List of Ways on How to Kill or Get Rid of Pocket Gophers

Updated on January 8, 2020
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This author has written several business-of-living articles.

"I want to be your friend." (Not!)
"I want to be your friend." (Not!) | Source

Here is a compilation of all known methods to get rid of 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.
Pocket gophers here. Pocket gophers there. Pocket gophers everywhere. | Source
  • 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 the others 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.
Sure wouldn't want anything to do with this one if it came running out after me. | Source

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," I thought. Called it a day. 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.

This one doesn't look like much fun either.
This one doesn't look like much fun either. | Source

Suggestions from Comments Section

  • Moth balls. Apparently gophers don't like them. See comments for full description and attribution.
  • Catch-them-alive traps. Then take them far, far away. See comments for full details and attribution.
  • Auto flares. I really liked the sound of this one. See comments for full details and attribution.
  • Take no prisoners. See Frank in the comments Section.
  • Caster oil. Use after the bottle rockets and Roman candles. See Larry in the comments section.
  • Gopher bomb recipe. Chris in the comments section says how. 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.
  • Water hose in Gopher hole (method #1). Tea Ga in the comments section had better luck than I did. Looks like perseverance is the key and I was a slacker in that regard.
  • Water hose in gopher hole (method #2). Gopher golf! I love it! See Charles' comment.
  • Instead of using your car's exhaust, use your gas-powered lawnmower. See Buck's comment. Much more convenient.
  • Cindy says to use rat traps with peanut butter and bird seed as the bait. Sounds like a good idea, both inexpensive and effective.
  • Chemical warfare. Described in detail by the commenter, AARRAA.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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...

I am a groundhog, not a gopher!
I am a groundhog, not a gopher! | Source

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 those before. I think that's his ear.
Never noticed those before. I think that's his ear. | Source

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Will bleach and ammonia get rid of gophers in the gardens?

    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.


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    • profile image


      2 months ago

      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, & gasoline inside the tunnels & 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 & when they emerge they are a little disoriented cuz the gophers vision is affected.

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      bill enderson 

      3 months ago

      wow soooo many methods... bubble gum is the funniest. I wonder if you use worm flavor.

      One of the best ways to kill gophers is use carbon monoxide. The old hose on the car is marginal at best. Rascal Eradicator is a carbon monoxide producing two hoses ( two holes at a time) device specifically designed to kill prairie dogs, gophers and moles easily, humanely, without poisons and blowing things up. It costs less than a dime a hole for operation Check it out. 303-910-9106

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      7 months ago

      Electrocute them in conjunction with water. Car battery keeps the away. . i use a power supplies.. But tge disposible camera flash.. Lol. . i made into trap. Im bad

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Easy and works every time... put a rock on the hole... safe and effective... and, goffers cannot dig thru the rock... they relocate to where they can dig...

    • Jeremy Cobain profile image


      8 months ago from El Cajon

      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.

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      9 months ago

      What kind of sticky rat traps is Eric from three months ago talking about? Are these just a bunch of the 5"x8" flat glue traps that can be folded into a box and is generally for mice, bugs, spiders, etc? I'd like to catch and release elsewhere. My holes just started about two weeks ago, and I can see ongoing surface activity/expansion.

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      12 months ago

      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.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      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 mommas 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.

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      Gina Tse-Louie 

      14 months ago

      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. Epipheny! 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.

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      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!

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      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 goffers?? 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 mor cats to help out, those will be working cats and Milo can show them the ropes

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      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..."

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Cheryl in Florida 

      17 months ago

      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.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      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 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

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      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 1 and that involves my pecan tree, my jr Banshee compound bow and arrows.

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      Rat traps work. Look for fresh dirt or watch em in action. Clear area for trap and set the trap & place in the hole. Check often. Works. If it doesn't work by next day find new spot.

    • profile image

      Kim C. 

      2 years ago

      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.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      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 Armeggedon 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.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      2 years ago from Oakley, CA

      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.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Take a treble hook on a steel leader that is attached to monofiliment 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...

    • profile image

      Ron Powell 

      2 years ago

      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.

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      2 years ago

      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.

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      2 years ago

      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....

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      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!!!

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      3 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Dennis Manns 

      3 years ago

      Trap 250 acres of hay ground, have caught thousands over the past 30 years. Bought Gophonator 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 there lungs. Only problem with it is the ground heaves up where there tunnels are.

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      3 years ago

      Rat traps with peanut butter and bird seed

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      3 years ago

      I stand over a freshly dug hole with a .22. When he/she pushes more dirt up I shoot the little bastard in the head. Note: sometimes you have to stand for quite awhile and be very still. Really works!

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      Norm A. 

      3 years ago

      After losing hundreds of dollars of plants, I had enough. First, gopher pellets, ( 3 cans!), no change. Next gas bombs, more pilies 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.

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      Megan M 

      3 years ago

      FYI, Gophers (at least the ones here) can easily chew through chicken wire and push through.

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      Buck in San DIego, Ca. 

      3 years ago

      when we were younger we used the lawn mower, no, not to shave their 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.

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      Bill in FL 

      4 years ago

      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.

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      5 years ago

      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.

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      tea ga 

      5 years ago

      Got ride 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 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 Work

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      5 years ago

      Salt Petre, sugar, and sulfur make an excellent gopher bomb. Mix the Salt Petre 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! :)

    • LotusLandry profile image


      5 years ago from Southern California

      No cats will survive in my densely populated urban environment because the coyotes get the precious cats and break their necks. We end 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.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I was mowing my front lawn and all of a sudden my right foot sank into a deep hole up to my knee. I was shocked! I thought I had a sink hole in my front yard and then realized this hole-- 6 inches round had a tunnel. My neighbor said it was probably a gopher. I proceeded to give it a double whammy and I put a box of moth balls and dog poop and covered the top of the hole with plastic--Lei's see if it returns to ruin my lawn again!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      They seem to hate bottle rockets, especially the ones that whistle 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 CASTER OIL PRODUCTS TO DETER THEM FROM YOUR AREA.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another way to get gopher to move out, is to simply put your kitty scooped poop and pee into gopher hole. Or you can pee into hole yourself. They will be gone.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      One way to catch a gopher alive is to use the old "school yard snare". Get about 10 feet of string and two pencils. In one end of the string, tied a loose snare loop with a big knot (I use a hangman's loop as the knot and loop the sting through the hangman's). Find a fresh mound and dig the gophers tunnel wide open. On the side away from the opening stick the two pencils into the ground next to each other and place line between the pencils with the snare knot between pencils and hole. Wrap snare loop around inside of hole. Go ten feet away and wait until gopher appears and tries to fill the opening. A gentle tug on snare will get him. FISHING FOR GOPHERS in the school yard.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      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 axe 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.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Use Auto flares in the holes. Dig out the gopher hole light the flare and throw it in, cover it up. go to the next tunnel system and do the same. Gophers hate the smell of sulfur.

    • profile image

      Christina Miller 

      6 years ago

      I used the hose method the other day to flood one out...didn't have a shotgun, but I had a shovel. Wet, mad gopher took a blow to the head with a shovel. Real life Whack-a-Mole. Now I have one less gopher in my yard!

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      To Dee's point, gophers are never funny, because they are so destructive.

      Buy a Have-a-Heart trap the right size for a gopher, trap him/them, and release 20 miles away in a field bordered by woods.

      One year we caught 5 this way. What we didn't know until all 5 were caught one at a time was that this was a family of a mother and her brood. For good or evil, each was taken to a different field and released. Doubtful they ever found their ways back to each other.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      9 years ago

      They are the most annoying litte 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 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 moth ball will get rid of pest 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.


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