Animal Pest Control: Gophers And Moles

Controlling pesky gophers and moles takes patience, persistence, and perseverance, and by incorporating all three of these can prove a successful endeavor.

When vegetation and plant life begin to disappear from lawns or backyards, there may exist a problem. That problem is what is known as the pesky gopher, or the pesky mole.

The gopher is an animal that will by its very existence wreck havoc beneath lawns and backyards. These animals of the rodent family live and feed below the surface of the ground, eating the roots and tubers of plants, and effectively killing these plants.

These solitary silent animals, as they busily tunnel their small furry bodies below the surface of lawns, gardens, and golf courses, severing grass roots, leave behind a trail of subtle destruction that is demonstrated by their telltale mounds. This can produce not only a bit of frustration but also a sense of helplessness.



Controlling unwelcome gophers and moles can be accomplished by either trapping them, or placing a poisonous substance into their tunnels, which can include a poisonous gas. A professional should do the latter since these are hazardous dangerous chemicals. Poisonous pellets should definitely not be a method implemented or even considered if there are children and domestic animals around, as this would then present a serious life threatening danger to them.

Trapping the pesky creature is a safer method, although it will not completely eliminate the problem, it is a means of controlling the population that may exist in any particular area. Deciding to use this method one only need to be vigilant while performing this type of pest control, which should be done on an ongoing basis. Also, common sense and good judgement is required here as to the type of trap one is going to use, as some traps are safer if children and domestic animals do get into them. One of the more unsafe ones is the harpoon trap, which has sharp elements. The pit traps are probably the safest as they are comprised of a can that is approximately seven inches wide and twelve inches deep. Here there are no sharp edges that can harm a child or an unsuspecting animal besides the gopher.

Another pesky creature is the mole, a creature that eats worms, grubs, and insects in addition to the grass roots beneath the surface of a lawn. Also a solitary creature and one that again wrecks havoc beneath the ground surface by creating tunnels where it lives, these moles are voracious eaters, spending all their time feeding underground. Again, trapping, or placing insecticides on those areas where the moles lives in order to kill the insects these moles eat are some of the better more successful methods used in controlling this pest.

Castor Oil is another known method that is used. Here a mixture comprised of a few ounces of castor oil and several tablespoons of liquid dishwashing detergent, which is then added to a gallon of water. For the more determined, the addition of human urine, and then spraying this concoction over the lawn area where the gophers or moles are suspected. What is hoped is that the unsuspecting creature will ingest this substance, and incur a tummy ache (indigestion), then perhaps have the good sense to move on to more pleasant surroundings, hopefully someone else's lawn or garden. The plus factor in using this method is that it is nontoxic to the environment, and presents no harmful elements to children or domestic animals.

Gophers and moles unfortunately will continue to present a problem for lawns and gardens, but with persistence and a certain amount of patience as well as perseverance, these destructive pesky creatures can be controlled.

On the other hand by doing nothing at all won't be the end of the world, as we know it. Or in this case the lawn or garden as these creatures do help keep the insect population down as well as providing a means of aerating the soil by their tunneling.

A note from one of our readers - Some years ago, I discovered, by accident, that broken glass is a serious deterant to gophers and moles. In the yard of a 100-year-old home, I planted a garden in an area untouched yet surrounded by gopher activity. The one difference between this and the surrouding soil was the presence of an occational piece of broken glass. As it turns out, it was an the old household dump site where garbage was buried before the days of garbage service or municipal dumps. Subsequently, I have placed crushed glass under root balls upon planting and forced glass down gopher holes in lawns with great success.

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