Main | Saving Newts »

January 07, 2007


Rich Binell

You did it!
Congratulations on getting your very own onramp on the information superhighway.
You go girl.
Glad I married you.




Confirmed kills=the only solution. I trap as many as eigthy per year but still need baskets. Dry ground is the big enemy. Keep scent off your traps. Try dipping them in dry fire ash as you set them. Use an old golf club as a stake. (So you don't forget where they are.) As gophers get smarter, I use a box or round trap behind the macabee. They focus on the second item in the hole. Use a five gallon dark palnting container to cover the hole if they get wise to the two trap set up. Persistence. And by the way, it's called dirt fishing. No license needed, just a few nice plants in baskets for bait.


LMAO - my boyfriend wants to use his 500 mag smith and wesson for the problem. I am suggesting to just get a trap (as you described)


I think my husband was wishing that the road flares he was sticking down the gopher holes were sticks of dynamite. However, those aren't good for my garden either. Good luck with the traps.


I can remember my mom laying on the living room floor with a pellet gun all morning when I was a kid, she eventually got her gopher. When I was older, I watched my dad hit one with a bow and arrow as it popped up. I still brag about what a good shot he is. He modestly claims he was lucky. Recently, a gopher hole in my back yard has become a conduit for stormwater, so I guess I have been drafted into the war! Hooaa!


This is the most entertaining story about getting rid of gophers. I'll follow your advice on the trap with coat hanger. Can't afford to spend more money on useless poisons.


Thanks for the info on trapping those little pesky rodents. It was very entertaining.


You're welcome. Thank you for visiting.


I found a great way to kill gophers. I smear peanut butter on the end of a strip of cardboard. Then I sprinkle strycnine-laced small wheat pellets on the peanut butter (careful to not let any get on the ground), push them into the peanut butter, and shove the cardboard into the tunnel. Then I block off the tunnel and fill the hole. I have had outstanding success in killing gophers this way, and it is much easier and more effective than traps or just using poison alone.

I bought the poison at but possibly any small-sized gopher poison would work. Give it a try!


I had some trouble with Macabe traps not getting the gopher. The bigger gophers actually spring the trap then get away! I found fur left in the trap jaws once and another time a Macabe barely worked, the gopher died a terrible death with only his paw caught in the trap, he had ALMOST wriggled free.

But most of the gophers were wise to the traps and I gave up planting them. I was beaten, and sadly watched them destroy garden plant after plant. Squash, artichoke, beets. It was a dark time.
Several months and one fig tree later I tried these:


Got FIVE gophers in a week on our one acre lot. The traps don't rust at all, I've had them in muddy soil for two or three weeks now and when you rise them off they are shinny and still perfect.

There are at least 2 gophers on the lot that are wise to the traps (older guys, bigger burrows) now but I saved a lot of the garden and I'm working on these smarties with flares.

The web site has a great video that basically taught me the smart way to plant the traps. It's definitely worth a look. (use a 1 ft screw driver to probe for holes, then a trowel to gently uncover them, some peanut butter as an added treat)

Remember to tether and stake your traps or a big gopher will drag them through the tunnel before he gives up the fight and you'll need to go on a @#LL of a hunt for it!

Those little steel wire flags like in the video are very handy for this purpose.

Viva la resistance!

Matt Mead

I'm late to the party on this but I have been dealing with pocket gophers for about the past five years. Early on, I wasn't very successful; now I do all right.

We own 3.5 acres with orchards bordering two sides, a nearby neighbor on one side, and some vacant property (partly mine) on the other.

I have about an acre of grass and when we first moved in, gopher activity was spread all around the grass.

I've tried several methods. Smoke bombs, poison, water, exhaust gas and traps.

Smoke bombs were ineffective as noted. I'd find the remains of the cardboard from the bomb dug up by the gopher within a couple of days.

Poison I could never verify, but rarely did activity cease.

Water never seemed to work. I could run it for days down the holes and then the gopher would dig again within a couple of days. It might work with a new gopher network before it gets expansive.

I've got an adaptor that allows you to hook a garden hose to your car's exhaust and then you poke it in the hole with the idea of putting the little creatures to sleep forever. I tried hooking it up to my truck and it was too restrictive for the engine. Our little commuter car worked OK, but it didn't get ride of the gophers.

Traps are the only thing I've found that work. But not all traps!

My first traps were the Macabee, or a good knock-off. These work... sometimes. I think the biggest problem for me has been the diamter of the gopher holes. If the hole is big enough for the trap to be inserted freely, they seem to work best. Many of the tunnels I deal with are a bit tight though.

I tried the Victor 0611 Easy Set and these FAIL. I've caught one gopher in all the times I've tried them. I think that gopher was drunk or something.

The BEST trap I've used is the Victor 0625 Blackbox. It just plain works. BUT... and it is a big but... this trap takes a lot of real estate to set. I hate setting them in my lawn because I have to dig a big chunk up to set them.

A few notes.... Traps should be set in pairs - aiming in each direction of the tunnel. Sometimes if you are near one of the little mounds, you can find a single tunnel that dead-ends at the mound to set in, but I have better luck with setting two in a main tunnel.

Most things I read said you need to cover your traps to keep it dark, but one guy said it wasn't necessary. His explanation was that an open tunnel will receive attention and as the gopher starts pushing dirt to fill it will be trapped. I've found this method works well with the Blackbox traps. I basicall cover most of the trap with a layer of loose dirt, but leave the hole in the back of the trap open.

I've also found I have the best luck if I bait the traps with a dab of peanut butter and part of a green onion. (I poke both through the hole.) I don't know if this really matters, but I seem to have better luck when I do it. (So I keep doing it!)

Tonight I just ordered a pair of Gophinators and will give them a try. It would be nice to have something to use in my lawn that would require less tearing up of the yard.

Overall, I've done quite well on the gopher front. I've pushed (killed) them out of my nice lawn out to the edge of the orchard. They try and sneak back, but I usually get them before they get too close. Of our 3.5 acres, 1.5 is undeveloped and mostly just dirt and weeds. I have quite a few in this area, but have been working to eliminate them. I'm making progress and figure I'm down to about 10-20 left.

When I'm on 'gopher patrol', (and I only seem to be serious about it in spurts), I quietly check my traps every 2-4 hours. Sometimes that is all it takes to catch one. Doing this, I've found that the little guys aren't always dead when I find them. Because I don't want them to suffer any longer than they need to, I drown them when I find them. I really don't enjoy doing it and feel a little bad. But at the end of the day, it is a sanity issue for me. Finding their piles of dirt, ruining my grass, REALLY bothers me. It's either them or me!


Wow Matt,
Thank you for the great info. I wrote this post almost five years ago. It is time to write another one. I may have to use some your advice. I still have trouble with gophers. I hate them. I have a dog now who is really good a killing them. I have watched her do it many times. The only problem is she wont do it in my yard:( She only does it on hikes. Oh well, I better get some of your Victor 0625 Black boxes. Thanks again for your great gopher tips.

Cheryl Hendron

Pee on the mounds! It really works. Had my husband and three sons do it for years, our yard was mole free while all the neighbors suffered with them. We did live in the country, but have them do it at night if they are shy.


OK Cheryl, I like your approach, or shall your guys approach. Hmmm, I have never heard of that but I think I like it. As a matter of fact I think I feel an article coming on. Yes, the Caddyshack music is playing in the background and I can see my three boys all lined up peeing the mounds, heck maybe I'll even try. I'm not as good of aim though. Thank you for the idea.


We have tried our contributions to the underwater aqua-duct and we are having a hard time finding the smoke bombs here in south central Los Angeles. I am going to build a pneumatic golf-ball cannon and then build an urban blind with ice chest and a small cooking grill and then the I will lay in wait for the cute little furry critter to pop its inquisitive head out into the line of fire. This could be a new Olympic sport. I hope I get gold.


Uh-Oh David, I hear that Caddy Shack music playing. I love the sound of that new Olympic sport. I would like to join the team. a gopher popped it's little head up the other day when I was gardening and I when at it with a shovel until sweat was pouring down my face and I noticed my dog was staring at me like I had rabies. Your way of extermination sounds like more fun.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • BlogHerAds
My Photo


  • I was syndicated on
Blog powered by Typepad

Google Adsense

My Favorite Cooking Blogs