Stinking Away Gophers

Author: Meera, May 17, 2013
Fresh dirt in a mound is a telltale sign of a mole or gopher in your yard

Fresh dirt in a mound is a telltale sign of a mole or gopher in the yard



In anticipation of the city-wide garage sale this weekend, I’ve been walking around the property, looking for things to  sell and making a to-do list. That is, until my foot disappeared into a freshly dug tunnel.  Now all I can think about is how to get rid of the gophers.


A newly erupted, fan-shaped mound of dirt with a hole off to the side suggested a gopher had been tunneling underground in my yard. How do I know it’s a gopher and not a mole?  The fan-shape ridge of soil and complete disappearance of plants are telltale signs of the presence of a gopher.


Moles tunnel but don’t consume  plants. They feed on grubs and worms. Their soil ridges are shallow and near the surface.


Golphers create ridges of raised dirt as a result of building tunnels

Gophers create ridges of raised dirt as a result of building tunnels–seen here mid-top to bottom



Frankly, I don’t mind the moles as much as the gophers. Moles are harmless and their tunnels, although ugly, aerate the soil. But gophers are destructive. In the last two weeks, I have witnessed how a gopher can take down a lush garden. A number of organic plants, tomatoes, cilantro (young leafy coriander), and hot peppers that were planted last month have been decimated in less than a week by gophers.


I have searched  magazines, newspapers, and the Internet for ways to get rid the pesky critters. I don’t want to use poison or cages. I am more interested in using all-natural caster oil granules. But I haven’t seen a lot of testimonials about the effectiveness of the granules in repelling gophers. The caster oil does not kill gophers. When the granules are watered, they release a scent that is supposed to repel gophers and moles. In fact, you can direct the vermin from your property by strategic application of the granules–1 pound to 1,000 square feet. A spreader makes it easy to spread the granules evenly.


So, I’ve added buying and spreading caster oil granules to my list. I’m going to stink them away.

Post script: Several days have passed with no new gopher mounds on the farmette, so I believe the caster oil method worked.



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