How to Poison a Gopher
Did you ever want to poison a gopher? If you have gophers in your garden you know how hard it can be to control them organically.
One of the worst moments for a vegetable gardener is watching a tall tomato plant disappear underground. That’s a gopher at work, pulling your carefully nurtured plant down to his lair.
In our latest video, about Getting Rid of Gophers, Tricia shows the organic controls for gophers including creating barriers in your garden and setting traps.
Sometimes the organic controls are not enough to remove gophers from your garden, and then you have to decide if you want to depart from organic gardening and use more toxic methods. Poisoning gophers is still within the principles of Integrated Pest Management, which goes beyond organic gardening into conventional and toxic measures on occasion. The UC Davis IPM site on gophers goes straight past barriers and advocates trapping and baiting with poison.
Gopher poison can endanger children, pets and other wildlife
The poisons used in gopher bait will also harm other creatures like children, dogs, cats, and wild birds. BE SURE that you place the gopher bait securely underground.
If the bait is not placed in the gopher burrow, and is somewhere it can be reached by a child, or a digging dog, you could have a tragedy on your hands.
A poisoned gopher that emerges from its burrow also presents a danger to a dog, cat or bird of prey in your garden. They have all have been known to eat poisoned gophers, with fatal results.
The Young Gopher Tool is designed to carry the bait and leave it in the gopher’s burrow. Be careful to use the Gopher Tool properly and don’t leave any bait on the surface of the ground.
To keep other creatures safe, bury the poisoned gopher 2 feet underground and place rocks on the surface to discourage diggers.
Choices in poisonous gopher baits
The active ingredient in Wilco Gopher Bait Type 2 is .005% diphacionone, which is an anti-coagulant. This bait must be consumed by the gopher for 3 to 4 days in a row.
Wilco Gopher Bait Zinc has 2% zinc phosphide and is effective when eaten once.
How to identify a gopher hole
Before you place the bait in the burrow, double-check to be sure that the critter is really a gopher!
Gardens have a lot of foot traffic from humans, pets and wildlife—and the characteristic, above-ground features of a gopher burrow can be rearranged, making it harder to identify the animal that lives there.
You have probably read that the gopher hole is at the corner of a horseshoe-shaped pile of dirt. In rocky or clay soil you may not see the shape of the dirt pile, but you will still see the plug that the gopher leaves to block the entrance to its burrow. The plug is clearly visible in the photo above.
Moles also plug their holes, but you cannot find the plug in the volcano-shaped mounds they create, like this one above.
Snakes, ground squirrels, and voles do not plug holes, as you can see above.
For more information about alternative means of dealing with gophers, see all our gopher traps and controls.
If you have to poison a gopher, be cautious and ensure that is the only animal that will die in your garden.
Leave a Comment