Gophers


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We've lived here almost 6 years and have never seen a gopher around our place - which I attributed to the extremely rocky soil (and we aren't talking gravel, we're talking 5"-20" basalt rocks). It was such a relief after having lived in an area inundated with gophers.

Suddenly, the bare hillside on the west side of our home has gophers. We first saw three mounds and had discussions about whether these were actually gophers, since the mounds weren't the 'normal' kind of U-shape that we were used to. Now, there are probably 15 mounds, created in the last 3 weeks or so! We know they are gophers because our cat caught one and brought it in.

Does anyone have a clue about how/why gophers would SUDDENLY move in? We did have an unusually wet spring... could that have something to do with it? The only other thing I can think of is that during the first part of summer we had fire mitigation, which cut down all of the ladder fuel - but I can't imagine that wild rose, black hawthorn, wild cherry and wild plum are that important to gophers!

So far, they aren't in my actual garden, but I'm sure it will be just a matter of time before they migrate over there (at least from previous experience).
 
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We don't have gophers in the UK, not sure I would know one if I saw it, but ... Years ago I was talking to my elderly next door neighbour about rats. A strain of rat had appeared in Gloucestershire that was immune to all the legal poisons. He made the gesture of aiming his shotgun, "How about a bit of lead poisoning?"
 
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An extra-wet Spring will definitely increase the population. The ladder fuel reduction probably had a little bit to do with it, mostly from disturbance. Hopefully a surge in owl and hawk populations will take care of some of them. ;)
 
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We've lived here almost 6 years and have never seen a gopher around our place - which I attributed to the extremely rocky soil (and we aren't talking gravel, we're talking 5"-20" basalt rocks). It was such a relief after having lived in an area inundated with gophers.

Suddenly, the bare hillside on the west side of our home has gophers. We first saw three mounds and had discussions about whether these were actually gophers, since the mounds weren't the 'normal' kind of U-shape that we were used to. Now, there are probably 15 mounds, created in the last 3 weeks or so! We know they are gophers because our cat caught one and brought it in.

Does anyone have a clue about how/why gophers would SUDDENLY move in? We did have an unusually wet spring... could that have something to do with it? The only other thing I can think of is that during the first part of summer we had fire mitigation, which cut down all of the ladder fuel - but I can't imagine that wild rose, black hawthorn, wild cherry and wild plum are that important to gophers!

So far, they aren't in my actual garden, but I'm sure it will be just a matter of time before they migrate over there (at least from previous experience).
I have gophers all over my yard as well, and I have no idea how to control them. I believe their main source of food in my yard is grubs which are not easy to control. I put down Milky Spore a couple times three years ago, and it did not do a darn thing.
 
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I know that this sounds crazy but a lot of folks here in Texas use small pieces of Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum to control gophers. They place small pieces of the gum into the holes and the gophers eat it. They cannot digest it and it kills them by constipation. Strange but true. It has to be Juicy Fruit. None of the other flavors work.
 
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I know that this sounds crazy but a lot of folks here in Texas use small pieces of Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum to control gophers. They place small pieces of the gum into the holes and the gophers eat it. They cannot digest it and it kills them by constipation. Strange but true. It has to be Juicy Fruit. None of the other flavors work.
I have read about this in blog post, but it did not specify juicy fruits. Lately, I marked where each tunnel ends with a stick, then I watched for when the tunnels is actively extended. I block one end of the tunnels and dig them out with a shovels. I gotten 4 of them over the past 2 weeks.
 
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I have read about this in blog post, but it did not specify juicy fruits. Lately, I marked where each tunnel ends with a stick, then I watched for when the tunnels is actively extended. I block one end of the tunnels and dig them out with a shovels. I gotten 4 of them over the past 2 weeks.
The bad news is a female gopher can have 3 litters per year and 5-6 pups in a litter. That can be 18 gophers for each female and a pup reaches maturity at one year. The good news is that their lifespan is only about 3 years
 
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I know that this sounds crazy but a lot of folks here in Texas use small pieces of Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum to control gophers. They place small pieces of the gum into the holes and the gophers eat it. They cannot digest it and it kills them by constipation. Strange but true. It has to be Juicy Fruit. None of the other flavors work.

What just break the stick of into 3rds and throw it in the hole?
 
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Gophers are vegetarians and don't eat grubs. Moles DO eat grubs and make tunnels just under the soil surface. I've never tried the chewing gum method. I use traps. There's one called 'The Black Hole' that works well and won't hurt cats, dogs or curious children that reach into an untripped trap.
 

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