How to Get Rid of Pocket Gophers in Garden, Yard, Pastures, etc...

Latest update: February 14, 2023

Gophers. The Untold Story...

Here is a compilation of all known methods to kill or get rid of pocket gophers. You are on your own as to legal ramifications, local government bureaucracy, animal-rights groups, and whatever else may obstruct or sabotage your efforts. Also, be advised this is a compilation list, not a recommendation list. Have fun with it. Many of the items listed here will actually work. It won’t be difficult to ascertain which is which. Your results may vary. Warning, some humor may be present.

Pocket Gopher Facts - Know Your Enemy

Pocket gophers here. Pocket gophers there. Pocket gophers everywhere.

  • The pocket gopher is a burrowing rodent found here, there, and everywhere. Their purpose in life seems to be the destruction of plants and land.
  • They can measure up to a foot in length, depending on the species. They have sharp teeth and claws. Gophers, moles, and ground squirrels are often mistaken for each other. Extermination techniques are different for each.
  • Gophers often plug their gopher holes, while other rodents do not.
  • The gopher home is a complex system of tunnels running up to several hundred feet. The main gopher tunnels run about half a foot below the surface and are three inches or more in diameter. Chambers are created off the main tunnels for food storage and breeding nests. Excess soil is piled on the surface. Though most of the burrow system is relatively close to the surface, many parts of the complex can penetrate to as much as six feet deep.
  • Pocket gopher families are loners and territorial. Their average territory is approximately 40x40 to 50x50 square feet, i.e., a 20 to 25 foot radius.
  • Pocket gophers are active 365 days a year. Surface foraging is not their main forte and is only done near the gopher hole entrances. Most of their feeding consists of the plant parts and roots below ground.
  • The breeding season for these vociferous and destructive critters is spring. The gestation period is estimated at three weeks. Litters average around five. Sometimes there are two litters per season. In late summer of the same year, the young disperse to create their own homes.

How to Get Rid of Them

  • Run a hose from your vehicle’s exhaust pipe to the nearest gopher hole. With engine running, start covering up any other open gopher holes. If you live in a rural area and a pro-gun state, have your shotgun handy (check local gun ordinances first).
  • Running a garden hose to the gopher complex seldom works, but it is worth a try, especially if the shotgun option is available. More about the water method further down the page.
  • Go to your hardware store and ask for advice. Keep in mind the store clerk’s objective is to sell you something.
  • Drop gum down the gopher holes. It is rumored it will mess up their internal organs.
  • Traps work when directions are followed. Gophinator seems to be popular.
  • Gopher bombs sometimes work when directions are followed. The problem is the several hundred feet of tunnels; the poisonous fumes just aren't able to make it throughout the entire complex.
  • Macabee traps are recommended by “everybody”. They work, but require work.
  • Dynamite. However, you may run into local ordinance permit problems with this one.
  • Poison. Follow the directions. Apparently one needs to use a lot of it.
  • Last, but not least, as to this primary list; cats kill gophers. Drop by your local animal shelter and tell them you need an outdoor cat. And tell them why. They will very probably know exactly which cat to give you. As to what the animal shelter will charge you for the cat, there can be a wide variance. It all depends on which county you happen to live in. There is also the very real possibility the cat may just up and disappear before they figure out you intended to feed and take care of them.
More methods are included further down the page.

Sure wouldn't want anything to do with this one if it came running out after me.

Running a Garden Hose Into the Gopher Complex

Yep, it does not work. In fact, it can turn into the opposite. A personal story:

Gopher mounds here; gopher mounds there; gopher mounds everywhere. I was nonplussed. And then one day I walked out to the apricot tree. There it was, an open gopher hole. He had not covered it up as usual. I immediately got the garden hose and pushed it into the gopher hole. I turned the water on half-force; no backup. So I turned the water on full-force; still no backup. I went away.

I came back an hour later. There was dampness around the hole, but still no backup. I came back a half-hour after that; the area was flooded. "My work is done here," thought I. Decided to call it a day and shut off the hose. All was well in the neighborhood.

Yeah, right.

Not only did it not work, they apparently took it personally. I mean seriously, we seem to attribute emotions and attitudes only to humans, but animals have them as well.

First one new dirt pile showed up. "Ok," I thought.

But then another and another and another. The placed had turned from a beachhead into central command. Was it personal? Or did they just like the water supply? You decide. At least the experiment was not a total loss; my house ant invasion problem suddenly ceased.

Update. Two commenters had better success than I did. See next section.

Suggestions from Comments Section

[An Update. Due to a website hosting platform change, the 49 comments that previously accompanied this article on the other site were lost. However, I was able to retrieve them from archive and incorporate most of them directly into the new version. Many are quite useful. Many are absolutely hilarious. Edited for punctuation and spelling.]

The Older Comments

  • Comment by Marsha: I stand over a freshly dug hole with a .22. When he/she pushes more dirt up I shoot the little b#stard in the head. Note: sometimes you have to stand for quite awhile and be very still. Really works!
  • Comment by Megan M: FYI, Gophers (at least the ones here) can easily chew through chicken wire and push through.
  • Comment by Dee aka Nonna: They are the most annoying little animals. I had a least one that would live, at least part-time, under my deck and my neighbors deck. He burrowed a hole under the fence and under each deck. I don't know what he was doing but the noise he made bounced off and came through the fireplace. I called everyone I could think of, looked things up on the internet, tried everything I read. So did my neighbor. Another neighbor who lived across the street, wasn't having the problem, but was afraid he might offered to bring over his gun.. no, I thought. While talking with my son I mentioned it he said he'd heard that mothballs will get rid of pests and little animals from the yard and flower bed. I thought, why not. So I went out and bought several boxes enough for my neighbor.. and we put out so much that the smell of mothballs was almost overwhelming.. LOL. But it worked...maybe they too were overwhelmed with the smell. Whatever we were very happy to be rid of our little critters. Thanks for the reminder paradigmsearch, it is funny now... We all had a good laugh, but it wasn't funny then.
  • Comment by Mel D.: Too funny, close to watching Caddy shack. lol
  • Comment by MyBizz: I don’t want to drive them away, I don’t want to hurt them, I just want to kill the bloody things! (Language censored here)
  • Commenter Leslie said: Buy a bag of Double Bubble gum balls, a 3.3 lb. bag about $5.00. place 5-6 in several mason jars. barley cover with water. after about 20 min. pour into each hole. (both entrance and exit. wait. they eat and then DIE!!! Has been very effective, I'm gonna win this war!!!
  • Moth balls. Apparently gophers don't like them. Two commenters said they do work; one commenter said they don't work. See comment article additions further down the page.
  • Commenters said: Catch-them-alive traps. Then take them far, far away.
  • Commenter, Rageagainstthegop, said: I was moved as I read the personal story. It was as if I wrote it myself! In fact, everything on this particular website is interpreted in the same manner I would use. I am out of all available options, but one and that involves my pecan tree and my Banshee compound bow and arrows.
  • Auto flares. I really liked the sound of this one. Commenter, Tina, said: Use auto flares in the holes. Dig out the gopher hole, light the flare, throw it in, cover it up. Go to the next tunnel system and do the same. Gophers hate the smell of sulfur.
  • Take no prisoners. Commenter, Frank, said: I go in after them! With a pick and shovel I start digging until I reach either the property line or the gopher... This may sound destructive, but the tunnel will either collapse and leave a rut in your yard, or another gopher will move in after the first is gone. So by digging up the tunnel and refilling after your gopher is gone, the possibility for another to move into the tunnel is eliminated. It is hard work, but with a water hose and a pick ax I've killed over a hundred gophers which became established in my neighborhood when some houses were vacant and being sold. The biggest thing is to get right after them as soon as you see a mound, and before they dig for miles.... That always gets the best result, as I've spent a month or more trying to get just one gopher.
  • Caster oil. Use after the bottle rockets and Roman candles. Commenter, Larry, said: They seem to hate bottle rockets, especially the ones that whistle and then blow up. I've also tried roman candles, the blow up report ones are the best. Make a lot of noise and it seems to calm them down but then hold on! They'll be back at it in 24 to 48 hours! The best is to use castor oil products to deter them from your area.
  • Gopher bomb recipe. I should mention that saltpeter is the primary ingredient used in gunpowder, so be sure your health and life insurance policies are up to date and the premiums are paid in full. Commenter, Chris, said: Saltpeter, sugar, and sulfur make an excellent gopher bomb. Mix the saltpeter and sugar at 2:1. Add as much sulfur as you can stand. Wrap tightly in newspaper, shove down a gopher run, light and run quick. All ingredients can be bought through your local pharmacy. Also makes for a cheap 4th of July! 
  • Water hose in gopher hole (method #1). Tea Ga in the former comments section had better luck than I did. Looks like perseverance is the key and I was a slacker in that regard. Commenter, Tea Ga, said: Got rid of my problem with a hose. You have to fill up every hole and go back a couple of times and then eventually by the second day there will be different mounds and you just hit every hole again with the water. You don't have to force it. You want to flood it and that little critter will come right on out. So, yes, the hose works.
  • Water hose in gopher hole (method #2). Gopher golf! I love it! Commenter, Charlies, said: I've had success with gopher golf; put a hose down the hole, wait for the little critter to come up for air, and then tee off. Got 4 in two days with this method.
  • Instead of using your car's exhaust, use your gas-powered lawnmower. Much more convenient, but with caveats. Commenter, Buck, said: When we were younger we used the lawn mower, no, not to shave their little butts, but with a hose adapted to the exhaust, removed air cleaner, started engine and squirted oil into carburetor. My son swears by the flare method in Washington, but both of these methods are highly criticized from tree huggers and grandchildren. Best to stick to traps and tend to then before others get up in the morning. One of my tenants uses poison that goes in a dispenser attached to a pipe. You have to probe around the mound to find the tunnel(s). It has been effective. I'm sticking to the traps, as I want to see my enemy's eye rolled back.
  • A question was asked: Will bleach and ammonia get rid of gophers in the gardens? An answer was: Sounds plausible, but the plants might not be too thrilled with that. I'm currently gopher-free, so someone else will have to try it and let us know how it goes.
  • Commenter, Cindy, says to use rat traps with peanut butter and bird seed as the bait. Sounds like a good idea, both inexpensive and effective.
  • Commenter, Angel, also recommends rat traps and said: Rat traps work. Look for fresh dirt or watch 'em in action. Clear area for the trap, then set and place trap in the hole. Check often. Works. If it doesn't work by next day, find new spot.
  • Chemical warfare. Described in detail by the commenter, AARRAA. Commenter, AARRAA, said: The maintenance man at the jail uses gasoline, but not because it's flammable, but because of its heavy vapor and high vapor pressure. He says he just pours a cup of gas down each hole and covers it up. The gasoline vapor either suffocates them or drives them out. That got me thinking. Ammonia also has a heavy vapor and a high vapor pressure, is safer to use, doesn't poison the soil, and is less expensive than gasoline. I've tried it and enjoyed some success. Tomorrow I'm going to pour ammonia and bleach down the gopher holes, and quickly cover up the hole. Why? Mixing ammonia and bleach creates toxic chloramine gas, which ought to be more effective than ammonia which only suffocates. If you do this, do not mix those two chemicals in a container and then pour into the gopher hole, because you'll gas yourself. This is a bad thing. Pour one chemical into the hole, then the other, and have a shovel full of dirt ready to cover the hole as quickly as possible at shovel-handle-length safety. I think it might be even more effective to first pour water into the hole, thereby saturating the dirt at the opening of the hole and making it more likely that your chemicals flow further into the tunnel system.
  • The commenter, Lo, is partial to the 40mm Glock. Needless to say, not a good idea in urban and residential areas. But for farmers and ranchers on their own land, why not? Patience is required. Commenter, Lo, said: I have killed 5 in the last week with a 40mm Glock. It takes patience, but works. I find a new mound (older ones may be ok but with a fresh one you know it is active) Get a little garden shovel and poke it around in the mound until it hits a soft spot. Then dig until you find the tunnel. Clean the entrance to the tunnel and try to make it big enough so you will be able to see when he starts trying to cover the entrance. Make it so you can get a good shot. He's fast, so you have to really pay attention. If he realizes you are there he will stop, but will come back. I've found that there may be 3 and even 4 tunnels leading in and out of a mound. And some of these split off into a "Y". You have to put your hand in the tunnel to find these. Of the five I've killed this week, all were female. Also after killing them I dig into some of the other holes and see if one will come back and cover it, but so far that hasn't been the case. I've drowned out only one and wasted gallons and gallons of water. I've use all of the available poisons and juicy fruit gum with no luck. My method works if you have the patience and time to wait until he comes to cover the tunnel entrance. Sometimes you'll think he headed out to make a new home somewhere else. Then you check the next morning and the hole is filled. I found one mound that had a nest in a compartment. It was full of little dead pieces of grass and the papery cover from bulbs. In the same mound I found a storage area with the little bulbs. If you shoot into a tunnel while he's trying to cover it you may think you have missed and if you did, he'll eventually come back and fill the entrance. I shot at one Sunday and I thought maybe I missed him since I couldn't find him. I dug up a lot of tunnel and never did find him, but later I found him outside another one of his mounds.... dead. He had been wounded and crawled out. All the mounds around the area are not active any longer, so I figure it was him.
  • The comment by Dennis Manns is a must-read. He mentions a few methods, but the last one is my favorite. This guy is in to it big time, 250 acres and explosions all over the place. Yep, do have your medical and life insurance policies up to date. Frankly, this proactive method sounds like a blast (pun intended). Commenter, Dennis Manns, said: Trap 250 acres of hay ground, have caught thousands over the past 30 years. Bought Gophinator didn't work went back to box traps, was catching 30 plus a day. Took 5 years to get to the point where I have only 3 or 4 traps set, sure makes haying a lot more enjoyable. The Rodenator is the most effective it uses propane and oxygen when it ignites it collapses their lungs. Only problem with it is the ground heaves up where their tunnels are.
  • Sticky rat traps are being recommended.
  • Gassing with a BBQ propane tank has been suggested. Not too sure about that idea in an urban area. If a second, unknown, open gopher hole happens to be near anything that has a pilot light or could create a spark...
  • Commenter, Sarah Beth, said: I live in the mountains and have had pocket gophers in my yard for a few years - annoying but I don't do anything special so I haven't done anything, until now. I needed mouse traps for the house and opted to get a gopher trap too. Box style, spring loaded. An existing mound was torn up by a bear one night (thanks!) so I took the opportunity to hit an exposed hole. Woke up to the hole re-exposed and the trap missing. Found it several feet away, I can only guess a critter moved it. So I came here looking for ideas, I'm guessing at this point I have several families living in my yard, I'll get more traps. But the broken glass method, I doubt that works. One of the original property owners must have used the yard as a trash dump before trash service was a thing and while building the house. I tell people they cannot walk barefoot in my yard. The gophers dig up all the debris, to include lots of broken glass. I'm constantly picking it up.
  • Commenter, Heather, said: I've tried a number of items to deter gophers from my yard. I have found anything with a strong odor sends them in the opposite direction. I've placed everything from dryer sheets, liquid ammonia, and gasoline inside the tunnels and then covered up the entrance for max affect. Probably the best success has been inserting moth balls or a generous amount of Palmolive dish soap poured into the entrance followed by water to disperse into tunnels. The gophers hate the smell and when they emerge they are a little disoriented, cuz the gophers vision is affected.
  • Commenter, PhuriousPills, said: Electrocute them in conjunction with water. Car battery keeps them away. I use power supplies.. But the disposable camera flash, LOL, I made into trap. I'm bad.
  • Commenter, HeatherZ said: Easy and works every time... Put a rock on the hole... Safe and effective... Gophers cannot dig thru the rock... They relocate to where they can dig...
  • Commenter, Brett, said: If you have a dog and/or cat, save the poop and flush it down the hole. In fact, any dead animal, such as birds, mice or rats will do.
  • Commenter, Jeremy, said: This says ultrasonic devices do not appear to work, but I've actually had good luck with them. I'm a handyman and have recommended them to at least 4 clients after having them work in my yard first, and they've all had similar results. You might see mounds appear right after you install them, but after a couple weeks, they go away. I tried smoke bombs and castor oil pellets first, and that just made mounds pop up in other places. The solar powered ultrasonic gopher repellent spikes I got off Amazon have been the only thing to keep them away. They make noise every 60 seconds or so, but it's not that bad. There's a brand called Zebedee that has an on/off switch if you want to stop the sound while you're in your yard or need to install them outside a bedroom window. Theirs also varies the sound of the beep which they say makes sure the animal doesn't get used to the sound. By the way, my parents tried the car exhaust method years ago only to find that the gophers had dug through the crawlspace under the house and fumes started coming into the house, so watch out for that. They had to leave all the doors and windows open with fans blowing out the smell for a few hours. If you have a solid foundation, it's probably not a problem but their house had wood floors and was suspended on a brick foundation with a crawlspace underneath.
  • Commenter, Rene, said: For a residential yard or smaller garden area I found gopher/mole bait (pellet form) to be very effective . Method: walk around yard daily looking for fresh gopher holes-0 stick a stick down 10 inches pour one tablespoon of bait into hole, cover up hole. must do it daily -works like a charm.
  • Commenter, Eric, said: Last year I found one baby pocket gopher in my backyard. Chased that little guy around for weeks. Tried gopher traps, poison, flushing him out with way and shooting it, gum, everything. I pissed it off by flooding the tunnel and he switched to my front yard. I bought 10 rat sticky traps and place them around every new hole, went and ate dinner and came back to a gopher glued to the trap. Shot him in the head to put him out of his misery. This year the back yard got away from me so the grass was long for a month. Finally got around to mowing it and found gopher holes on opposite ends of the yard. Same thing with the sticky rat traps, caught two gophers within the day, filled the holes and figured my work was done. Came back a week later and found 3 more holes right where I caught one of the two. Placed a bunch more traps and caught three more that day. Next day, holes popped up, caught one more to make 5 within the month. I was hoping I was done because they say a litter is 5-6 and these were all babies. Nope have one more and I have located mama's tunnels finally. The sticky rat traps haven’t failed me yet so I’m hoping they work for the mother, just got a bigger size. She is much better about closing up her holes and they’ve been hard to locate but it seems the babies rarely close their holes. If they do, just be diligent to locate loose dirt when they dig.
  • Commenter, Gina Tse-Louie, said: After the gopher ate everything (parsley, basil, cilantro, chamomile, artichoke, asparagus, mustard greens, kale of all types, flowers galore, etc.) including things they aren't supposed to like (garlic, onions, chives, and mint). I attempted the warning method of throwing dog poop down a hole to warn it of a predator. It retaliated by separating the chicken wire from the bottom of my raised bed! I watched as is kept popping its head up in 4 different parts of my raised bed. Frustrated I tried to set the 2 different types of traps I bought. Macabee is not easy to set... the Amdro tunnel easier but required positioning... I gave up on the Macabee. Having watched the Caddy Shack video, I was tempted... watching more and more videos after trying sonar, sound, and everything it burrowed next to... I saw a video showing that once above ground, gophers were slower moving. Epiphany! Once it popped it's head up I was determined to toss it out of the ground. I collapsed every tunnel in the raised box I could and waited... it popped its head up... I scooped behind it with a shovel... it landed and I speared it! I was happy this gopher would no longer eat my personal farm to table... but I am still sad I had to kill a living thing. If only we could live harmoniously... I buried it so it can give back what it has taken from the soil.
  • Commenter, Chris, said: A method that I have found to be fairly effective is to gas them. This requires your propane BBQ tank, a POL X 3/8 male flared fitting, a length of old used propane hose with the appropriate female 3/8 flare fitting on one end. As described previously in these posts you must first locate an opening, usually 8 to 12 in away from the main Mound is the escape hole with a small dirt plug in it. Remove just enough dirt from the plug so that you can insert the hose into the tunnel then carefully pack the dirt back around the hose and slightly open up the valve on the tank, full tank pressure is not required and is wasteful if you have a large amount of these Mounds to visit. I have found that 10 minutes is usually sufficient per location! You can even wander off and take care of other projects while the propane does it's job. Propane is not poisonous, however it does replace the oxygen in the tunnel and causes Little Darlings to suffocate! This also means you don't have to worry about carcass disposal! Instant fertilizer!
  • Commenter, Lesley, said: I have an indoor Siamese mixed cat that we found when he was 4 weeks old, we recently bought a home and have beautiful small front yard and just last week my cat Milo has brought home two live gophers??? WTH??? He beats them up and leaves them panting in my kitchen??? He will not eat them but I guess he is earning his keep, lol, I think I might adopt a few more cats to help out, those will be working cats and Milo can show them the ropes.
  • Commenter, Steve, said: I put up a small sign (on the mound side of every active gopher hole) that says "FREE wine and body massage for everyone attending the Geomyidae family reunion. Directions to the party are as follows...
  • Commenter, Levi, said: I like to give them bubble baths by pouring dish soap down into the opened holes, and filling them up with high pressure water from the hose. It seems to work more often than not by filling up their vast network with the suds, and a soapy gopher will pop up gasping for breathe and the real life whack a mole game is underway.
  • Commenter, Cheryl in Florida said: 5 acres and neighboring lots have exploded with mounds. Have horses so need grass to survive. Poison pellets were a huge waste of money. Tried flooding but it never filled up and nothing came up. Didn’t want to drain the well. Victor black boxes from amazon have been the only thing that works. 3 dead this weekend. It wears you out digging holes trying to locate an open tunnel. Buy those and watch YouTube videos people publish. They helped me. I feel bad killing a mammal but really need to stop them from ruining my pastures.
  • Commenter, Kim C., said: After months of trying traps, gas bombs, water etc. I sprayed Tomcat repellent(castor oil based) over the entire lawn. This ruins the taste of their food. A few days later I seen that it moved to a dirt area with little plants, just a few weeds. I assumed it was getting hungry. I bought a poisonous bait, and after the second application.... No more holes. So I took the starve then poison approach. No satisfying explosions, but it did the job.
  • Commenter, Jim, said: I just bought a Rodenator system, haven't tried it yet (this weekend). However I have high confidence it will work. Since you are pushing pressurized gas into the system, penetrating into the tunnels will be much more effective than the smoke bombs they sell in Home Depot. Poison similarly hasn't been too effective, in Colorado the poison you can buy is weak, it takes a lot of it being eaten by a gopher to kill them - by which time they are likely sick and lose their appetite for it. Strychnine you can buy in Wyoming is more effective, they eat a few bites and they're done. The Rodenator also has a blind spot - you have to have a firm backup plan to take the critters out where they are near gas lines, fuel tanks or perhaps in your leeching field. That's where a drive to the Cowboy state will come in handy. While the poison is certainly not as fun and satisfying as triggering Armageddon in their burrow, lighting off the Rodenator where it will ignite or break something ain't none to smart either. I'll try to find my way back and let you know how our subterranean warfare goes this weekend.
  • Commenter, Liz Elias, said: We have a plethora of the little critters. Since there are feral cats in the area, (and we like cats), we don't want to use poison, in case a cat might catch a poisoned gopher, and themselves get poisoned. Water hose--uh, yeah--but no! We tried that, and no water every came up above ground (sandy soil), but, we did drown a tree and a shrub trying to flood out the gophers. And yes, our water bill was higher that month. I have gone to the extreme of dropping the deposits scooped from our kitty litter boxes into their holes. I figured they'd think a cat was on the prowl, and make themselves scarce. Nope. That didn't work either; and neither did mothballs. Road flares? As you say--too many "miles" of tunnels--it doesn't get far. Once or twice, they've dared poke their heads above ground when we happened to be nearby, and hubby conked them with the business end of a shovel. That worked; but only for the single nosy gopher. And no--the vibration gizmos don't work--in fact, the suckers dug right up next to it, presumably to find out what it was! Getting a gopher snake has been discussed, but I have a horrid phobia about snakes. They have their place in the ecosystem; I just don't want to see them! It is bad; we're on about 3/4 of an acre, and you put your ankles at risk trying to walk across the 'back 40.' We're still within city limits, though, so no gunfire allowed. We are at a loss.
  • Commenter, Jason, said: Take a treble hook on a steel leader that is attached to monofilament line, that is attached to your fishing pole. Bait it with peanut butter, put it as far down the hole as possible, open a beer and sit back and wait. Side note: it may take a 6 pack...
  • Commenter, Ron Powell, said: After decades of poison pellets, I started using the Black Box gopher trap and more recently the Black Hole gopher trap. They work great. I have a 2 1/2 acre lot with sandy soil and killed 21 the first 10 days and have been getting them ever since. Sometimes they will foil the trap, where you pick it up and it is full of dirt instead of a gopher, but you just re dig and re set and you have a good chance, I'd guess 80 plus percent. The gopher pellets have no way of giving you feedback. Warning, if I leave it out all night, a fox in my neighborhood will carry off the whole thing. They are only about 20 bucks and then I at least know I got them. The black box has a stiffer wire and kills them quicker than the black hole but the black hole is a slightly better design IMO.
  • Commenter, AWS, said: I have 2.5 acres with a small flower garden in front and a 250 sq/ft patch of grass in our back courtyard. The gophers have attacked my grass and my wife's garden. After using poison bait, flooding with the hose and gassers to no avail. I read your article and the comments below. I tried the Bleach and ammonia in my wife's garden. I bought a long funnel, attached 3 feet of plastic hose to it drilled 6 holes towards the bottom of the plastic hose so if the end was clogged shoving it down the tunnel the liquid would still flow out. I tested it with a water, then poured down bleach, cleared it with water (did not want to gas myself) then the ammonia. Pulled out the hose and plugged all the holes where I could see the gas coming out. Instead of killing the little bastar@#$%'s all it seemed to do was make the little bas@#$%$'s mad and they ate more of my wife's garden. In the courtyard I found a nice active tunnel and I placed a trap in it. Since the tunnel was about 12" below ground I took a 2 foot piece of cedar 1X6 fence board I had and placed that over top of the trap and covered it so light could get in. It took 2 nights, and I got one last night. I have reset the trap so we'll see. Back to my wife's flower garden, I will get 2 more traps and go after those little varmints today. More to come....
  • Commenter, Norm A., said: After losing hundreds of dollars of plants, I had enough. First, gopher pellets, ( 3 cans!), no change. Next gas bombs, more piles of fresh dirt, plumbers torch with LP bottles, gaining. Now using the BBQ LP tank with 10' of hose. Probe to locate den, insert hose, turn on gas for 5 minutes. From twenty fresh mounds the first day to one this morning. Check twice a day for new mounds. Have used one full BBQ tank so far, but winning the battle.
  • Commenter, Bill in FL, said: Flooding can be very effective where soils are heavy and drain poorly. But if your soil is sandy, as it is here in FL--forget it! The water will drain as fast as you can pour it in. The most you'll do is give the gopher a nice bath.
  • Commenter, LotusLandry, said: No cats will survive in my densely populated urban environment because the coyotes get the precious cats and break their necks. We ended up having an exterminator for the gophers. The beasts seem to covet the smallest 12 feet square patches between cemented areas. I used to try the gas sticks and I even poured solutions of mustard and chili pepper and other smelly things.
  • Commenter, julieannbrady, said: Well, I believe I have moles, not gophers. I have been battling these little critters for three years now. I'm trying to figure out how many I have. And wonder if it could be just one in the front yard, or a family? Some mornings, it seems as though that mole has been everywhere. I now have a spayed feral cat policing my back yard so I think that might have moved the mole more to the front yard. What do do? I like the idea with the gas exhaust.
  • A few more comments are still to be retrieved.

I am not a gopher!
I am a groundhog.

Disposing of Dead Gophers

  • Place on top of fence post for the larger birds.
  • Sell them on eBay. Important note: health laws may require you take them to a taxidermist first.
  • Give to your cat.
  • Bury them next to your plants most in need of fertilizer, talk about sweet revenge...

Keeping Them Away

  • Sprinkle hot spices where you don’t want the gophers to be.
  • Bury chicken-wire beneath where you don’t want the gophers to be.
  • Mix broken glass where you don’t want the gophers to be.
Ultrasonic, electronic, vibration, and magnetic-field devices do not appear to work. So save your money on those.

Never noticed that before. I think that's his ear. How does it not get filled with dirt or how does he clean the dirt out of it? Maybe he is able to close the thing at will.

About the Comments Section

Do you have a method not listed here? Odds are you do. This is a continually evolving page. If so inclined, add your own method in the comments section below. If deemed worthy, it will be included in future versions of this page.

Shared opinions and experiences you've had with various types and brands of traps would also be much appreciated. If your story can save another reader some grief or aggravation, that is always a good thing.

Sporadic humor aside, it is sincerely hoped this page has given you the information you need. Gophers are indeed obnoxious, little critters.

- End of Article -

Re: Using Mobile?
Home: site intro and featured articles/resources.
View Web Version: displays Main Menu article categories (will be located below), additional site info (below and side), search function, translation function.

I first published this article at another website on 01/24/2011. However to keep the information current, relocating to was best. This copyrighted article has served people well for years. The updates continue.


  1. This was some of the funniest shit I've read in my entire life. I'm totally at the Caddy Shack stage of my life with these little bast#@ds and I must say I feel all of your frustrations and thank God they aren't Human. I just wanted to say thenk you to each and everyone of you for fighting the fight... I never laughed so hard in my entire life. You brought me to tears, my stomach hurt and it takes an awful lot to me smile. Bravo for your valient attempts to defeat a very intelligent creature, let me know you find a way in doing so. Who knows the little pain in the butts could make someone a fortune. Agardengrower


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