Our backyard is really nice, with lots of tall trees, flowers, and fruit trees. The one thing I wasn’t happy about when we first bought the house was the lack of a lawn. The ground is all concrete. We’ve made the best of it, though! The backyard is perfect for all of our toys with wheels, and it’s a giant canvas for sidewalk chalk. But still, I’ve always wished we had a lawn in the backyard…until recently, when the gophers came.
Our front lawn has been torn up by gophers in the last year. When I noticed the first holes, I went a little insane. Our front lawn is, obviously, the only grass we have. The kids play on it, have picnics, etc, and I didn’t want some stupid gophers ruining it. I called my dad for advice. My parents had an expansive front and back yard, and I remember my dad dealing with those a-hole critters from time to time. He suggested we have a professional come out to exterminate the gophers, so we did…four times in twelve months. The damn things keep coming back.
Yesterday, I walked out to my mailbox and I saw this:
Fresh. Gopher holes. I screamed so loud I think scared elementary schoolchildren at the end of our street. I’m pretty sure this is the gopher that lives in my lawn:
My darling daughter thinks the gophers are our pets. I’ve explained to her that they are not, in fact, the cute little dancing snuggle bugs like the gif above and are in fact, nasty, grass-ruining jerkfaces. She doesn’t care, she wants to leave them food and water.
I have reached the point where I completely understand Bill Murray’s character in Caddyshack. I just want to blow up my lawn with dynamite. And if I can’t do that, I will settle for killing the gophers with fire. Or a crossbow. Whatever, I’m not picky.
So the exterminator is coming out AGAIN this week, but I have little faith that he’ll be successful. So…time to start stockpiling dynamite.
My parents have one of those solar gopher things where it buzzes every few seconds and the vibrations scare them off. Works for them!
My father in law also buried a radio in a coffee can in his front yard…LOL – same concept
I was also going to mention the buzzers! We use them at all five of the residential homes I work at. They have worked so well for gophers/moles/shrewS
I know for chipmunks you can get those big buckets, fill them about halfway with water then add corn/feed to it and have a ramp just about to the top from the outside so they can get into the buckets. The feed floats and gives them the illusion that they can walk on the surface. Most of them haven’t had swimming lessons yet….*sad face* Maybe a trap like that would also work for gophers, assuming one of you has the stomach to empty the trap! *Gag*
That’s disgusting. Why force them to drown? How mean.
They’re disgusting rodents. Who cares if there are a few less?
The “no-kill” humane traps might work for a while, or might just drive them into your neighbors’ yards. The only way to be sure, is to kill them.
Sarah M. says:
Gophers are my hubby’s nemesis. I have a hilarious video of him trying to gas them out at our last house and he’s standing there staring down a hole and there is all this white gas coming out of holes in the yard behind him that he had missed while back filling them.
Food, gopher poison-same same
We had HORRIBLE mole problems at my last house. Even though I know they are horrible a-holes, I still love animals and didn’t want to kill them. My neighbor suggested stuffing cigarette butts down there. She said she did it and it worked great! My grandma always sore if you put a piece of chewing gum down there they would eat it and it would plug them up. I never did it because it would have killed them though. But it would be worth a shot.
Let Rigby loose on them!
I’ve gone through the same trials with voles (vegetarian-like moles). After several months of “professional” extermination that did not work (they used poison bate), plus lots of $$, I tried traps – also unsuccessfully. However, I was very successful with a laxative mineral oil. I found a website where someone applied castor oil and claimed that the voles consume it, get diarrhea and do not come back. Castor oil is expensive. Instead, I purchased mineral oil from a CVS drug store for $8-$9 a quart. I bought two quarts, scraped away a bit of the ground (it is ground covered by rock) that the voles penetrated, applied the oil and covered up the spots. Voila! no more voles – and this was after trial and error after two years. It’s been over a year now, and still no voles.
But they’re so cuuuute! OK, I wouldn’t want them either. At my age, I’d probably step in one of their holes and break my leg. Or neck. It’s bad enough (or worse) that we have rats in the backyard.
I remember as a little girl growing up on an Iowa farm going with my dad to set gopher traps. Then going back and collecting the little bodies. I think they paid a bounty if you took in their ears or some other body part in. This was in the fifties.
We had good luck with Mole Stop. You buy it at Home Depot hook it to the hose and spray the yard. They must hate the smell or taste because they moved on in a hurry!
Works like a charm!
We have a new kitten…Lucy is the queen of catching the shrews! We’ve tried poison, natural remedies and nothing works. I’ve read that destroying the tunnels could help but then, I would hate my yard looking worse. That mineral oil trick sounds like a winner…Boo. Gophers.
We have had our gopher battles over the years, and sorry to say, have given up on the idea of a lawn. (And maybe that’s not a bad thing with this drought). We have raised beds for our garden, and stuff like a big treehouse, a huge deck, for the girls to play on now.
I remember when we were in battle mode with the gophers, an older neighbor told us, “It doesn’t pay to kill one. Five will come to your property for the funeral.”
20 years we have been battling ours…..it is maddening
The gophers eat slugs in the yard. Go to the garden store and get stuff to kill the slugs and the gophers will go away
My brother, who is the GARDEN KING in our family, says the mineral oil trick mentioned above works. Also – my Grandma used to put a couple of sticks of juicy fruit gum in gopher holes, they would eat it and go off to die. I’m not sure why, but I remember her doing that when I was a kid. Must’ve worked – my gma knew everything. Good luck
Paula R. (fka preTzel) says:
Gopher this, gopher that. They are cute but they are a nuisance but they do a nice job aerating the lawn. I would try moth balls. They work great for keeping squirrels away so it might work to toss some down there holes…if you don’t mind your lawn smelling like a senior citizen’s closet.
We used the vibration thing and it worked great! Scared those stupid things right to the next door neighbors house–no longer my problem.
I have fought the gopher too. Know what got rid if him? I had trugreen lawn care come spray my yard this last year. My intended purpose was greener grass but the chemicals drove him away after everything else failed!!
I didn’t read all the comments but I feel your pain or my mom feels your pain. She has a small forest for a front and back yard and my dad kept the yard immaculate. Now my Dad has past, the moles have literally had parties. And it makes my mom so very upset as she tries so hard to keep yards like Dad did. Us kids have tried everything from exterminators to the stupid buzzer thingees that aren’t fun when you have an expansive area and we can say nothing works for us. Absolutely nothing. She won’t use poison because she feeds other animal life, don’t ask. My Dad set traps and simply killed them. But we don’t live close enough to be able to do that and my almost 80 yr old mom can’t. So I have tried to joke with her with the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons, if you can’t win, join them or in her case, we accept it =)