Gopher control! Controlling gophers can be a challenge! Wheeler’s Pest Control

Gopher control! Controlling gophers can be a challenge!
Controlling gophers can be challenging. It is not that they are difficult to control for someone who has developed the technique, but they are numerous in some areas and re-invade after being removed from the area.
Gophers can be damaging to landscapes and orchards .Gophers are vegetarians and feed on plant roots and other vegetation. I’ve seen young scrubs and trees killed by gopher gnawing through their roots just below the soil surface.  When the trees were pulled from the ground, they were separated from their roots.  Just like in the old cartoons I’ve seen gophers pull carrots underground, one moment the top is there and the next it is being pulled underground. It was a gopher that did the damage.
Gophers will damage roses as well as fruit trees, garden vegetables, flowers, and even agricultural crops.  In addition to damage to plants, gophers can damage underground irrigation systems, utility cables, and can cause soil loss by erosion.  It has been reported that while they will try to flee when threatened, they have been known to attack cats and even humans, causing serious injury with their teeth and claws. There are no signs that they carry diseases, but they are sometimes found to have external parasites.
Gophers are usually solitary in their tunnel systems except during mating season in late winter and early fall. While the mothers are raising their young, for about five to six weeks after birth, the young will be forced out of the mother’s tunnel system.  At that time, they often travel above ground where they are subject to predators until they can create their own tunnel system or move into an old tunnel system left by another gopher. Otherwise, gophers remain underground or within an extremely short distance from their tunnels.
A gopher’s average life span is about three years, but some live longer. Predators are one of the reasons for their short life spans. Above ground their primary predators are coyotes, dogs, cats, hawks and owls. Underground predators that may enter their burrows include several species of snakes. .
Controlling gophers may include trapping, baits or fumigants or a combination of those methods. Some of the baits and fumigants are restricted use products and not available to homeowners.  Exclusion by fencing root systems of landscape plants as protection from gophers is a good idea in an area of high gopher population’s areas, but this should be done with caution.  The hardware cloth recommended for this purpose can hurt plants by girdle tree and shrub roots, resulting in plant death if installed too close to the plant. The proper distance to install hardware cloth from the plant will depend on specific plant root systems. So do some research before using this method of exclusion? Lining the base of raised planter beds with hardware cloth can help protect vegetable and flower gardens.
Some plants are advertised as gopher repellent plants, but they really aren’t. Those are just plants that the gophers will avoid by digging around or under them to get to their desired plants. At least these are plants that gophers will usually not damage. There is some draw backs to using some of those plants so again do your research about them before you decide to plant them.

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