediculous. It is more expensive too. Thank God the lasangna garden is cheap and ez. I put those peanutbutter poison sticks that dehydrate mice in the holes, every one I could find and I stomped other holes that I could not see because another person told me that the fruit gum and stomping out their tunnels, makes them get tired of redigging so they move on. I stomp everywhere I can now to crush them, but I still see new spots, but I will keep going.. The Carbon monoxide thing didn`t work because they just block it with dirt and go to another area.
I just finally dug out a huge grass clump that they demolished last year. Within three hours after I pulled it out they decided to excavate the area again and there are mounds around every plant in the area. Do you suppose they had a nest down there? I really did disturb them by digging that out. They had pulled what was left of the plant down about 8" into the soil and though it was no longer growing it was very difficult to dig out. I'm gonna try stomping down all the mounds; never thought out that annoying them but it probably would...and I'd love to do anything to annoy those little buggers.
I remember the lady just told me this last week, she said she`d send her kids out to stomp everywhere, she had a problem for sometime and she was sure that just got old for them. It is worth a try. My neighbor is an exterminator and he has none, he says and I have all his so he gave me the big story of how best to treat them with poison or with an exterminator like someone said,I think Gypsy about the wildlife company, I can`t find the link since it isn`t blue now. Anyway he said treat them as soon as you see fresh dug dirt and a new tunnel. He says they store food in certain areas and put it in a den for all of them, he says treating old holes may do nothing until much later if at all because he said that they don`t use the old dens unless their driven to, you kill them near fresh digs. What a nightmare. Devils.
I got the plant at Las Pilitas on Friday and I think they had a few more. I was surprised at the root system, since the plant itself is not big. We get almost all our plants there, as we're trying to stick with natives - too much area to do a fancy garden, and it's not our style. We enjoy the natives, though with all southern slopes, they don't all enjoy our place! If the N. bigelovii works for us, I will definitely get a couple more.
We saw some great egrets eating gophers after the first rain. Little buggers came up out of their flooded homes, and gulp! down the hatch! My DH videotaped it because we were sure nobody would believe it.
I've planted daffodils and garlic around areas I want to protect from the gophers, they don't think these taste good. My 3 cats do a good job of gopher eradication efforts. There's a house going up across the street, means we'll probably get some more during the construction.
I just don't even try to have a lawn. That makes the gopher problem less depressing.
flooding doesn`t work, trust me our area was completely under water for about two weeks 2 years ago and last year we had a huge rodent problem, rabbits, mice and gophers. I thought i saw these little scuba guys swimming around the yard with masks and tanks, it was amazing. It apparently killed a lot of gopher snakes though. I wonder if it would be worth it to put boric acid down the tunnels, it is very bad for your soil though so it probably would only be worth it in areas near gravel or walkways, not near plants. It works for bugs, turns their system into a solid concrete like thing when they drink. Furthermore , my DH works at a Borax plant(mine) and there is not a living bug or animal on the property. ya know it is safe for humans they say though. Right? In their ponds, there are alot of dead ones. This Mine is about 10 miles from that town, that was in Erin Brockavitch, called Hinkley. it is a ghost town practicaaly but there are some dumb people that live there. there is a bar too.
No matter how nasty the place, it seems there's ALWAYS a bar! We have an abandoned mercury mine not far from our area----according to the pictures, it's another lovely spot. Wonder if they have gophers? Probably mutant glow-in-the-dark ones.
I have really good news...for me,anyway. We've always had ferrets here and I never thought anything about it until my neighbor saw one today and asked about them because she's worried about her chickens. I'd never thought about what they eat, knew they'd eat chickens and eggs,but...ta-daaa, they eat gophers!!! and rats!!! How cool is this? I hope we have lots of ferrets!
I want some, anyone got any?Their my new best friend, oh ya and the ferrits..with my luck they would all eat the poison that the gophers don`t. I like the birthcontrol pills idea, we will wrap it in peanutbutter.
Okay, I checked images andI have seen a couple of San Diego gopher snakes here. (makes sense...San Diego)
Well, I've never put out gopher bait,but gotta say that I was thinking of doing it this week. I hadn't even given a thought to the possibility of ferrets getting it. Simply hadn't thought of them. I'm glad my neighbor called and asked about the ferrets. I really like them and wouldn't want them harmed. And when I read about the gophers..wow.
Dawn, JasperDale has wild parrots close to his house in Long Beach. They're waaaaay cool.
Well, I'd really like to encourage the ferrets, so I'm thinking I'll put out some "Welcome, Ferrets" signs...and "tell your friends about us", "please ask about our free gopher continental breakfast!"
I distinctly remember picking up a snake when I was about 5-6, but I must have gained some good sense somewhere in the subsequent years.
That sounds like when my son was little and I would offer him and the neighbor kids a penny apiece for snails they found in the yard.
Wages have gone up, but then snake handling should pay more than snail handling.
I always laugh when I remember a friend telling me about the day she was out in her yard and she kept hearing this little "plop", "plop, plop, plop" and couldn't figure out what it was til she realized her neighbor was throwing snails from his yard over the wall into hers. I never could figure out why she didn't stand there and throw them back!
I've been making note lately of which plants my gophers don't seem to bother once they've reseeded and spread,etc. My Mexican Bush Sages have spread way,way, way beyond the original 1-gal wire baskets that they were planted in and the gophers have never eaten them. They also have not eaten Oak Leaf Geraniums that reseed.
Here you go, Sherry. Can you see the lump? It's probably a gopher!
My DH left the garage door open one day and this guy came to sun himself. My brothers had snakes I used to handle when I was little, but not this big. I understand they can bite if cornered, so I patiently shooed him off so I could close the door, then he went to the front steps! A little sweeping motion with the broom did the trick, though. Haven't seen one since.
Our up-the-hill neighbor, who has a wild life rescue, discovered one of her neighbors had gardeners who were killing snakes they found. :-(
We really are considering an owl box in our pine trees.
Cool on the black hole traps...we used them to wipe out the avocado rats and was thinking I'd make myself get out and hunt gophers with them...and them found out about the ferrets. Now I don't want to put out anything that will kill the ferrets. I'm hoping there's more than one and it's really hungry 'cause I've seen some fresh gopher mounds.
I need to try them, but do you have to set them next to the holes or dig up a hole and make a crater and put the trap in? I am not familiar with these, I think someone said before but I need them, all I have is a big wire giant mouse trap kind and I am afraid to set it and trigger it on my fingers.
They are easy to set - you won't hurt yourself. But you do need to put two of them end-to-end for best results, which means a bit of digging to get them into the run. They aren't cheap, either, but very sturdy and will last a long time.
What I do is poke around (not in the mound, but to the sides) until I find the tunnel. Sometimes this is frustrating if they've left a lot of mounds. You have to set the traps in a main run - one that has both an entrance and exit, not one that just leads up to the plant it was destroying! Widen the tunnel until you can just fit the traps in end-to-end. The air holes will fool them into thinking the tunnel is still usable, then whichever way they go in, SNAP! You need to close the hole back up on the ends, but not block the trigger, as you said.
Well, the secret is very good with gophers! I use old trap and set it up then put some lettuces to cover the trap which gophers cant tell the feel the metal trap is cold to know back up! Make sure trap have long chain to pole that cant lose the trap. So, make more long in hole gopher dont like to hear the noise so I cover the wood on hole. Keep cats out.
I has been caught gophers 100 for 9 yrs! (as I count it and mark the date & year.) So, new law now cant kill it any more. Once in S. F. area, I heard there is law for cats who own and caught the gophers for fine!
County of San Diego's erradication program provided bait for 50cents a 1-lb bag until retailers like HD complained.
I have 20 rusty traps with attached chains that I haven't used in 20 years. Traps work, no doubt about it. It is for people who have no faith. You get the satisfaction of seeing these nasty little hole rats dead and it makes you believe.
But, if you have 1/2 acre or more (I have 2 acres) to keep cleared bait is the answer. Facts are facts. Neither Caltrans, nor any state agency that has experts assigned to gopher control use traps except in very highly specialized situations. If you know how to use bait and use it properly (u have to be smarter than the rat (gopher)) you will control them best with bait. If you have over a half acre you will never completely get rid of them, you can just hope to control them. We used traps for the first winter 22 years ago and caught 26 that year, before I learned about the county program. As I have said before on this thread, these vermin are migratory. If you didn't get the bait in the right place you might as well flush it down the commode. I now control by killing maybe 20 per season by baiting. I have border collies who will not permit them to live in the non-landscaped areas.
You have to find the burrow. The fresh mound is a silly decoy. There is a burrow nearby, but it is almost NEVER right under the mound. When you find the burrow, (by poking around with a piece of small diameter metal). (i use a probe now that both finds the burrow and delivers the bait to the burrow). If you don't have a probe the metal rod finds the FRESH burrow then you have to dig into the burrow and I put a teaspoon of bait down each branch (always 2 burrows at least) because when the burrow is covered the passage is closed and you don't know which direction the gopher is situated. If there is activity in the area within a couple of days you missed and you have to get right back on it. You can't be casual about it.
As to the peas sprouting, indicates you are not burying the bait in the burrow. Most burrows are at least 8 inches below the surface and I doubt that bait in the bottom of the burrow could sprout thru that kind of distance. I have never had a case where a dog got any of the bait and I have had dogs for over 40 years of baiting and trapping gophers. I am very attentive to not spilling any of the bait. If a few grains get away, I find them and put them in the burrow or flush them down the commode.
Bob, this is very useful information. We have 1.25 acres in Bonsall and I have been using both bait and traps recently. When you say burrow, are you talking about the main tunnel that goes across the one to the mound? Like a T-junction? I do always put the bait down the tunnel, and I'm glad to hear you've had no trouble with your dogs.
The other thing we are concerned about are the owls - we are bird watchers and wanted to put an owl box up in our pine trees. But the article I found (link above) states,
"Underground baiting for pocket gopher control with strychnine presents minimal hazards to nontarget wildlife, either by direct consumption of bait or by eating poisoned gophers. Poison bait spilled on the surface of the ground may be hazardous to ground-feeding birds such as mourning doves."
I will do some more searching, but perhaps we don't have to worry the owls after all.
Owls aren't scavengers, they go for live kill, and will not take a dead gopher.
There are several burrowing (tunneling) strategies. Consistent among the pocket gophers in this area (I'm in the Bonsall Planning District also) is the compacted backfill that is used after mounding. It serves dual purpose. A burrow used during contruction permits a path to extrude the soil that is moved from the burrow to the mound. Then backfilling and compacting furnishes additional storage space for more soil removed from the main burrow and nesting area(s). It also keeps the casual predator out of the burrow inasmuch as there is no soft or open path to the main burrow.
Depending on the lay of the land, the size of the adult rat may have several paths to the main burrow that happen to be near the mound. When setting Macabee traps its important to have a chained and staked trap down each burrow opening exposed. (I've seen as many as 4 openings. in the tunnel that is exposed to place traps).
The article related to Mourning Doves is relatining to spillage. I am extremely careful not to spill any bait and if I do I put the result in the burrow before I close it.
I just got back from vegas and i will read the link after the race, but thanks, I am overwhelmed and have 5/8 of an acre. I used to put some bait under the roots of my roses to hope that in the winter the gophers would eat the bait if they worked their way to the roses roots, before they ate the roses during the winter months(that is where the peas were growing, near the tunnels where my bait was near rose roots. I do need to visualize the den to get a mental picture of what i am doing. thanks all.
Bob is right on the money. I fought them for years - I tried Juicyfruit gum, traps, human hair, smoke bombs, you name it. None of this stuff works. What got the litter critters under control was going out every morning and looking for fresh mounds, then poisoing the tunnels. My back yard is only 50' x 30', so this isn't a big chore. Using this method I haven't had any new gophers in months. But I'll never stop my daily rounds, because I know you can never get rid of them completely. They always come back.
I'm starting to think I may need to go the poison route...I didn't want to do it but I've exhausted all my other options. I started off with the vibrating "Mole Chaser" thing, but gave up on it one morning when I went out to the garden and the little fellow poked his head up out of a tunnel not 2 feet from where the mole chaser was. If I'm not mistaken, I think he stuck his tongue out at me! So then I resorted to spraying gallons of castor oil on the garden (leaving a nice path open to the field behind me for him to make his escape of course), but it doesn't seem to be doing anything except encouraging him to dig up more plants. I almost bought poison this weekend when I was at Armstrong, but since I had an armful of nice organic stuff like John & Bob's soil optimizer, Neptune's Harvest, etc I wasn't sure what they would think of me if I also bought gopher poison!
I understand I am an animal lover but it is costing way too much time and money now, so i have to kill them anyway I can. One of my devils, flipped me the bird when I kept drowning the holes and carried on with his digging. I bought the black hole trap thingy. I put pepper and chili seeds in the bottom of my plant holes and on the sides too.
I have a spot outside my French doors where I now feed birds. Since the last cat remaining outside has now been made an inside guy, I wanted to provide some entertainment. The DH says it's cruel for him to be able to watch the birds but not get at them, but I think it keeps him from being bored,so I started putting out birdseed. Since there's no cat out there now to get them, they also got a great new bird bath. I love it, now while I'm at the pc, I can watch all the action at the feeding station, The 'regulars' are...sparrows, bluebirds, bluejays, gray thrashers, robins, towhees, bunnies...had no idea that rabbits would love birdseed...and a gopher! It's so funny, it's like watching a video game or something. The open space in front of the birdbath is surrounded to the sides and back by ferns and other vegetation and the birds and bunnies duck in and out of there if they feel the need for cover. Well, this gopher comes darting in and out of there like a cuckoo clock. I mean, he is fast! It could almost make me like gophers. I keep waiting for himm to jump up and do the happy dance. So now I'm thinking that if I just maybe put out enough birdseed to feed the gophers, I can get them to leave my plants alone...if you can't beat 'em...feed 'em?
Hmmm...I wonder if I put a trail of birdseed leading to the field behind my house (which is where I'd like my gopher to move to) if that would work better than what I've been doing (chasing him that direction with the vibrating mole chaser and castor oil spray). Still haven't been back to buy that poison because he's moved into the area of my back yard that I haven't planted yet. I'd still like to get rid of him and I'm spraying the castor oil every day trying to keep him moving in the right direction but it's not as urgent since he's not munching my plants anymore--he can eat all the weed roots he wants and that's the only thing growing where he is!
That is funny, I probably would think it was cute too, but I can not deal with them at all. I spent a fortune of money and plants and my back, in labor. My roses that they didn`t get last year had lots of deep open holes under ground(I felt with a piece of rebar and it went far) so I poisoned the holes I poked and shoved it way down. Hope I kill your seed lovin friends family or else i will have to buy bird seed lure and night vision goggles and bust out my guns. I alo got repellent that they said smells like a septic tank. great
My admiration for salvia leucantha 'Mexican Bush Sage' just grows and grows. Not only is it tough and absolutely beautiful, but I learned when moving some years ago that I can just pull it out of the ground (in lieu of more gentle dividing, since I was in an extreme hurry). I've been pretty sure that the gophers don't bother it, since it spreads and spreads beyond the original wire cage and has not been eaten and this week in pulling out chunks for dividing, I've found that directly beneath the roots are large gopher tunnels and they haven't touched the roots at all. In case I haven't mentioned it earlier elsewhere, my favorite planting of this sage is with tagetes lemonii. It's incredibly beautiful together...really vivid.
I`ll look into that. I found out recently that many beautiful plants that grow here are not sold here in the AV., I never knew why and I would have to go to San Fernando VLLY nursuries to get some, but out local guy at out nursury had the same questions and found a grower in Scottsdale that will send us stuff. I think tagetes lemonii is not a familiar name. I will look it up. Do you have Chaste trees in SD,gyps?
Ok bush marigold, I haven`t seen that type here but in the Valley or santa clarita maybe. Want to trade seed? I have drought tollerant wild flower mixes and cottage garden mixes, bunny tail grass but it is dormant still, just sprouting. What was it you were looking for again, in native? I never traded before.
Dawn,if you want some tagetes lemonii, I'll do some cuttings for you. I had a bunch left in 1-gal that I finally planted (with the Mexican bush sage). The tagetes is golden yellow and against the purple they're incredible together. If you're in Cambria, go out to Linn's restaurant (out Santa Rosa Creek Rd) and there's a mature planting of the two together. I came home and planted some together right away. I have seed pods on the tagetes, but just left them on there all winter. I haven't tried them from seed since the cuttings take so well. Chaste trees grow in our area. I have seeds for them, but didn't get then wintersown to be stratified (think I read that they need that). I'm planting seeds today, so I'll go ahead and try them. Also brought home one of the purple leaved vitex (I'd have to go outside to look at the label, and then I wouldn't make it back in), but haven't placed it in the ground yet...too much to do.
It is a crazy season for sure. i do not know what stratified means. One more thing to look up. I really do need to start cuttings, I have had no luck, I think I need to add some sand to my soil where i start them because too much caleche. I want to multiply my roses and pyrocantha so i need to start on it soon, trying again. Do you have a germinator? I would love some cuttings. muchas gracias
I'm pinning high hopes on the ferrets and hoping their territories allow for having quite a few on the property. I was beginning to despair that they had moved on...til I almost tripped over one while coming in the kitchen door yesterday...little sweetie ran right under my feet! I hope he's gobblin' gophers.
I was feeling pretty good about the gopher situation until this afternoon...at least one of my whiskey barrels has rotted out on the bottom (even though it's raised a bit on bricks) and a gopher came up through the bottom and got one of my hollyhocks.
I only caught one. I put the black trap in a tall skinny box cut holes at the ends, dig a littleput the box opening in the middle of a run and bait it, close it up to make it dark that way I do not have to dig so much under and it keeps them from kicking dirt into the trap, the box blocks all light and I even put stuff around any possible crack of light on the box and around the holes and I put Peanutbutter on the back of the trap and block the air holes almost completely with carrot. Nothing today, hope tomorrow.
I pine soled near one of the roses I think their after and poisoned it too. growl, hope you get yours?
Is that the before pix or ar they friends, it looks quite amicable marie. Our gopher was beige and white like a guini pig it was not ugly like yours, but mine was not as happy appearing as yours is in the picture. lol you have private mail on yahoo.
Let's just say he served as a playmate for a couple of hours. Butterscotch was extremely proud of his catch. But like I said he brought it to us from the neighbors. It would be much more helpful if he would catch one the 50 or so we have.
We live on a large rural property and have a big gopher problem. The only thing that works for us is a pest control service that uses poison. The tech is very careful to funnel the poison into the tunnels so that no other animals can get to it and then he seals the entrances with soil. Twice a year maintains a fair degree of control. I've also read that encouraging barn owls to nest nearby really helps but they have very specific requirements. They prefer dead trees in open meadows or barn lofts. Some websites make and sell nesting boxes but placement is crucial.
Your point about the hooting is a good one. The tree we would use is at the opposite end of the lot from the house - but we do have neighbors on that side! We sometimes hear owls, though, and don't find them a bother at all. Same with mockingbirds. I know some people who absolutely hate having them around.
I've never felt good about poison even if you bury it properly in their tunnels, I always figured what's to stop the gopher from eating the poison, then popping up above ground and dying there where my dog or my neighbor's cats might find it. I don't know that much about gopher behavior though, maybe this isn't something that's likely to happen. I'd sure love to have someone come poison mine for me, but I was worried about the poisoned gophers winding up above ground and accessible. I'm more worried about the neighbor's cats than my dog, he's not usually outside except when I'm around but the cats are out and about the neighborhood all the time and do spend time in my yard hunting the gophers (they obviously aren't doing a good job catching them though!)
Ecrane, don't worry about the cats. Cats don't eat poisoned gophers. They're very fastidious. My cats usually eat the gophers they catch, but now and then they kill one and leave it for me to perform the disposal services. I assume those are the poisoned ones.
My neighbor has a lot of cats and hers get her gophers but my dogs kill her cats so i know i can not have a cat. I`m hosed on that front. Owls hmmm. Theyd probably eat the neighbors cats but I do not really have a dead tree and there is a big desert lot accross from me with no trees. The poison If it is gas, I was told kills them with a cyanide type gas that kills them and then that is it, they are not poisoned from ingestion. They also have these mixtures of propane and o2 that explode the tunnels underground and cave the tunnels in on them and it kills them and rids you of even old tunnels.
Scatter some millet out there, they'll come. I have more every year. They're even brave enough to be out in the yard when I'm there (if Lionel cat isn't visible that is). This is a couple of days ago. There's always one who stays in a high spot to watch for trouble for the gang. I'm now attuned to which sound they make for "hey, there's food over here guys!" and "yum, this is great isn't it mom?" and "OUT, everyone out, cat alert!" Here's the sentry for the evening...
My back yard is fairly open in the center with just a few small trees. The the yard is rimmed with big Monterey Cyprus and Monterey Pines. I think they feel protected in a small but open space where there's a high spot for the sentry to sit. Just try sprinkling some millet from the outside of your property in and see how long it takes. They'll come.
We have a similar configuration, and we can supply the a high spot. I just looked at our native plant nursery site and it seems they like lupine seeds, too, and we just planted some. I will get more. Thanks for that tip, I'll start with the millet this weekend - it's a staple in our house because we have parrots.
I sure hope we can keep them around. I know they are threatened here because a lot of the wildlife corridors are being interrupted and the habitat, of course.
I just read in a Tehachapi cal paper that there is a huge world wide rampant disease or fungus that is killing all the honey bees, like 50% of them are leaving their nests and dieing, what is left is diseased homes. This could lead to a huge pollination problem world wide.
6 lbs. gopher meat
1/4 lb. salt pork, cubed
3 Spanish onions, diced
5 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 (16 oz.) cans sliced tomatoes
10 c. water
2 datil peppers, whole
Salt and pepper to taste
3 potatoes, cubes
5 tbsp. brown flour
1/2 c. water
Clean gopher meat well and drain. Fry down salt pork in a large cast iron pot. Add meat and brown. Remove meat, drain on paper towels. Add onions, celery and bell pepper to salt pork grease and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and a little water if needed and cook down to a pulp on low heat for about 2 hours. Add gopher meat, 10 cups water and datil peppers and salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes the last 30 minutes of cooking. Mix brown flour with water in a glass jar and shake vigorously. Bring stew to a boil and thicken with flour mixture. Serve over UNCLE BEN'S® rice.
1 cup flour
Place flour in a cast iron skillet on low heat and stir continuously until brown, being careful not to burn it.
I spotted some activity in my yard late last week so I have a call in to my favorite landscape exterminator, but they haven't called me back yet...I hope they're not closed for the rest of the year or else I might have to resort to something similar!
Hi all-not sure if this was mentioned (long thread-lol) but I had a problem with a chipmunk family and I took care of it by dropping several drops of pure Peppermint oil in every hole of theirs I could find.
I don't know how long it took as I didn't pay attention, I just know I never saw them again after that. I put the drops in at the end of May, and they never came back. The holes were filled in and not a sign of them ever since. Give it a try-it is a nice easy fix :o)
I'll give it a try, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I've tried every other thing out there that's supposed to deter the gophers and nothing has seemed to even discourage them the tiniest bit so personally I'd be very surprised if the peppermint oil worked. But if it does that would be great! Much cheaper than having the exterminator out here every month or so.
He puts pellets down their holes which react with moisture in the soil to form phosphine gas which is toxic to them. I like it better than poison bait which could also kill my dog or my neighbor's cats! Unfortunately the stuff he uses is a restricted pesticide that only licensed pesticide applicators can buy, so I have to pay him to come out and do it rather than being able to buy the stuff myself.
Maybe it would be worth it to take the class to become a licensed pesticide applicators. I do not know how hard it is, but I think Susie is one. You are going to be a gardener forever more.
I am freezing today. I just put on a big soft bathrobe over my clothes and upped the heat. My husband has it where it turns off during the day as if I do not feel the cold. I am supposed to go out and prune roses but I am shivering too much inside to go outside.
I never thought about becoming a pesticide applicator--I'll have to check into how much the classes would cost. I don't really have time for stuff like that though, I'll probably just keep paying the guy to come out!
I'm freezing too--fortunately I control the temperature in my house so I can set it wherever I want, but I had some pretty outrageous PG&E bills last year (I wasn't really keeping things that warm...I seriously think my house doesn't have insulation!) so I'm trying to keep things on the cold side! I keep hoping the sun will come out so I can take my dog for a walk without having to bundle up in gloves, scarf, etc!
This is a perenniel thread. It always seems to liven up at the onset of 'gopher season'.
I know about gophers. I don't know much about ground squirrels, moles, ground hogs, badgers or any other underground pest.
Gophers are vermin. The worst kind of rat for people who grow desirable plants! There are 2 things to be considered when dealing with these vermin. Deterrents and Kills!
The treatment with peppermint is a deterrent (if it works at all on gophers). I have permanent deterrents that are seriously effective and don't have to be repeated every time a gopher digs new burrow. In fact they don't dig new burrows around the deterrents. The deterrents keep an area clear of gophers. Because these deterrents are plants that don't fit all occasions they can't be used in many landscape situations.
I've dealt with KILLING gophers now for 23 years. I've tried many things that a serious gopher killer would pursue. The most important thing is to approach the serious task with seriousness. In our area near the famous Gopher Canyon Rd. it requires vigilance and some commitment if you are serious about gopher control.
So after many stories (to date over must be over 100 different ways I've heard about to kill/ gophers). I have settled on one major program. I've described it on this thread previously. But the thread is too long and boring for somebody who has a serious problem and wants to deal with it in a serious way. It's too hard do dig out the details from the long thread. So here is a basic repeat of HOW to kill gophers. It will work.
23 years ago County of San Diego's eradication program provided bait for 50cents a 1-lb bag. Then retailers like Home Depot must have complained that the government was cutting into a major "money cow". The county quit the program. Now we pay over 15 times as much for a bait that is no more effective. After all if a grain of wheat kills a gopher, how much more effective is a grain of maize mixed with a raisen and half-dozen other edibles. If a gopher has some grain he isn't at all picky. The fancy stuff is designed to appeal to the human buyer, not the gopher!
I have 20 rusty traps with attached chains that I haven't used in 20 years. Traps work, no doubt about it. It is for people who have no faith. You get the satisfaction of seeing these nasty little "hole rats" dead and it makes you believe. I used to give my boys $0.25 per head for gophers that we caught, just to keep them motivated to help me work gopher traps everyday after work during gopher season.
Because of the work involved and the effectivity of bait, if you have 1/2 acre or more (I have 2 acres) to keep cleared, you have to develop faith...bait is the answer. Facts are facts.
Neither Caltrans, (the state transportation agency who in their normal course of business has to deal with millions of gopher problems every year) nor any other state agency that has experts assigned to gopher control, use traps except in very highly specialized situations. Neither do many of the thousands of golf course maintenance people in the state use traps much, except in special cases.
If you know how to use bait and use it properly (u have to be smarter than the rat (gopher)) (I AM SERIOUS - the longer you fool with a gopher the smarter the gopher gets and the dumber you will feel) you will control them best with bait.
If you have a half acre in the prolific gopher areas of Calif. you will never be completely get rid of them, you can just hope to control them. If you have a small yard and don't want to fool with it call an exterminator.
We used traps for the first winter, 22 years ago and caught 26 that year. That was before I learned about the county eradication program. As I have said before on this thread, these vermin are migratory. Unless you have totally deterred doesn't mean because you don't see them this year they won't come back. They move above ground at night. They are territorial and if they find an area that isn't inhabited by other gophers and there is no deterrent they will dig in.
I control by killing maybe 20 per season by baiting on the 1+ acre that is landscaped. I have border collies who will not permit them to live in the non-landscaped areas. I have no idea how many they kill, but they know how to do it and it is one of their favorite sports. I can't even imagine the notion of calling an exterminator every time one of these migratory critters 'digs in'. There is no permanent fix for some situations.
Here is what you need besides vigilance and tenacity.
1.Metal rod at least 3 feet long, with a pointed end. I use an old chain link fence gate latch handle on a 1/2 dia rod about 42" long. A piece of metal tubing hacksawed to a point is just a good tool for this.
2. Gopher bait. Comes in a cardboard can and is available at all serious hardware stores .
3. old round-bowled small soup spoon (small enough to comfortably fit into bait can)
4. small ditch spade. You won't need to make a wide hole but it may have to go down a ways.
I have found gopher burrows running over 3 feet below the surface, but that is not normal. (the gophers that dig those burrows are some of the ones that are smarter than me and are probably still toying with me out there somewhere). They don't hurt anything of mine that deep, so I figure let them have that space. Maybe its an exit route out of here.
It isn't unusual to find a burrow 12" below the surface.
Here is one of the games that entertains and keeps us at it during gopher season. The game starts whenever the gopher puts up a mound in your domain. You win if you kill him before he puts up a 2nd mound. (There is another game that involves some tricky smarter than average gophers. I will deal with the simple-minded gopher)
To kill any gopher, unless you are very lucky,you have to find the burrow. The fresh mound is a silly decoy that confounds your effort to find the burrow. If you fall for this decoy and dig right under it, you will in most cases, give the gopher 1 point to your 0 point. Many many gophers win the game here and don't ever have to get any smarter. Some "would-be" gopher killers give up here and go call an exterminator. Then its you against both the Gophers and the Exterminators. In this case you lose by default.
The occasional dumb gopher will build his burrow right under the mound and you won't have to be real smart to get this one. You may get to beat him here.
There IS a burrow near every mound, but it is almost NEVER right under the mound. I forgot to mention that the soil will be damp. If the soil is dry the gopher has won this game - Score the gopher with a WIN. Gopher wins 1 you lose 1.
The fact that you didn't notice the mound the morning after it was dug is testament that you really aren't serious about dealing with gophers. (There are much more enjoyable pursuits - even watching the grass grow is more fun). However in the gopher Kill game your lack of vigilance has been your defeat.
Whenever you have a damp fresh mound you have a chance of successfully finding a fresh burrow., Poke around with a piece of small diameter metal. (i use a fancy bait insertion probe that both finds the burrow and delivers the bait into the burrow).
If you don't have a bait insertion probe, use the metal rod to find the burrow.
After finding the burrow dig to expose the openings. Put a teaspoon of bait down the openings that form each branch. There are always at least 2 branches (one each in opposing directions).
After inserting the bait in each branch (sometimes there are 3 branches), stuff the open burrow branches with leaves, dry vegetation or anything that will block backfilled soil that you use will to fill the hole.
Then cover the hole you dug If you don't see any more activity in the general vicinity after a few days, score yourself with a KILL.
If you do see activity ( remember vigilance). Score the gopher a point and repeat the process.
Most burrows made by 'pocket gophers (the species that plague us) are at least 8 inches below the surface.
I have never had a case where a dog got any of the bait and I have had dogs for over 40 years of baiting and trapping gophers. I am very attentive to not spilling any of the bait. If a few grains get away, I find them and put them in the burrow or flush them down the commode.
I am on my way down, imapigeon, LOL. It is supposedly 48 here. I am still chilled!! I am on my 3rd cup of tea. I received the best Earl Grey tea for Christmas. I am drinking it all up. I am also eating the best cinnamon bread. I bought it at first at the Filoli Christmas sale and just found it at Berkeley Bowl the other day. So here I sit eating cinnamon bread an sipping tea in my bathrobe at almost 2 in the afternoon. Having gotten nothing done yet.
Kell--let me know what you find out about licensing! I really don't think I'd want to go to all the trouble, but I'll give you plants if you come over here and kill mine!
Thistlesifter--can you share what the deterrents are that you know are effective? I've tried castor bean plants and while they didn't actually eat the castor bean plants, they did destroy a plant that was right next to the castor bean, so it didn't seem very effective to me!
I know that poison baits work and I know how to use them, but I can't take any chances on poisoning my neighbor's cats. They hunt my gophers...I've seen them in my yard poised over an area where the gophers have just been digging waiting for one to pop its head up, and the last thing I need would be for them to catch one that had just munched some poison bait. Although technically it would be their fault for letting their cats run around loose, I'm friends with them and wouldn't want to be responsible for killing one of their kitties! That's why I like the phosphine generating tablets instead. But those only work in irrigated areas, so if you have a large yard and don't regularly irrigate some areas then it won't work.
So far the flare seems to have done the job on my little patch of land. I saw smoke coming up 20 - 30 feet away in two directions, so I know it was at least traveling some distance. This set of pests is at my office, which is a converted 1950's home. The city bought the two houses next door and just finished building a parking lot. When they dug their first test hole for whatever the city felt needed testing, the gophers went nuts. The city must have disturbed their burrow. The front corners of three homes all had huge mounds of dirt thrown up. Now that the two houses are gone, I think the gophers have set their sights on all the new planting of the parking lot area. Fortunately I don't have too much landscaping, but they have taken out two Nandina and I have some nice hydrangeas to protect. Unfortunately I have some taro that has become a weed and they don't seem to want to touch it.
It has been a full day since the BOMB! and I don't see any activity. I know I was coughing pretty good after a small problem with the fan when I started. Turned out the insulation on the wires was frayed and I got some nice sparking. As I hustled to find another fan, the smoke built up and I took in a bit more than I had planned. What we risk to win just a little skirmish with these critters.
Do you think a Dachshund would do a good job? I might be in the market for a new pet.
That is about the same way I rid myself of them too, though it is probably time to reapply and search. I have 5/8 of an acre and my next door neighbor is an exterminator and gave me a whole big story about the habbits of the devils so I use a big piece of rebar and probe for soft spots, if I find one, I use my little laidal and pour it down then push further, cover with leaves etc., then poke about three more areas nearby and poison them too. I really do a lot near my roses because I lost so many 2 years ago. It has helped alot, plus I have a gopher snake, atleast one and an owl hangs out now sometimes so it all helped.
Thanks. Ecrane, any pest control can do the bait but the gas you have done is a specialized thing with a lot more cost and time and a State test for it but I think you have to be an exterminator for a while before you can take that test or atleast have a lot more time and money because there is only one or two in our whole area certified for the gas, and one with the machine that does the propane o2 explosions to collaps the tunnels.
I use 5 different species of Euphorbia in places where they are not obtrusive to the landscape. There are 2 that are especially nice and add color and interest to landscape. Neither of this is much help to a lawn or turf situation.
There are hundreds of these spurges that can be and are used.
One of my former neighbors had a rare plant nursery before he passed. He put a particularly defensive succulent Euphorbia with vicious thorns around his entire 1 acre lot just inside the fence. This kept all kinds of animals out of the beds where his valuable succulents grew. He had no trouble with rabbits and gophers didn't tunnel under nor crawl under or go over these plants.
He once told me that it kept out all kinds of predators including the 2-legged kind. The plant is not rank, but slow. Any time I see a gopher mound in a non-landscaped area around a fence (over 1000 feet of chain link fence here) I put insome of this succulent plant. Don't see many mounds anymore. Dogs won't even go near this plant! But it isn't a plant one can fit into just any landscape so we use it advisedly.
We landscape with xerophytes. Many of these are very bottom of the gopher menu.
I must confess that I don't have cats. I have had. I like them, but not in the house and there is no way a cat lover will let them out on their own in this environment. Coyotes, hawks and eagles all prey on cats. My neighbor is a cat lover. Her cats spend a lot of time hunting gophers in our gardens.
I've not ever seen a cat dig around for dead gophers or touch already dead rats. Dogs will bring them up when they are puppies. We train them to leave dead animals alone. Cats will bring up their own kills, but not already dead gophers as far as I know. I was raised on a wheat/corn farm. In the 1940's and 1950s we had milk cows and beef livestock and our grain was often stored in wooden graineries till we got it to market. Rats infested those graineries. We had dozens of cats. most of them weren't were never domesticated. They lived in the barns. They hunted/killed/ate rats.
Dad baited rats by the thousands with stricknine and arsenic. Dad never killed a cat. Cats don't eat road kill. When on their own they kill their own food.
Your concern is easy to understand. But I don't have the same concerns because my own experience has given me the confidence to use bait. I understand others not using it. I wouldn't recommend anybody else to use it if you have the concerns about killing a pet. There is always a risk. There is always a tradeoff. We live here and love it. But there are many tradeoffs living in Calif rural communities.
Thanks--I may try some of the Euphorbias. I don't have a lawn so it's just garden beds that I'm trying to protect, and once the plants are established it'll be a pretty low water use garden for the most part so the Euphorbias should fit in. Will pretty much any Euphorbia species work, or is there something special about those three?
As far as the cats--I wasn't worried about them finding dead gophers, I know they wouldn't bother with something that was already dead. I was more worried that they might catch a gopher that had eaten poison but hadn't died yet--I figured the poison might take some time before it kicked in, and if the cat happened to catch it then there could be trouble. Or does the poison work fast enough that something like that couldn't happen? Either way I know the chances of killing one of the neighbor's cats is pretty small, but they're nice cats and the neighbors are nice people so I didn't want to take chances! If I were in your area though I'm sure I'd use the bait, it would be much better for a large area. But I'm here in the middle of suburbia on 2/10 of an acre so it's a different world!
My neighbor said that the poison in a rodent will not kill a dog anyway, which I am a sceptic about but he explained why at the time and seemed to belive it from a professional stand point. Not worth it to see if he is right to me though even though he probably is.
Especially if it's a big dog that wouldn't surprise me, after all gophers are very small so the amount of poison needed to kill them would be a lot less than the amount needed to poison a dog (unless maybe you have a Chihuahua!)
My thought is that even the most honest exterminator, while he probably has access to some information, has a little bitty conflict of interest.
There is always Google.
I requested an article from DG's Palm Bob who is a practicing Veterinarian.
I asked him about use of Round Up several years ago. He replied he had never treated a pet affected by Round Up and that it was safe to use in the recommended dosages. His thought that unless a pet licked quite a bit of the RU right after application there was no danger and even questioned the toxicity of taking in that amount.
I didn't know Palm Bob was a vet. I could go to him as he is only an hour away if I ever needed a better Vet than we have here.
Funny I talked to him before about my friend who rented a guest house from someone who had more succulants and cactus than I had ever seen and from all over the world, they made their own pots too and owned a large kiln. He was interested in seeing it but my friend moved and the people were funny about others seeing their yard I guess.
If I had the address I would write to them and ask for Palm Bob to see it if they didn't mind. It is in the San Fernando valley where he is.
Malathion is illegal now in Cal. unless something recently changed.
Malathion has been in general continuous use since the 1950s. It has the shortest half-life of any commercial chemical fertilizer I know.
Home Depot, Lowes, Armstrong Nurseries, and all my nursery suppliers have sold it continuously for years. It is even used periodically by both San Diego and Los Angeles counties to control fruit flies.
I use it lightly whenever natural, less potent, remedies fail.
Despite all the hoopla that is raised in the news when it is used by the state and county and after much research, no evidence has been found of it creating any health hazard when used in accordance with instructions.
That makes it much less dangerous than automobiles and electricity, while not quite as useful as either of those.
Yeah, Bob, but the stink of malathion will kill you! blecccchhh!!! Once while working in a hospital, we had a patient come in who drank a bottle trying to commit suicide. How he swallowed it I'll never know. The whole ER reeked and they had to put him in a room by himself, of course, because the smell came out of his pores.
Several of our neighbors let their dogs roam - until a coyote gets them or the highway does. I've had great results with Sluggo (non-lethal) and don't worry about it. The snails aren't a huge problem for us anyway.
Thanks for the link to the article - I missed that one.
Well, you'll most likely see some here! Depending on where you live you may see more or less of them. At my old house (20 or so miles north of here) I had one that came in occasionally, probably lost 4-5 plants over 3 years. Then I moved here and lost hundreds of plants in one year. Well, guess that's exaggerating a bit but that's what it felt like! But I know other people who live within a few miles of me who don't have problems with them. I probably have more trouble because I have an open space behind me, but I had an open space behind me at my old house too and didn't have as many problems. So I'm not sure what it is that determines whether they're going to invade a particular yard or not.
Thanks--I may try some of the Euphorbias. I don't have a lawn so it's just garden beds that I'm trying to protect, and once the plants are established it'll be a pretty low water use garden for the most part so the Euphorbias should fit in. Will pretty much any Euphorbia species work, or is there something special about those three?
I didn't forget about your Euphorbia question.
Your guess is right. Pretty much any Euph. will help.
Once in a very dry year I had a big Scarlet Macaw on the patio that fed squirrels and rats, we inherited a ground squirrel that year who we witnessed eating one of the Euphorbias in great quantity. I thought it humorous, 'shades of Caddy Shack' lol. It was funny to watch a plant being chewed on from below and 'sucked' into the ground. When one considers that it was one of the more effective gopher deterrents I thought it hilarious. I digress.
We had to sell the food-generous Macaw, there were too many issues with him. In addition to his outdoor untidiness (he fed vermin and our family dog who loved the peanuts, while we were away during the day) he developed language issues while at the commercial bird sitter where we left him while vacationing. He used X-rated vocal drama he had picked up from another bird while at the bird sitter. Quite an embarrassing set of heated expressions had been learned. Trouble was, some of our neighbors some 300 yards away told everybody at a local pool party of "intimate" bedroom drama sounds in the neighborhood and we realized they were talking about our bird Bogey! We sold him to a couple that thought his vocabulary was entertaining.
We have many plants that seem impervious to pests. We have four kinds of garden pests. No. 1 worrisome enemy at present is an Aloe mite. Hundreds of Aloe in the landscape and since the ban on Cygon 2e we have had an invasion of Aloe mite. I patrol the gardens twice a week and have a treatment that will cure a new infection, but there is no general preventive from re-invasion. There are litterly thousands of Aloe in landscapes in this area and many people are not aware of the damage these Aloe mites are doing to their plants. I believe it is approaching an epidemic. Not too important in the overall scheme of things, but is a major concern for us Aloe lovers.
The last 2 years (until the recent rains) with the drought; rabbits have been another curse. They eat young aloe leaves and when very hungry will devour a good-sized plant whenever there is an absence of other greenery. So we've had to develop defenses against them. We do not wish to harm cotton-tail rabbits. And we don't. But I don't have problems with putting up defenses against their destructive habits and so we have learned a few.
Of course, gophers are still ones we have to deal with. All the dumb gophers are gone and there are some very evasive 'home boys' who do their tunneling without the tell-tale mounds. I'm on to them so it is only a matter of time till they will meet their end. I've already found an effective deterrent against this unique variant of 'submerged rat'.
Finally, the famous 'Argentine Ant' who is also the enemy of many succulents/xerophytes. It 'farms' or 'daries' mealy bugs and aphids for enslaving them for their ability to suck the soft tissue in many of the 'clear sap' desert plants. So we have developed ways of ridding ourselves of ants and that is a challenge to keep up on 1 acre of xeroidal (my word) succulent landscape. Again vigilance.
So we have sought plants that are suited to defending themselves of these predators. Aloes were among our best-suited till the Aloe mite became such a problem. Here are the plants we find most effective for landscape here.
All species and culivars of Aeoniums! We have probably 2 dozen species/cultivars in our landscape. Nothing bothers them!
Gophers won't touch them. Only a couple are bothered by rabbits during severe drought periods. Ants and mealies don't bother them and no bother from aloe mites. They just grow and look beautiful. For climates like the Canary Islands (which ours is like) Aeoniums is the most politically correct and versatile and enduring landscape bedding and background plant out there. Very very drought tolerant and we had temperatures as low as 27F last winter and sustained no damage at all.
Agaves are perfect also. Gophers don't touch them after they get a little taste of the alkaloids in the roots of agaves. There are many small and beautiful agaves under development that will be available in years to come for the smaller yard xeriscapes. Rabbits dont eat Agaves. The alkaloids disturb the athleticism of Cotton Tail. Snails, are somewhat of an issue, but they are easy to control.
Euphorbias are all but impervious. There are over 10,000 in this tribe so there is always something to suit your fancy if you are looking for the 'Dangerous Beauty' type xeroid or xerophyte to defend your landscape from gophers and squirrels.
Echeverias are not bothered too much by submerged rats or rabbits. There are several dozens of these that we use in the landscapes and beds around our gardens. Biggest threat to these are ants and their slaves.
Well this turns out to be an article. Too much Starbucks after the movie tonite!
Thanks Bob! I had a couple Euphorbias at my old house which I really liked, so it's good to know that those should work against the gophers. I'll have to pick up a few and add them to my current landscape!
Gophers are really my only major problem in the garden. I also have huge amounts of ants but they seemed to like my house and my hot tub better than my plants. I do have to figure out how to keep them out of the hot tub next year--I was thinking of getting some Tanglefoot or something along those lines and putting it all along the bottom of the hot tub so they won't crawl up.
E crane I had so many ants too and I was told that that is what the gophers really love so when I got rid of the ants, I stopped seeing so many gophers too.
An exterminator told me that malathion was ilegal now in California 3 years ago, if it is not than I have been missing out. You are right the smell of that is nauseating. I don't know which is worse that or the stuff to kill bores, both give me a headach and make me want to vomit.
Gophers are vegetarians, maybe they accidentally eat an ant or two in the process of munching people's plants, but they definitely aren't after them on purpose. Moles are carnivorous, I think they like grubs and things best but I suppose they'd probably eat ants too if they ran across them--maybe the person who told you that had moles and gophers mixed up?
Maybe but it is wierd that I have not seen the mounds since I got rid of the ants. The ants were almost as bad as the gophers, they suffocated all my plants, every one that I dug up that was suffereing was covered in fire ants. All I know is that a combo of things changed for the better and I pray it stays that way.
I hope it did work, but it could just be a coincidence too. I saw some gopher activity the week before Christmas and called the exterminator but they were closed for the holidays so nobody's been out yet to do anything. But I've seen no new activity since the 21st which was the day I called the exterminator. I think they're really just starting to get going for the season, plus I've noticed that they tend to not be as active when it's rainy, but then when things dry out and get warmer again and dry out a little bit then all of a sudden they'll be back . So I'd keep an eye out for a bit longer. Hopefully it did work though!
I spoke too soon, went in the back today and saw a butt load of recent activity in my new sod. DH raked a few days ago and I said,"Why didn't you tell me we had gopher activity and he said it just didn't compute." I told him to tell me if he sees it again asap. grrrr. Went out and poisoned the area all over but didn't have my rebar so I just dug.
BTW I am sorry it is not malathion that I was told is illegal here now but diazinon. (however you spell it)
Hmmm I have tons of gopher activity again. I though they were gone but it must have been a long vaction. They are back in full force!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was able to watch one of my corn plants start to disappear into the ground but I was so hoppin mad that I pulled it back up!! (nothing left o fthe roots but I sure did feel like I won for a second or two. Mine are enough to make throw a tantrum like a 2 year old. I have had them come out of their holes and just stare me down.
I have a lot of gopher activity in my garden but I don't see any damage. They just keep piling dirt around my irises and I'm always uncovering them. But there's a lot of interesting ideas here that I might try. They sure a nuisance. Do you think that because there are alot of cats in the garden, they might be keeping the boogers from doing damage? Every time I get out there to weed, I smell evidence that a cat has been there. I don't ever see dead gophers or live ones for that matter.
Hi Louise I was thinking about you today and there you be. The cats are in your favor though my neighbors have cats that get all the gophers in their yard but they live in my yard well. Last year when I shoved the fecal matter from the dogs in the holes it seemed to help ward off the boogers.
Hmmmmm, 3 dogs, lots of fecal matter!
Yeah it just looks like the gophers are enjoying making a mess of the garden but they aren't eating my plants so I guess that's good!
I've been wondering where you were too Dawn.
I have a dog and his poo has never seemed to repel the gophers. And my neighbors have three cats who roam the neighborhood all day and spend plenty of time in my yard, and that doesn't seem to deter the gophers either. But maybe I'd have more if I didn't have the cats and the dog in the yard!
>>> 12/27/2007 1:38:34 PM >>>
I just want to get a license so I can poison gophers on my own property. It gets way too expensive getting a professional out here every month. The pesticide I want to use is a restricted pesticide. Which license do I need to get?
on my own property, KEY WORD, my own property, restricted pesticide
License or Certificates are obtained by examination
You qualify as experienced by passing your exam
After you pass your test there are continued
education requirements you will have to meet
A one time Application fee of $80.00
This fee is repeated if you do not obtain a
license or certificate in testing after a years
You are mandatorily required to test on Laws and Regs,
the cost is $50.00
You can select up to 3 other categories at $50.00
Test periods are for at 3 ½ hours to 4 hours and
we normally only schedule for 240 questions,
a minute per question
You should be sure you understand what study materials
are available and from where
The applications are written in as self explanatory
manner as the department has deemed possible
But some things are still a little hard to comprehend,
you are welcome to call with questions to our phone
line, 916 445 4039, and reach our receptionist
Tell her the program you are interested in and
she will transfer you to the technician who
is better suited to give you your answers.
October thru late January are heavy periods on phone calls
because thousands are renewing their Pesticide Licenses,
we ask for your understanding in any delay or oversights.
Study materials are available at cooperative extensions
Throughout the state:
Here is the link, http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/license/lcforms.htm
Scroll dowm to Miscellaneous then
view VISA/MASTERCARD TRANSCATION FORM
please complete this entirely, check your account
digits and expiration date and be sure to sign and date
>>> LicenseMail 1/2/2008 11:04 AM >>>
Please respond and when complete cc LicenseMail
If this is anything like I have for my garden, you have to document ANY pesticides used, how much you used and when you applied it. Kind of a pain to have to report your every move to the AG department.
There confusion here.
Pesticides that are sold to you without a license are not "restricted pesticides" and do not require a license to apply.
I would think that anybody who is selling a course in use of restricted pesticides assumes that you know that.
Home Depot, Lowes and many other garden stores sell all kinds of pesticides for which there is no requirement for a license for an individual to use in his/her own domain. Most of these DO NOT sell restricted pesticides. Usually farm stores and nursery supply stores sell restricted pesticides, but they are not on the open shelves, you have to ask for the particular chemical or item that you need and the professionals know what that is and therefore know what to ask for. I believe state law requires these items to be locked up and away from the general usage garden and landscape pest controls.
Gopher bait and D-Con and many other rodent baits and ant baits are sold along with mouse traps. None of these require a license for an individual to apply for their own use.
PotEmUp, Gophers live in areas that are burned over and in areas of brushfire.
Whenever they get the scent of smoke these rapid diggers isolate a burrow from the smoke by back filling it and digging away from the source of smoke. Whenever you put a flare in the burrow most of the time they do just that. It is one of the hundred our so ways that has a poor track record as far its use for long term gopher control. It is also fairly dangerous in that when things are dry on top it can start fires. Furthermore, compared to bait which costs less that 5 cents per application it's cost is many many times greater than bait, which has been proven to be most effective.
I haven't bought diazon (sic) in 2 years. It doesn't surprise me that that it has been outlawed. Things change rapidly in the pesticide world.
There is much concern about the 'honey bee blight' that has been going on the last few years. So many pesticides are being re-evaluated . I suspect that contingent liability possibilities is causing chemical and pesticide manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to look very carefully at things they are doing and they are thus being cautious.
Weegy I would not trust those gophers for anything. They are chomping on something underground (roots) Not sure if they like iris though. I know they seem to leave the daffodils alone and do not like castor bean plants. I am going to try and grow a jungle of castors in my yard and see if it helps deter them or not.
thistlesifter--the pesticide in question when Kell sent them that message was the phosphine gas generating pellets that my exterminator uses. It is a restricted use pesticide. I like the gas stuff because there's no risk to my dog or my neighbor's cats as we were discussing a few days ago.
It may convey a false sense of confidence to convey that phospine gas-generating pellets is safe to use around pets.
Reports are that it is around 15% more effective than poisoned grain in its use to control rats when used under optimum conditions. Poisoned grain effectivity is not subject to nearly as many variables to be effective.
There is no mention of the degree of risk to pets. It is advised that pets not be near it during its effective period. Its effective period length is somewhat indetermanent, and subject to quite a number of variables, but can extend up to 10 days.
Here's what Univ of Nebraska information pamphlet has to say about the phosphine gas generating pellets (a gas formed from Aluminum Phosphide tablets).
This site addresses use of both the tablets and the cartridges. Tablets are not a controlled pesticide (in Nebraska, but may be in CA). Cartridges are controlled pesticides. There are risks both with human health and that of pets and livestock with the use of either of these, but particularly more risk with the cartidges.
One should keep in mind that there is no long term effectivity. It is gone within 10 days at the most. Since gophers are migratory till mating season if they find abandoned turf unclaimed by another gopher they will move into the old burrows; clean them out and take over. So just like with the use of bait, the job will have to be redone each season and sometimes multiple times within a season until/unless there is a deterrent.
ALP pellets or tablets can be dropped through a 4- to 5-foot length of PVC or ABS plastic pipe that is inserted deep into the burrow entrance of an active burrow. my comment (These are primarily used to control prarie dogs) . Plug the entrance with crushed newspaper or other material as recommended by the pesticide label to prevent soil from covering the tablets or pellets. A cow chip or slice of sod can also be used to block the entrance before two or three shovelsful of moist soil are placed over the top to create an air-tight seal. Seal other entrances to the burrow, if they occur. Prairie dogs have burrows that are relatively short and typically have only one or two entrances.
Complete release of phosphine gas from the tablets or pellets may take hours or even days, depending upon temperature and moisture. Initial release of phosphine gas is quicker from the smaller pellets than from larger tablets. In a test trial of ALP within grain in bins, PH3 from pellets attained a peak concentration of 400 to 700 ppm in 48 hours whereas PH3 from tablets attained a peak concentration of 150 to 250 ppm at 48 to 60 hours. The smaller size of the pellets, however, make them more difficult to handle. ALP may be used any time of the year, but we recommend applying it when soil temperature is above 60°F (15°C). Use higher recommended doses when cool, dry soil exists. We do not recommend applying ALP when soil temperature is less than 40°F (4°C).
For large numbers or high densities of burrows, such as in black-tailed prairie dog colonies, you may want to work in pairs to simplify the application of ALP. One person can dispense the ALP while the other covers the burrow entrances. Always work apart or so that the other person is not downwind of the pesticide. Avoid breathing the gas by working into the wind.
Wear dry cotton gloves to avoid contacting the skin with ALP. Remove metal jewelry to avoid its corrosion, as specified on the pesticide label. Replace the cap of the cannister after every dose is applied into a burrow to avoid exposure to phosphine gas. Replacing the cap after each dose also limits exposure of ALP to atmospheric moisture. Apply ALP at the approximate dose (usually two to four tablets or 10 to 20 pellets) per burrow as recommended by the pesticide label Prairie dogs and ground squirrels are active during the day, so schedule completion of the fumigation just prior to night to ensure that surviving animals will not dig out the sealed plug before an adequate dose of PH3is released.
Avoid contacting the skin with ALP or breathing phosphine gas. Do not get the ALP material, including powder residing at the bottom of the cannister, in your eyes or on your skin or clothing. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling or applying ALP. The phosphine gas produced by ALP is slightly heavier than air, colorless, and in common forms smells like garlic. Certain formulations of ALP contain a compound that releases ammonia. This pungent gas serves as an initial warning that phosphine gas may be present. The absence of an ammonia-like odor, however, does not mean that phosphine gas is necessarily absent.
Symptoms of overexposure to phosphine gas include headache, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty breathing. Severe exposure may damage liver, kidneys, lungs, and nervous and circulatory systems, and may cause death. If a person is exposed to phosphine gas, get them to fresh air immediately. If the tablets, pellets, or powder are swallowed, administer one or two large glasses of water and induce vomiting. Read and observe the entire statement of practical treatment on the pesticide label before fumigation.
Never use ALP in or near buildings inhabited by humans, livestock, or pets. ALP is not hazardous to livestock in field or range situations, if used properly. ALP can be flammable or explosive. Always store ALP away from heat and in a cool, dry place under lock and key. Do not store in buildings inhabited by humans, livestock, or pets. ALP cannisters must be stored in a metal box outside the cab of a vehicle when transporting. A single vehicle cannot carry more than one case of ALP canisters without installing warning placards (DOT Exemption #10753).
You are a wealth of information.
I want to kill my dh now for not letting me know about our little furry devil, because I see a new hole and fresh dirt so did not get him yet. Today I busted out a trap which I have in a tall narrow box with most of the bottom cut out and both ends cut out, sunk in a giant hole with two tunnel openings and the trap inthe middle, covered w/dirt and a block over the hole entrance on the side where the activity is, it is covered with dirt and a plastic trash lid to keep it from being rained on and it is completely void of light and it is bated with carmel apple slices in the back of the trap. I have a little bit of insect chalk put in there so hope it keeps the ants off of it and does not detour the devil. I caught one and only one in this contraption so I hope it works. With all the coming rain it may not anyhow. growl. I feel like chewing my arms off right now at the thought of this mattle and the sight of my new sod.
thistle, my ag guy told me to document any pesticides or weed killers that I use in my garden. Of course this guy is a little scatter brained but he always works with me with anything that I need. Thanks for all of your information, you sure are a wealth.
Dawn if you're hungry don't chew your arms off, don't you have something in your fridge?!?!?!??
Well that Bas$%^&, packed the trap, the black box trap, top bottom and sides, and ate not a thing nor was there ants, reset it but if I don't kill it or catch it, I WILL CALL AN EXTERMINATOR BECAUSE THIS WILL NOT GO ON IN THIS PART OF MY YARD, now I will have to fence off my new lasagna garden because though it has wire under it, he will climb over it if I don't kill him. He probably smelled all the alfalfa pellets I poured everywhere, they have molasis too. Just shoot me. I acted like I was chewing my arm off this morning and my DH thinks I have gone mad.
I think I will try the blowing up the tunnels extermination and let you guys know if I do not catch this beast. Do Gopher snakees hybernate? This is where my snake lives/lived?
It's a little of both--there was a ton of rain, and most of the soil around here is clay so it soaks in kind of slow. There's a field behind my house which is where the gophers live (except when they invade my yard!), but at the lowest point it becomes a seasonal pond/wetland every year, my yard goes up a hill above that which is why I figure if the gophers get flooded out of their field, then the first place they'll climb up into is my yard! Hope your DH makes it home tonight! The storm's not as bad as it was earlier so hopefully his flight will make it out.
Thank you ! I think it has just starting hitting here late afternoon - lots of wind & rain, it seems to have followed him home. Hope you are not too flooded... hopefully will not send the gophers into your yard, darn, I will be looking for gophers mounds when we start looking for homes down there.
WE WOULD CONSIDER A Move to Or. one day. It is raining hard finally but only for the last few hours, it seemed as though we've been waiting for it for two days. He is eating my trap as we speak, I feel it. He is super gopher and nothing will stop his madness.
Calif_Sue Northern California United States (Zone 9a)
me too. It was not even funny since mine is still eeking accross my new sod. I will die if he gets in my lasagna garden too. I have the bottom all wired off, now I will have to block him on the sides which I don't imagine that he wouldn't climb the fence if he wanted to.
No and he is heading for my lasagna now, he is not too far from it so I called my neighbor's who said they know how to find them and control them. I asked how much and they said free for me, and I said HECK NO, THANKS BUT I NEED THIS TO BE A REAL JOB, NOT A FAVOR. She laughed and gave me a price of half the normal price of $55. tomorrow he will die if they aren't lieing.
Yes they do, they have a pest control company. They baitesd all my fire ants last year, they were suffocating all my root balls. I lost a lot of plants early on because as I dug them out I saw swarms of ants and had no idea that was what was killing everything. Neighbors came and they left so the rest of the season was fine, but now these devils have got to go.
When I had terriors, (West Highland White) any breed will do, they will never allow a gopher in the garden, my garden is closed in behind a fence. So the dogs don't get out, they caught rats, June bettles, grasshoppers, squirrels, if it had at least four legs, they killed it. Get a terrior dog, and you won't have rodents of any kind, that what this speies of dog was breed for. Norma
That would be nice if sellers had to disclose gophers--personally I consider gophers to be a hazard, and we have to disclose everything else that might be remotely hazardous, so why not that too! I'd take a little bit of asbestos or lead paint over gophers any day! Depending on the time of year you may or may not be able to tell if they're a problem--mine seem to be more active from late winter through early to mid summer, then they calm down (or wait...maybe that's 'cuz that's when I had the exterminator come and kill them!) Seriously though, I have a field behind me which I think provides and endless supply of gophers, and after I had them exterminated in July/August, no more came around until about a month ago.
I don't think I can do it myself, I'm a real wimp that way... except slugs, there are lots here and I've gotten used to snipping them in half with my scissors... or giving the kids some salt to pour on them. But, that is way different than a real critter.
Darn grasshoppers, too! I can crush those suckers without compunction now. Don't ever grab one of those big ones without heavy gloves, though, their legs are painful!
No kidding gophers can be a hazard. Found a hole right in the middle of the path today. It's a continuation of a tunnel they made last spring that caused the top step on our path to the pond collapse. DH kept saying it was erosion and I didn't believe it. The year before, they took down a huge native mallow and when I dug up the stump (actually, I just yanked it out), I found tunnels all over the place. He should know by now I'm going to be right! lol
hellnzn - I think you scored a hit with that gopher! Congrats! You-1, gopher-0. I like to think that you saved the world from the head of a large family tree of gophers!
Gophers are active as they begin mating mid-winter and then as long as the ground is not dry in their burrowing areas. As their young ones leave the nest they move about briefly. By summer heat they are pretty well burrowed in from the heat unless they have to forage.
They will migrate to new turf at night.
One benefit we (Gopher hunters) have is that they are most active when the ground is damp enough for us to dig into their burrows to do them damage!
One of our closest neighbors and friends for many years is an animal rights person. She "kings exes" snails, gophers, and neighborhood coyotes from "animals with rights" in our neighborhood. lol
She saw a rogue coyote destroy a neighbors small dog by jumping a 6' fence in broad daylight. This changed her mind about coyotes in the neighborhood. She wanted to hire a trapper to kill this animal and declared that the critter had no rights. It happened in seconds! Within a couple of months her own dog was maimed and had to be put down (same rogue coyote). A year ago the same rogue and his pack engaged our one-year old Border Collie male 'Patch'. WRONG! Patch survived with two contusions on his neck (one was about the size of a mans fist) and we nor anybody we know has seen the rogue coyote that had terrorized the community for 2 years. (Estimate the rogue killed over 60 dogs). I think Patch damaged him so bad that he (the rogue) became bait for other coyotes.
We don't see any stray cats in our rural area. Small dogs aren't at all safe. Depending on size of the pet, there may be two great predators in CA rural areas. 1. Coyotes, 2. Birds of prey Eagles and Hawks. Kittens are fairest of all targets for Hawks. 23 years ago whenever we came here we occasionally had visits from Bobcats. These wary animals kept the cottontails under control. The house tracts 2 miles to the west of us have run away the beautiful Bobcats. Now we have dozens of cottontails that I will not hurt, but I wish they would eat stuff down on the river and leave us alone. I have to protect everything from them whenever we are in a drought.
I care for the wildlife in this area. I hope the coyotes move on though. The rogue was one that had been orphaned as a pup and injured with a dysfunctional hind leg. He had been cared for by a well-meaning hermit that lived nearby on a secluded 7acre preserve that he owned for 65 years. The gentleman hermit died after caring for the coyote and removing the coyote's natural fear of man. Because the coyote was left to roam and provided food by the hermit he had only a small fear of man. Whenever the old guy died the coyote had no source of food except neighborhood dogs. He was on a rampage killing dogs in the area. Nobody would help, the county, the Feds, nobody. So our pets are protected. I have a fully covered kennel. Whenever we go away s the dogs are in the kennel and a neighbor feeds and waters and cares for them. The rogue as disappeared, but there are still packs of coyotes. We will start hearing them in a couple of months with the new pups out hunting.
People at work used to dump kittens with us before we learned we couldn't even put them out for a few minutes to play, and leave them alone for a couple of minutes. Hawks would be waiting for that moment in nearby trees. We discovered this after the kittens were 'lost' one day. Living in CA country or outlying suburbs near the country requires adaptation for city dwellers.
Our last place was a ranchito in the San Bernardino Mountains. There we had CA. Brown Bears, Deer, as an occasional Mountain Lion. Strangely, seldom any coyotes. Very few gophers, they don't like rocky soil in the mountains.
So far this season we have found fresh evidence of only 3 gophers on our 2 acres. These 3 seem to have disappeared after baiting a month or so ago. I am certain its only the beginning. We will see more of this later.
Dont read this paragraph if you like gophers I don't know how many gophers the female border 'Rose' has decimated this winter. Our neighbor reports that she sees her lying in wait when one stick its heads above the ground and grabs it, then throws it into the air and when it come down the other 2 dogs and her compete to grab. and that gopher is dust! We see a few places in the open un-landscaped areas where there are 2 week old mounds, but no fresh ones since the last rains.
Its sure changed since that first year 24 years ago when the sons and I accounted for the death of over 90 gophers on these 2 acres (at that time we only trapped and baited on 1/2 acre).
Stories like yours, Bob, especially the final paragraph in your latest post, always make me laugh when I remember cmerrick's post further up in this thread, insisting that gophers are solitary creatures with an exclusive territory exceeding 1/3 of an acre.
I finally bit the bullet and started using gopher-proof cages for my newest roses. So far, I have planted about 170 of them in cages, and only 2 have died, presumably from causes not related to gophers. I plant the cages with about three inches of the wire above the ground and then fold the tops over and inward, to keep the gophers from entering the cages from above. The cost of the cages seemed staggering at first, but it's only a fraction of the cost of the roses I would lose otherwise.
Good for you! Rose cages are a reality in gopher world!
Our rose garden is long gone. I put it in the first year and didn't cage them. I knew better, but was just lazy.
over the next several years I lined one 200' fence with climbing rose. Carol (wife) loves roses and we are xerophyte landscaped. I put the roses in 18" deep X 12" diameter home-made rabbit wire baskets with about 5" above ground. It has worked well. We've not lost any of them to gophers in 17 years.
I am condensing many years of time in these stories. Cottontails are our biggest concern at present. They multiply in the winter when there is plenty of grass for forage. Then in summer when everything is dry they come into the gardens and begin eating young leaves on and succulents.
Dogs won't stop these night feeders. They aren't hungry enough to kill cottontails, so they consider them their daytime playmates. They get their exercise chasing them.
My next door neighbor lived here for 67 years before he died last month. He told wonderful tales of the game in this area. We have rescued several kinds of birds here and nursed them to health. Its amazing how hard it is to get help quickly whenever you have a baby Falcon that needs care. So we have rescued them, brought them to adults, gave them a couple of weeks of protected flight area to get their wings, and released them. "Jimmy" our latest Falcon (now in the neighborhood) often flies to sit on a telephone pole in the back screams to be fed right on schedule just like he did when he was a small bird in a cage at his old feeding time. He won't take food we offer. So maybe he just likes to stay in practice screaming.
oh fantastic ! We have a falcon that hangs around - love to see him. And rarely a couple of quail land and walk around - love watching them. Mostly we have goldfinch, house finch, robins, stellar jays, woodpeckers and those darling Anna's hummingbirds. I have feeders everywhere, definitely the "weird bird lady" of the neighborhood.
lol @ Screaming Jimmy! .. The cottontails - I wanted to start a vegetable garden, that's probably extremely difficult, then.
I see holes again so we have not killed it, it is wet ground and may be a family but they are going away from the bait. My neighbors said it will usually get worse before better sometimes but they said they will come back and retreat for free. I hope it is soon. It is nearer to my new lasagna bed now. grrr.
Hey I did not poison it but I caught it in my black trap. Yeah. I caught the second one above ground again. This time I put an alfalfa cube in the big hole(the feax hole) and then put a strip of tree bark on it's back with some dirt on it so the gopher would feel dirt and another alfalfa cube in the back of the bark, laid the trap over it, covered it with a black plastic garbage can lid and caught it the next day. It had molassis in the cube so I thought it would stay longer than the other fresh bate I used that was rotting.
Thanks Kathleen, I was despirate and the good thing about the lid is that it is easy to take the mound dirt and sprinkle it around the lid if there is a spot that needs to be covered for the light not to get in. Saved me from digging up more grass.
I was just watching Gardening By the Yard, and he had a guy on there today talking about controlling gophers. He had a couple suggestions I hadn't heard before (although chances are they're back in this huge thread somewhere!). He said they don't like the smell of chili powder or pine disinfectant, so if you put a bit of either one of those down their tunnel then they'll abandon it (make sure the pine disinfectant actually has pine oil in it, not just piney fragrance). Of course he also suggested the vibrating thingies which I know don't work so who knows!
Well I can say that in the areas where my last remaining roses were, that the gophers didn't get a couple of years ago, I dug around and under the rest of the roses and put chili powder and chili seeds and black pepper in there and so far no more loss of roses. Now I plant all new plantings except mediterreanean plants with atleast pepper which is cheap. Even if it rains it should kick it up in their face while digging
I'm sorry if I'm repeating information (I haven't read all the 300 posts!) but I found THE best solution is...to get a gopher-killing-dog!!!
My garden was destroyed by *&^%&^%$*^& gophers while I was gone on holidays for 3 weeks...when we got back, our dog scared them all away and they are gonners!
Now whenever I hear some suspicious noise in the yard...I look at him and say "get them!" and he does! ; )
I've heard the Jack Russells are good gopher dogs...but I have to wonder what they'd dig up when there's no gophers around! I prefer my Sheltie who generally knows better than to even set paw in the garden!
My friend Chris had JR and they were perfectly happy to get rats, gophers and mice and never had any desire to dig at any plants. Her Rottys did that too. It was groase as she had 40 acres and gophers and rats were flying through the air with broken necks. ohhhh yuck, but so good!!!
I'm hunting for a Border, Norfolk, Norwich or Cairn Terrier for just this purpose. I think the Border is my favorite choice because they aren't quite so rambunctious but love those burrowing critters. I've seen Dachshunds and Jack Russels dig just for the sake of digging, but never the others. They are only interested if there's something moving down there. You need to get them young though so you can train them not to go for above-ground animals, like your cat for instance.
My shar peis love to go after the scratching they hear and they are always smelling the ground like a hound and when they latch on to a smell and a sound, it's on. I just hate the digging after them, they dig but never catch. I think they need to be able to open their mouths wider.
I was browsing through this really really long thread and came across a solution for you all...
I could rent my datschund out by the hour! :o) . He is not normally allowed in my garden area, but the first mole hole I see... I let him loose and he is the only sure fire method I have found so far. He doesnt always catch them, but he must scare them cause everytime I let him loose...the gophers disappear for a while. He does less damage in one hour than a gopher does in one day :o) he doesnt care about the plants... literally! He unfortunately has dug up a few in the process, but save the rest of them by chasing off those gophers :o)
I will have to dig up a picture of him in his costume... I think its on my other puter... but I will post it... he only wore it one year... my teacup poodle wore a skunk outfit and didnt get any attention at all (much to his dismay) and the weenie dog... he got all the attention! LOL!
I'm turning him loose in my yard this weekend...to get him into shape :o) LOL!
I think I've made a really exciting discovery for the rose growers on this thread, and I don't know why it took me so long to figure it out.
I've been recommending the Canadian rose nurseries to people for years because the roses I buy from Canada grow into huge and healthy bushes. I buy them from Pickering, Hortico, and Palatine, all of which graft their roses onto Multiflora rootstock.
Okay, here comes the exciting part: I've lost hundreds and hundreds of roses to gophers through the years, but not one of those roses was grafted onto Multiflora. Gophers apparently love own-root roses and roses grafted onto Dr. Huey rootstock, but not Multiflora. Before I started planting my roses in cages, the gophers would demolish almost every rose in a rose bed. I only noticed recently that the ones they didn't attack came from Canada. Sometimes the gophers only nibble on own-root and "Huey-grafted" roses, and those do recover eventually, but it happens year after year and they never grow to the proper size.
I also suspect that gophers dislike Fortuniana rootstock as much as the Multiflora. I only have about 10 roses grafted onto Fortuniana, but they also are large, healthy, and undisturbed, even when the non-Fortuniana roses around them start disappearing.
Wow Zuzu. I have no idea about those types of rootstock, never thought I needed to know about how it is grafted, but I may have to think differently. Sounds so exciting, did you tell the rose forum?
Besides my pepper and chili seeds that I plant roses with now, I also buy cheap large cans of jalapenos and use the juice and the peppers in a blender and apply around all those plants and water as usual. I have a gopher or two and they show activity all around the area and have not touched even one of the plants there YET.
That IS really cool, Zuzu! It's also the kind of thing that I probably never would have thought of..lol...I've been lucky with the wire, no losses, but I sure would like to get rid of the wire..Do you think we could graft absolutely everything onto multiflora rootstock???? Figs, tomato plants??!
So when you buy roses here in the local rose nursery, can we get this or must we go to Canada. I realize that my jalapeno thing is a tempory solution until you can catch or kill it, but I thought it was worth mentioning since I see the darn thing is not dead after 2 months and it has not killed a thing yet. Your thing is a real genius noteworthy thing we can work with.
No, Dawn, I don't think any of the local nurseries would have roses grafted on Multiflora. The rootstock of choice in California and everyplace else in the United States but Florida is Dr. Huey. Florida uses Fortuniana, so if you ever bought grafted roses from Merrygro when it was still in business, you have some of those.
Your best bet would be to plant the local stuff in cages and order your other roses on line from a Canadian nursery. You don't really have to go to Canada. In fact, you probably wouldn't be able to bring anything back in from Canada because you don't have a fancy nursery certificate.
Oh, Sherry, figs grafted onto Multiflora. What a dream that would be. Fig trees don't last 15 minutes in Sebastopol before the roots are chewed to bits. I wonder if Hortico sells grafted fig trees.
This is truly worthy of some scientific study...I mean, really, there must be a substance in the multiflora that the gophers don't like. If that could be reproduced and used as a systemic against gophers, someone could get mucho rich. I'd invest in it and I'd certainly buy it. We could probably get enough people from DG alone to front the study..lol...
I think I'm really on to something here, Sherry. I just pulled up all of my invoices from Hortico, Pickering, and Palatine from the last three years. I bought about 250 roses from those three nurseries and every single rose is still alive (with the exception of three that died of causes other than gophers), even though scores of roses that were planted in the same beds are gone, gone, gone.
And they're huge in comparison with most of my other roses. The only other roses that are as large are in locations where they've somehow escaped the notice of gophers for decades.
Here's my Delany Sisters from Hortico, which I planted bare-root just two years ago, in April 2006. The two cats are posing sweetly near it to give you a sense of perspective. I actually was taking a picture of the cats, so this isn't even the whole Delany Sisters bush. There's more of it on top and to the left of the frame.
Wow! Okay, Sparky, here's the deal...you tell nobody about the 'secret', you import and start selling 'gopher-proof' roses...Nobody will know how this incredibly smart woman is doing this, but it's a miracle and she's making a fortune! I'd say chances are pretty darn good that not another soul has ever noticed this connection before. After all, who plants more roses than you? Who has more gophers than you?...well, me...lol...
Quick, take out a patent! The Multiflora is protected, but the IDEA of using it re gophers surely isn't included in that. Oh, I'd love to say I was in on the first discussions of such a discovery. Die, you little buggers!!
Die, Die, Rodent Ba#%@ds, I love it, you're gonna be riiichh!!!!! What is a Multi-flora anyway, what kind of root stock is that? Someone do tell me, please.
stellapathic I just got back from your area, we were there on Tuesday. We had a great time too. We stayed at the Orchid Inn, it was ok, but we had an incident with finding a bloody booger or something on the bottom of a bed sheet, it was fresh too. So it soured the whole hotel visit. People there are so friendly there. I want to stay in the Squibb House the next time. Sorry off topic though.
I know this post is about a year late but it is that time of year you know, All Gophers Unite Day, it's spring.We purchased the rodenator from the company that makes it in Idaho. We read a review by the ag department at Fresno State University that claims they rid themselves of 90% of their gopher problem with the Rodenator, so we took the plunge and paid out the $1800.00. I have to say it is a kick in the pants. It sure makes you feel powerful! If you have a neighbor that you don't get along with just trot outside at about 6 a.m. and let her rip!
The problem with the rodenator in our case is that our soil, even though it is soft loam, does not collapse. The whole idea behind killing the gophers is to also collapse the tunnel system so that others don't just move right in. I believe the soil in Idaho, where the product was tested, is a little lighter and it does collapse the hole better.
Our problem is that the 7 acres we live on used to be an indian encampment and the soil is soft in some areas but not all. We found a gopher hole in one area, stuck the hose in it and it went 15 feet deep. How on earth are we going to compete with that?
If anyone has found any great contraptions or resolutions in the last year I would love to hear about them. I just lost my third crabapple tree to those little farts!
Farts, you are too kind. Is the rodenator the mixture of propane gas and oxygen that causes little explosions in the tunnel system?
I heard it is good, but the problem is as you said, some tunnels are deep and we have 5/8 of an acre of hard pan and caleche, except where I have been building it up with good stuff. I heard one guy try to light his tunnels on fire and his garage blew up, that was detached and far from the original fire. SCARY.
I have one and I don't have any old high emission exhaust vehicles so it did not work. They told me that ones they get all smoked out they dig up the holes where it is coming in and it does not get to the area where they run too. We have too many holes to plug up in our land and the desert land too. I liked the idea but it did not work.
I've used mine with great success. It's important to NOT rev the engine. Just let it run at idle so as not to create unnecessary noise. It's also not necessary to plug any of their other holes, just pack dirt around the garden hose in the hole you put it in. It's supposed to just put them to sleep quietly from carbon monoxide fumes, not really from noxious smoke or anything.
Idid buy one of the noise-making battery-operated pole devices you hammer into the ground - and it actually worked very well because the gophers are gone! also, I used a sprinkle on the ground granular mixture sold at Home Depo in a yellow bag that is called gopher gone or something like that. Anyway, no more gophers this year! Good Luck! :) Rusty
I will have to check it out. I am raining rodents in the desert this year. Rabbits, mice and gophers too. Good grief, I just need to wait for the snakes to come for dinner.
My h opened the cabinet to see if there were any mice in some traps and he saw one just sitting there washing himself all cute, so my husband was amazed that it saw him and ignored him so he pushed it's little belly and it did not flinch. So he reached in to reset the trap, that had snapped and the mouse walked right into it. I hate mice and they seem to come in when we have heat waves, but that was a sad story for an animal lover. My h killed Fifal.
We have the opposite problem. The rotten rodents (I don't care how cute they look in the cartoons!), come in during the cold of winter. The summer heat doesn't bring 'em in.
Back to gophers. After loosing almost all my kitchen garden to those horrible rodents, my DH was able to trap two big uns. They are dead and gone. On the look out for new diggings. I hope I don't find any, but it's too late for the garden this year.
I would send photos, but dead rodents just aren't pretty.
My preferred method of ridding grounds of gophers is a good gopher snake. I haven't seen any so far this year. Sigh.
Can't use poison, because I have cats and dogs and an occasional small child. Gas didn't work, so I trust in traps and my DH. Bless him for dealing with the gophers so I don't have to.
Good luck with yours.
OK ALL DAVE'S GARDEN PEOPLE. HERE IS THE ANSWER FOR THE GOPHERS. WEEVIL-CIDE. I KNOW IT IS A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE BUT IT MIGHT BE WORTH GETTING YOUR LICENSE JUST FOR THIS STUFF, I SWEAR. AFTER SPENDING $1800.00 ON THE RODENATOR AND TRYING EVERYTHING ELSE I HAD HEARD OF, (THE RIDICULOUS AND NON-RIDICULOUS) I GOT THIS STUFF AND IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM. YOU CAN USE IT EVEN IF YOU HAVE OTHER ANIMALS BECAUSE IT IS A GAS BASED PILL. IT WORKS LIKE THIS; YOU EITHER USE IT RIGHT AFTER A RAIN OR PUT THE WATER HOSE DOWN THE GOPHER HOLE FOR A MINUTE OR TWO, THEN YOU PLACE A COUPLE OF THESE PILLS IN THE HOLE. (STAND BACK THEY ARE POWERFUL) THEN YOU PLACE A FILLER IN THE HOLE. I USED DAMP STRAW AND COVERED THAT WITH DIRT TO SEAL THE HOLE. THEN I COVERED ANY CLOSE HOLES. I DIDN'T HAVE GOPHERS IN THOSE HOLES FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. IT DOESN'T HAVE A RISIDUAL EFFECT ON WILDLIFE AS IT IS A GAS THAT IS EMITTED WHEN THE MOISTURE HITS THE PILLS. IT WORKS BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE I HAVE EVER TRIED. GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ARE FIGHTING THE GOPHER FIGHT!
I agree on the gas stuff being the only thing that really works--I also tried every other gopher remedy out there and none of them worked. Now I just call the exterminator when I find them and they come and take care of them. My gophers aren't really active in the summer either--they usually start in late winter/early spring and activity dies down after early summer.
I just want to get the stuff that makes the holes collapse in on them and make them start all over, from the desert land across from me, to my yard has to be a million passages. Now I have squirrels digging holes too, which I never had before. UhG!
Forgive me if this was mentioned earlier, I don't have time to read every reply. I have heard that gophers do not like daffodil bulbs and will not eat them or cross the barrier. If you have a huge planting area, it could be expensive, but at least they multiply!
My three face-to-face meetings with the little buggers were like cartoons. Unfortunately, I was unarmed at the time. I wasn't laughing when I went outside the other day and found that they had wiped out the verbena that was blooming so well!
The bleepers. The first one I trapped in my black box trap, was cute, like a guinnie pig and it was a freak of nature, with blonde hair. I was not glad to see it dead though. It took out a bunch of stuff that year.
Hellnzn11...uhh surely you jest! "I was not glad to see it dead though" the white gopher...just one out of 10,000 is white.. no pity, no mercy Friend! A rat is a rat is a rat!!.
Daffodil bulbs are way down at the bottom on the "Filthy dirty rat aka gopher/ground squirrel /rabbit " menu of things to destroy while they are eating.
I am getting tired of fighting these Filthy Dirty Rats. Can't afford to quit though..
This year it has been squirrels. I am repulsed when I see neighbors who buy bags of cheap peanuts to feed the "cute little ground squirrels". These people would gag if they new how closely related they are to big long-tailed roof-rats. Squirrels do tremendous damage to building foundations, Garden Wall stacked block walls, etc. etc. to say nothing of the landscape plants they will destroy.
Bob I am feeling ya. Really I don't like to kill spiders in my tub, but they must go. I can not tell you how many tears I have cried and even begged my h to move because of these devils. So I have no love loss. I considered doing the o2 and propane explosions that collapse the tunnels, at least I would have a fighting chance. Since there is 10 acres of desert across the dirt road in front of my house. How do you fight all those established tunnels. How do you know 1 in 100000 is white?
It fertilized my garden is what it did. This year rodents of all types are running rampant here in this area, what about it San Diego County?
I have squirrels for the first time and holes all over my yard.
Sorry, You are having such a lot of grief over these rats.
About the 1 in 10000, just made that up...I've killed 9999 and never saw a white one...It must be next. he he he
We have a 500' driveway up the hill to our house. we share first 100' with a neighbor. We see 20 or 30 ground squirrels crossing the road on the lower 100 feet. and 15 or so rabbits on the upper 400 feet.
The squirrels started up the hill. I bought squirrel bait stations and 10 lbs of squirrel bait. They are much easier to fight than gophers. They are more popular. I cringe to see people feeding these cute little rats. People feel sorry for them and don't want to kill them. They are 10 times more destructive to construction than gophers..
Gophers kill plants...so they are no. 1 on our hit list. I have cleared up squirrels, but with the squirrel factory at the bottom of the driveway we will have a perennial war against them...just like the gophers.
There is a tasteless task in dealing with both of them. Over the last 26 years dealing with them has made me different. I have difficulty with those who have tender hearts for these nasty breeders.
All the years dealing with these pests we have had dogs and sometimes cats. All outdoor pets. Our biggest danger for pets are coyotes and hawks ( they like the kittens). There is virtually no danger of pets getting into bait because we handle it with a lot of caution. Neither do birds get into it. I never leave a grain of spilled bait lie on the ground.
Sometimes it helps to chat with those who deal with these issues..it sort of helps build inner strength and resolve.
Keep up the fight...Sometimes I like to watch Caddyshack for a few minutes.
I know the pro who take care of the golf courses don't hook their exhaust pipes up to gopher holes!! Wouldn't that be funny...They could have a regular manifold system so that customers at the Club parking lot could hook up their tail pipes to the pipelines while golfing ...just leave their engines running...what a sight!!
Caddyshack makes me mad! It is so not funny, this battle. I know someone here that baits them into humane traps and releases them into the wild, to dig more tunnels to someone Else's Garden. I put the bail in flavored marshmallows so I can squeeze the poison in the middle and they will hold up for a while. Eventually they harden.
They are probably bringing them out to my place, like everyone else does, thinking they can make it in the wild. The coyotes, hawks, foxes find them tasty, not to mention the owls.
Let's not even talk about the environmental impact of introducing non native species to a new area.
A rodent is a rat, and I won't buy a car with a rat driving it. Caddy Shack was a funny movie, of the see once variety, but doesn't hold up over time. Rodents of any kind (except maybe bats, and I don't think they are really rodents.) have any purpose on the planet except to provide food for those higher up on the food chain.
For a really great description of how to kill a rat, may I suggest a book called "Friday" by Robert A. Heinlein. It's only a couple of paragraphs but dang, he said it better than I ever could. : - )
So far this year I've lost almost all of my kitchen garden to them rodents. : - (
The only good news is that we have some well fed critters, and I've finally convinced DH to put in the garden the right way (the way I suggested in the first place), so we don't waste so much time, money, and gasp! water.
Good luck all, it seems we're stuck with rodents. of one kind or another.
thistlesifter, you should know that owls prey on small kittens too. Don't forget the damage gophers and ground squirrels do to our overpasses and off ramps. I'm waiting for the one off the McCall Blvd. offramp to collapse from all the holes in it. Also don't forget the damage that the nutria does to the levees and banks in Louisiana. I really like that show the "Exterminator", on TV. It takes place in LA, which makes me glad we don't have to deal with all of their pests. I've seen Steven Segal going around with the Sheriff's Dept. in Baton Rouge (he really is a Sheriff), shooting the nutria that infest the banks. The dead rodents are collected and fed to the zoo animals. Sounds about right to me! : - )
After reading your previous posts, thistlesifter, I have concluded that you really don't like rodents any more than I do, and that you have a wicked sense of humor. : - )
Oh yeah, I'm looking for raw peanuts to feed the blue jays, know where I can find some? LOL!
The only plants that I've ever found that nothing likes to eat, except bees is society garlic, and blue curl. The blue curl is a wild native, so maybe you can ring in your garden and keep 'em out that way. I'm going to try it around some of my garden and see how well it works. I'll keep ya posted.
Walk In Beauty!
Don't forget me if you ever sell one of those cabinets in your old house.
I have not lost one plant this year, that I can recall to gophers, just repelling them with my blended jalapenos. I put some other stuff in there sometimes too. It's so groase that I start gagging or feel very nauseous after I do it. You may not kill them but I swear the rabbits haven't eaten crap this year. I lost one baby daylilie and one other plant to bunnies, none to gophers and the squirrels have holes all over but have not eaten my plants. The only thing eating is the slugs, they must not mind spicy food. I feel bad for my worms but I am telling you, if you blend up the big jalapeno cans, add water and pour around the plant roots like roses and pour around and on some of the lower leaves, those chilis must suck into the leaves because they don't like them. If I add murpheys oil soap and a little dish soap, it repels bugs too and stays on longer. I do 2 large cans and water, every 3 months. I try to kill them still but don't have to cry over lost plants every day.
Clever, I like the way you think, sherman99. LOL! : - )
Hellnzn, I'll have to give your recipe a try. I'll use it on my roses since they need some help. I'll let you know how it works out if I can 'member.: - )
I got lots of dog poop and cat litter too for that matter. LOL!
Usually I fill in the holes the dogs dig, with their poop and cover it over with dirt.
Still hate rodents. Even prairie dogs and I love the way they "Squeegal" to alert the colony to danger. Thank goodness we don't have those here too!
Snails drown in shallow containers full of beer, but slugs have a disturbing tendency to stay attached to the plant. Never tried watering a plant with beer. I wonder if it would kill the slugs?
Found another gopher hole. Probably is the trouble maker who is causing our fish/turtle pond to loose water. I'm siccing DH on him. : - |
Talked to ES about those cabinets. He plans on keeping them when (soon) he starts restoring the old cabin. It needs a lot of work. He has no idea, and he plans on doing a lot of it himself. This should be interesting. I will keep my eyes open if something similar comes my way. You liked the corner cabinet and the old sideboard, right, hellnzn?
Best get on to my next project, lunch!
My allergies are so bad, my nose is always stuffed up. So maybe I would if I could have a Sour Cream chaser. LOL!
I've got the large can of Jalapenos on my shopping list for the next trip to the store. : - )
Guess I have not been to this thread for awhile, but it gave me something to laugh about this AM. Not that gophers, squirrels, rats and rabbits are something to laugh about, but the stories are.
SW - I have had rabbits eat society garlic! Several years ago, having read about it being a repellent, I bought some and planted it. The next day it was eaten to the nubs. I find they particularly like fresh new plants and if you can protect them for awhile to get established, they are OK. They never bother my fountain grass anymore, even fresh growth in spring, but when I had planted the new plants from the nursery, they were gone the next day also. Squirrels seem to be staying away, mostly, but they have caused the biggest problems for neighbors, digging holes that take down huge, established pine trees and such. Gophers seem to be quiet for now, have seen a few holes, but they were next to plants planted in baskets, or next to pots (LOL for that). Wonder what kind of change, if any, we will experience after the wildfire behind our house.
evelyn, let me see if I can do that. I may not be able to without taking it out of context somewhat. I believe they were discussing rats, but it's pretty much the same for all rodents. Now where did I hide my first edition of "Friday" by Heinlein, from my son at? He probably swiped it back and put it in his room. I'll have to look for it.
I've been wanting to read it again anyway. : - )
Quilty did you take some Mystic Mervin Malva at the RU? If so how is it doing? Donna said hers is going mad. If not, I have seeds up the Kazoo I can send you. She said it is the only thing blooming in her garden at this time, since the beach had so much overcast this year, I guess.
So, it likes the cool. Not any of that around here right now (or your way, I imagine). I did take some, but it appears to be dried up in the pot I planted it in. Still water it as you thought it might come back. Seeds would be great, and I could get them going to get established in fall & winter. TYVM
You had me going there for a second QG. What the heck is TYVM mean. Then I fingered it out.
It means Thank You Very Much! My brain is starting to work again.
I'm still trying to get my son to give me back my Heinlein book. If I wasn't afraid of tripping, falling and killing myself, I'd go search his room for it. Since footing in there is treacherous, I'm going to make him do it.
Just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten, just haven't been able to lay my paws on the book yet.
Can you believe it? When Comcast (which runs my internet connection) went down, I'd just begun to read this thread. Believe it or not: this thread has been the only i-info I've had available for the last 36 hours. The result was that I read *every* post?
You guys are a riot! :))))))) What good-hearted folks you all are - protecting your kitties & small dogs - while you battle the vermin that attack the plants that we all love!
Personally, I've had no problems (yet!) from gophers. However, moles were a huge problem. The battery operated 'mole-chaser' that I bought with its periodic beeping seems to have done the trick. But, I gather that if gophers from the adjacent Open Space discover my daylilies, I'd be on the war path just as the rest of you are.
Sorry to hear about the Comcast connection going out on you, Rutens, but glad you found this thread amusing. You must have really been bored to read all the posts. LOL! : - )
This doesn't exactly apply to gophers, but rather to rats, which as we all know can be a real health hazard.
In a post above, I mentioned a paragraph in a book by Robert A. Heinlein that I greatly enjoyed reading about how to kill a rat. evelyn_inthegarden challenged me to find the darn paragraph, which gave me several enjoyable hours rereading a classic science fiction book.
(After I located it hiding in my ES's room.)
So this is for all of you who need a good laugh at this point. My apologies to RAH, Bless his Soul, for paraphrasing so you understand the context. I tried not to give away all the good stuff. : - )
Friday is both the name of the book and the main character. At this point, she is an intuitive analyst, for her mysterious Boss, she was asked to determine how soon the next outbreak of the bubonic plague could be expected and where it would occur, and how to keep it contained to this planet?
After a period of intensive study, her Boss calls her in the middle of the night and asks for the answers to the questions above. Which she gives him. The next day while they are discussing her answer, her Boss threatened to put her in charge of killing the rodents.
This is her response to the part about killing rats. To find out how to keep them fleas that cause bubonic plague from leaving the planet you really should read the book, "Friday" by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1982, by Holt, Rhinehart and Winston of New York. The man was a visionary, and when he wrote this book a lot of what we use today is mentioned in there, before it was invented.
For you evelyn and anyone else who needs a laugh. : - )
"I'm sick of the subject, Boss, killing a rat is no problem. Stuff it into a sack. Beat the sack with an ax. Then shoot it. Then drown it. Burn the sack with the dead rat in it. Meanwhile it's mate has raised another litter of pups and you now have a dozen rats to replace it. Boss, all we've ever been able to do with rats is fight them to a draw. We never win. If we let up for a moment the rats pull ahead."
You notice she doesn't mention how to catch them rodents in the first place? I guess that is left up to the reader's imagination. LOL! : - )
Walk In Beauty!
The city of Vista built a new park about 2 miles west of us.
It is an 50 acre park all landscaped except for the athletic fields. We walk there quite frequently. Ever since they opened the park ...I've seen no evidence of a single gopher or ground squirrel.
I am wonder how they do it...!!
It rained 3 inches here last week. We went for a 2 mile walk there 3 days after the rain...Still no signs of dirty little rodents.
I had one of the best gopher days in years the days after the rain. I think I'm ahead of them now for the year. after 26 years of fighting them here. we are enjoying the moment. I know it won't last.
Ground squirrel invasion this year was legendary. They moved in overnite in April.. before we knew it they destroyed a valuable 40 year old Aloe tree. Then a week later they had stripped 2 Tangerine trees completely. Many hundreds of choice tangerines.
We ridded them out with bait boxes. I hear the dirty little rats whistling all around us...but so far I see no more damage
So for the moment we feel good.
Tomorrow is another day.. We got new bait for the ground rodents Ready for more war.
See, now the rodent thing is one reason I am hesitant to have fruit trees. I know the ground squirrels will get anything as they did dig out and kill neighbor's old pine trees. But they do stay outside. Rats eating fruit from trees makes me wonder where they will go when fruit is gone.
Not-so-DSS next door is planning on putting in an enormous lawn (on just less than 1 acre) with sod in front and seeding the back/side areas. I think lawns are just stupid out here what with the water needed, the heat, the maintenance should they survive. BUT, the good part, I am thinking, is that it will give the rabbits and gophers a great place to go! One neighbor put in a lot of work prepping ground, sprinklers and such several years ago for a lawn bigger than most home lots. When it started to grow it looked like the scene from a B movie at night, what with the number of bunnies grazing. He never did need to use the lawnmower. And the weeds! It never really was a real lawn and now it is dirt. Another neighbor put in sod in a much smaller area and it got established mostly because he put up a low electric fence to zap those rascally rabbits. Before he had dogs. DSS has 4 dogs, so guess the electric fence thing wouldn't work.
i wish i had a solution!! pig poop so far is working where i have used it. also they dont seem to go near my eucalyptus trees but was told those leaves are not good for the plants. my dogs and cats keep the squirrels away (so far) but my neighbors property looks like a lunar landscape with all the squirrel holes.
Good news is right now with all the green sprouting they aren't going after my plants in the garden, or the fruit in the orchard. I saw a squirrel before the recent rains, but if he comes in my yard, either the cats or dogs will eat it. For all I know they already have.
About rats. I really hate them. They will nest anywhere, and it isn't uncommon for them to nest up high in Palm trees . The dead fronds make great shelter for them. Hope I didn't just ruin your day, but you asked. Be sure to seal even the tiniest opening, especially where the pipes come into your house, or you'll have company this winter.
Be strong! Keep up the good fight!
When I moved into this house 15 years ago, the gophers were so bad that we couldn't walk across the yard without breaking an ankle. A few years ago a family moved onto the street and brought a couple of outside cats. They moved out fairly soon but left the cats. The cats had babies. At first everyone complained about the straycats. Then we noticed we had no more gophers. The entire street is gopher free. Now the cats get fed and loved. Every once in a while someone will take about getting rid of the cats, but the rest of us love them.