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Jul 01, 2009 - Autumn from Peaceful Valley
Question from a twitter follower:
do you have a thoughtful way of warding off gophers? they think i’ve planted THEM a garden!!
First off we have gopher wire in rolls and as prefabricated baskets. While this is primarily designed for the protection of a select plant / tree / etc. but could be used around rows, beds or around the entire perimeter of your field (subterranean fencing). These rolls come in 3? or 4? x 100? (note: gophers have been known to burrow up to 6? deep in soft soil), the baskets come in several sizes from 1 Gallon to 15 Gallon.
Next are the traps… we have two main types of traps; “Spring Wire” and “Loop”. The spring wire type is the type most commonly used that can be set near the entry of a tunnel or in mid tunnel when the tunnel is near the surface. The loop type (”Black Box”) is a box type trap that is intend be set mid tunnel and uses a loop of wire to capture and kill the gopher as it passes through. Both kinds of traps are intended to be fatal (not sure the term “trap” is really accurate).
Third, baits; we have Strychnine and NON-Strychnine baits. These baits are intend to be applied with an applicator a metal probe inserted into the tunnel (we also carry several applicators) the bait is eaten by the gopher and the result is fatal.
Fourth, gassing solutions; Although Gopher Gassers are not considered organic, we offer these for home gardeners who may be extremely frustrated by their problematic gopher situation. Gopher gassers contain potassium nitrate, carbon, sulfur (all components of gunpowder) and dextrin (a polysaccharide), which when used sparingly, are not harmful to soils. The idea is to activate the gassing unit in a tunnel, the gas will spread through the tunnel system resulting in a fatal reaction.
Last, repellants… if you have a gopher problem… repellants alone will not shew the critters away. However as part of a control plan including (traps, gas and barrier wire) repellants can deter more gophers from coming into your area, while you get rid of the existing population. Then once you have the main problem under control repellants have been shown to deter gophers from coming into an area. We have liquid and solid repellants in various sizes. The question for the gopher becomes: Is the temptation of the food you are growing stronger than the deterrent of a bad taste / smell (castor oil) in the area.
Hope this helps, I must say that I feel for the gophers sometimes… there are few creatures that have had so many methods of demise designed for them. Even with mice… no body ever said… “I know, let’s gas it, or better yet, let’s pump flammable gas into it’s home and light it!” My sympathy fades quickly though, when they show up in my lawn and garden… few creatures can actually make a person feel as though they have been robbed. There is something especially infuriating about a rodent creeping around underground and stealing your crop from right under your nose.
I wish you the best of luck and encourage you to use the most natural and sustainable option that will work for you before getting out the “big guns”… if you do decide to go “Wille E. Coyote” on the little critters and blow them up, consider waiting until the growing season is over and I’d take all my irrigation lines out of the area. On the bright side maybe you could till in your cover crop in that way?