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Gophers are a pest known to many gardeners, and hated by most. They live in all areas of North America except for the far north and east.
With their front claws and front teeth, gophers dig tunnels 6-12 inches below ground that can be up to 800 feet long. These tunnels are concentrated in open fields, lawns, and the gardens we love.
While a mole will dig tunnels and eat mainly grubs and worms, gophers go right for our good stuff—our coveted produce and flowers. They aren’t overly picky, and will eat buds, grass, nuts, roots, and vegetables. Carrots, lettuce, and radishes are a favorite, although any vegetable that is juicy will do. I have a particular problem keeping them away from my young pepper plants.
In our area, with it’s short growing season, gophers have one main breeding season, and that’s usually in June. One minute we’ve got a few tunnels, and we’re planting our garden. The next minute, we’re overrun with gophers. I’ve learned over the years that if I can employ a variety of means to get rid of them in June, the rest of my season isn’t so bad.
If you live in a warmer climate, however, you could see 3-4 breeding cycles a year in your area. How do you get rid of gophers? It’s not easy to do, and it’s a task I have to tackle every single year.
Here are some ways you can try to rid yourself of these rodents from killing them to trying to convince them to leave on their own, and some other things you’ll need to think about as you consider your options.