Gophers have become a serious problem for homeowners as they cause a lot of damage to lawns, vegetable fields, and flower beds. They make their homes by digging tunnels underground and live there most of the time. They eat the roots of the plants to survive, which destroys the plants. Furthermore, sidewalks and patio covers are also damaged when gophers live in a residential property for too long as the ground beneath them gets weakened due to the tunnels gophers make. Another problem that homeowners face is that since gophers mainly live underground, they are rarely seen. Therefore, it becomes difficult to get rid of them.

Methods to Get Rid of Gophers In Your Backyard Garden

Here are some ways to get rid of gophers in your backyard. These methods will help you to save your yard and make gophers stop entering your home.

1. Installing an Exclusion Fence

If you want to avoid trapping and killing methods to get rid of gophers, you can simply install an exclusion fence to keep them away from food sources in your backyard. Gophers are best known for eating roots of plants as a food source. Therefore you should install a barrier fence made up of metal mesh around your backyard. It prevents gophers from sneaking into the lawns and gardens and further making tunnels on the ground. The best thing about fencing is that you can do it all yourself. Install a barrier fence around your lawn or backyard and dig a ditch.

Moreover, you can place a fence under the lawn to discourage gophers from digging. The wire mesh opening must be less than one and a half inches to keep the gophers at bay successfully. Although this is a very humane and long-term solution, it requires some changes to the landscape.

2. Installing a Barrier

If you don’t want to build a fencing parameter around your house or backyard, you can use several other methods to create a barrier. The main purpose of these barriers is to prevent gophers from getting inside of your property. Some of these barriers are:

  • Installing an Underground Lawn Barrier

While planting a new lawn or a flowerbed, you can lay a galvanized gopher net 4-6 inches beneath it. However, it becomes a big task if your backyard area is huge, but if the gopher problem is serious, you can save your lawn for many years from these creatures by doing this.

  • Installing a Gopher Basket

If it is not possible to install the fence around the entire perimeter, you can place the galvanized basket around the flowers that need protection. These are excellent solutions for protecting precious vegetable plants, fruit plants, and flowers. These baskets are available in different sizes and provide a long-term solution from gophers.

3. Flooding the Gopher Tunnels

Flooding the tunnels made by gophers is another effective option most of the time. Floods make it impossible for the gophers to live in, and ultimately they get drowned. If a gopher manages to leave the tunnel system and reaches the water’s surface, it gets caught by predators. However, this method is not suitable if the wildlife protection authorities of your area prohibit the killing of animals.

4. Trapping Gophers Alive 

One way to get rid of gophers is to trap them alive. The major objective of this method is to trap the living gophers and then move them somewhere far away. If you want effective results, you should use small traps of the ideal size for trapping gophers and place them on flat surfaces. These flat surfaces can be around the tunnels or where most of the gopher activity is seen. You can add lettuces or peanuts inside the trap to attract the animals. Regularly inspect the traps and once a gopher is trapped, move it somewhere far away from your house. Live traps are safe and don’t harm children and pets.

5. Fabricated Sheets

If the wildlife authorities around your area protect the animals from being killed, you can use some tricks to get rid of them. Since the smell of dry sheets repels gophers, you can stick them around every hole made by gophers in your lawn. This will keep them away from your backyard for a very long time.

6. Sprinkling Peppermint Oil

If you want to take a natural approach to get rid of gophers, apply peppermint oil to a cotton ball and then place it at the tunnel entrance. This non-lethal gopher repellent will remove these underground rodents from your yard, as gophers do not like the smell of peppermint.

7. Growing Plants that Gophers Dislike

Numerous plants repel gophers, and growing them in your backyard can easily reduce their population. Gophers usually do not eat daffodils, leeks, onions, and garlic plants so that you can plant them in your yard. Some other plants mentioned below can also be planted to get rid of gophers. 

  • Gopher Spurge
  • Crown Imperial
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Salvia
  • Catmint
  • Oleander
  • Marigold

You can also plant a boundary of these around your flower beds. This will also help protect your main plants from gopher attacks.

8. Installing Artificial Turf

If gophers are digging your lawn and damaging your natural grass, you can get it replaced with an artificial one. However, installing the artificial turf doesn’t always mean that the problem will end, but it ensures that no more tunnels will be made on your lawn. This is because artificial turf gets rid of the preferred food sources of gophers. In the absence of feeding roots, there is very less chance that the gophers will dig your lawn to make their tunnels. In addition, an artificial turf that is properly installed makes an unpleasant environment for gophers that is not suitable for digging.

9. Using an Ultrasonic Repellent

Ultrasonic repellents are another option to get rid of gophers and can be easily found at garden stores and hardware stores. These devices are usually operated via batteries or solar energy. Hence you can place them at any spot you want. However, since the emitters are on the ground, make sure that you don’t step on them. This can be a problem, but you can avoid it by simply placing the emitter far from the area of residency. These devices emit ultrasonic vibrations that gophers don’t like, ultimately moving away from your property.

10. Using Rodenticides

Toxic chemicals should only be used as the last option when other gopher control methods such as setting traps fail. If you take the chemical approach to get rid of gophers, it is very important to take all the precautions and use them safely. If you neglect it, there is a chance of injuries to yourself and your children and pets. Hence, you should carefully read the product instructions when using rodenticides. Make sure that you use these chemicals only in the tunnels made by the gophers. If you accidentally use them in the vegetable fields, there is a chance of human contact, which will be harmful eventually. In most areas, the use of rodenticides to control wildlife is prohibited, so make sure to check your local laws before doing anything like this.

Final Thoughts

The size of your backyard and the type of landscape play a big role in determining the success ratio of controlling gophers. However, it is better to take action as soon as you identify the invasion of gophers. Non-toxic methods are always preferred to control the gopher population and eliminate them. So, use them and if the problem persists, call a good and professional wildlife removal company.

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