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How Can I Control Gophers?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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You can control gophers in several ways, with each method offering a specific benefit. Typical gopher control methods are traps, baits and electronics. Gas bombs, lawn sprays and exhaust fumes round out most of the better-known methods to control gophers. While most areas recognize gophers as pests, you do not want to break any laws in your attempt to rid your lawn of the little burrowers. Regardless of where you live, sitting by a gopher tunnel with a firearm at the ready is never a preferred method to control gophers.

If you do not wish to harm the small animal, you might want to use a live trap to control gophers. Most traps involve placing the device next to or inside of a burrow, and then releasing any trapped gophers back into an area that is not adjacent to your lawn. This method means it can take a long time to actually catch a gopher, and may not work well in every situation. Some of the most effective methods used to control gophers include a poison or a mechanical device that can kill the animal on contact. Many of these gopher control remedies can be found in your local farm or garden supply stores.

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Most of the poison is sold as a pellet and is intended to be placed inside of the gophers' tunnels. Using an applicator rod or inserting by hand, you can place a pellet randomly in a tunnel and in several locations throughout your lawn. As the gopher travels through the tunnel system, it will eat some of the poison and die, fulfilling your goal to control gophers. The uneaten poison pellets will remain in place to thwart off any other passersby, keeping your lawn gopher-free for months.

Other devices used to control gophers include traps resembling a spring-loaded stake containing a series of long wire spikes suspended from a flat steel plate. The trap is loaded by pulling the spikes upward and locking them into position, and the stake is placed into the tunnel by pushing it into the ground. A trigger mechanism is situated on the stake and rests inside the tunnel. When the gopher travels through the tunnel and makes contact with the trigger, the spikes are released and shoot down into the tunnel and pierce the gopher. Above ground, you will see that the trap has been tripped and you can remove the device and the gopher from your lawn.

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