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Is it possible to de-gopher a yard?

Our yard backs onto a small slope, which is not owned by us and maintained in a "natural" manner. We've recently been dealing with gophers in our backyard with little-to-no success. At best, we seem to be able to annoy them enough that they chll for a while...and then back they come.

To add to the equation, our pest service company now says that there are new regulations further restricting what can be used to get rid of the charming squatters.

Anyone have any recommendations on ...
    - How to get rid of the erstwhile Caddyshack stand-ins?
    - How to keep them out, if we can ever get rid of them?
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July 26 2010 - Black Mountain Ranch
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Answers (43)

Best Answer
There is only one tool, the probe. You can get it at Home Depot for about $40, forget the gas, traps and bait, this is the best. 100% kill rate. I live on a canyon in Mission Hills and gophers have to be managed and until I got the probe, I was losing. Jim
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September 07 2010
We've been struggling for years with gophers/moles/voles in our yard and gardens. We have tried the sonic (noise making) stakes, it worked in one garden, but not the other. We have tried poison in the tunnels, as well as peanut butter on mouse traps...all to no avail! Another option we used years ago was to have a pest professional come and set traps, then move them out of the area. This may have worked, but more have since moved onto our property.

I agree that having dogs helps to keep them away. Also, if  you're putting in a garden remember to go as deep as possible with a double layer of chicken wire, that should last a few years. I've also had gophers/moles climb up and over the garden fence! We then put up a 6 ft tall bendable fence that leaned outward when animals attempt to climb it.

Oh the age-old battle between farmer and rodents!!
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June 23 2011
My NorCal mother is inadvertently playing hostess to a large "herd" of gophers. She has been told by a local landscape architect that the best anti-gopher treatment is a cat or a dog. Mother nature does it best, I guess.

In the meantime, she's tried buying chicken wire and creating nice little baskets beneath the root systems of the new plants she puts into the yard. She just cuts a circle of chicken wire, presses it into the hole she's excavated for the new plant, and pops the new plant into its safe little cage. The gophers can't get through the wire, but the roots can still absorb nutrients and water from the surrounding soil. I'm not sure how well this is going to work once the root systems outgrow their little chicken wire baskets, though.

I'm almost going to miss the stories of the vanishing plants if my mother succeeds in her anti-gopher mission, although I know that's not a very considerate thing to say! She says she's tired of spending money at the local nursery just to keep her gophers well fed. Fair enough. Good luck!
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June 06 2011
get some rattlesnakes on your property... should solve the problem. 
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May 31 2011
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It looks like ya'll need to get to know more hicks. All you have to do is hook up a hose of some kind to your car exhaust. Put it into their borrow hole and start the car. They will high tail it out of there and won't come back for a couple of years if at all. We cleared all the gophers from our local airport this way. It really works. No blood and guts, but I guess for some people it means the loss of a meal or two.
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May 30 2011
This reminds me of the movie Caddieshack. 
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March 29 2011
There is always the Rodenator. Even if you're in an area that you can't use it (gas pipeline or something in your yard) go to their website and watch the video.  Definitely going for the Bill Murray, blow things up appeal.
http://www.rodenator.com/

tackle the food supply to keep them gone, however, I'm told that if you spend the bucks on teh rodenator...you'll want to be able to use it more than once.  (i know it's an old post, but you gotta check out the rodenator)
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February 02 2011
"Socal, after the recent supreme court ruling the right to bear arms (as opposed to arming bears) is an individual right that can not be removed."

Actually, that's not entirely correct...
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January 13 2011
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San Diego actually allows "open carry", but that assumes an unloaded weapon.
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September 07 2010
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Socal, after the recent supreme court ruling the right to bear arms (as opposed to arming bears) is an individual right that can not be removed. I am not sure how that relates but many cities may have to change this kind of rule.
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September 07 2010
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@ Dan - No need to check, the City of San Diego frowns on those devices within the city limits - especially in a residential neighborhood. Besides, those suckers stay underground most of the time - not like catching a ground squirrel hanging outside his crib.

I'm leaning towards "the probe". It even sounds somewhat Draconian, has kind of a man-cave appeal.

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September 07 2010
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Socal, did you check to see if pellet guns (air power) and bow and arrow (or crossbow) are allowed? Many places do not bad those. You might also check into a blowgun. Quiet and deadly.
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September 07 2010
Contact Bill Murray or go to NetFlix and rent Caddyshack.  This is a step by step guide on how to get rid of gophers.
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September 04 2010
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Just for clarification...

  1 - I, and my neighbors, would gladly use non-lethal deterrents, if they work. So far, none of the non-lethal methods seem to be working.
  2 - Projectile-ejecting artifacts are fun, but the police tend to frown upon the discharge of such artifacts inside city limits.
  3 - Despite comments on this thread to the contrary, we have not taken to attempting to eat our way out of the situation.
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September 04 2010
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Black dawg looking for work, all the moles have skedaddled from the back forty.
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September 04 2010
Wow, the next thing you yeehaws will be telling me is you pick up road kill for supper.

RUN GOPHERS RUN!
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September 04 2010
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Socal, when I take out woodchucks it is always with a head shot. No meat damage at all. Just have to aim for a moment before pulling the trigger.

Admittedly, more than about 35 feet away can be more difficult to hit precisely. Those critters are kind of small.
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September 03 2010
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I knee-cap them. Doesn't ruin as much meat as a body shot.
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September 03 2010
So I guess it depends on SoCal's shootin' skills.
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September 03 2010
I always rooted for Bugs. 

I also used to cry when Godzilla was "hurt".

If you can scare them away, okay.
If you make them die, I cry.

Don't judge me.
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September 03 2010
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Tiffany, the only reason the rabbit won was because elmer made the mistake of not aiming well.
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September 03 2010
Didn't Elmer Fudd try that Dan? Seems like the rabbit usually won.
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September 03 2010
I have to say Tanya, the imagery of your story left me in tears:  supposed animal, yet actually human, repellent and the raccoon with its hand in the garbage looking at you while you were trying to find the source of the annoyance.
Priceless.
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September 03 2010
Okay, enough.  Gophers may be annoying ( I have plenty of holes in my little acre), but lets not go any further with this. 
They can't help being what they are.
Anymore than we can.
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September 03 2010
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There are 2 things I would try.

1 .22 That solves all problems as they lay down and do not move again.

2 fill the holes with a running garden hose and when the gophers come up use solution #1 to make sure they do not come back.

p.s. using a small can of black powder in the hole and setting it off would probably make to much noise and bring to much attention to you.
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September 03 2010
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr

Nope, don't do the "co-exist" thing real well when my yard is being torn up. Also, the holes they dig (as well as their little guys) are attractants to the rattlesnakes that I'd just as soon stay in the canyons - where they are more than welcome to stay.

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September 03 2010
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Why do you want to get rid of them? Can't you co-exist?
jean214
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September 03 2010
Hey socal,
  The sure stop at the HD must still be approved by CA as its sold in Ca ?!? anyhow, it is NOT a repellent, it is a poison that is applied prescriptively and is fully effective in about month from what I'm told.  This is a big problem and everyone wants to kill these guys to save their soil stability, but, of course no body wants to kill a beautiful bird of prey.  I think the sure stop kills the little buggers more or less underground as it promotes internal bleeding.
 I don't have a vested interest in sure stop btw...I just trust the person who told me about it as they are a naturalist to some extent.
 
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September 02 2010
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The wetdawg gang delights in harvesting lawn chickens and moles.   The trenches add to landscaping delight at no extra charge.   Preferred working environment includes a big lake for cooling off after a hard 10 minutes of digging.



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September 02 2010
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We, and our neighbors, attempted the "in ground noise makers" route. It seems to have provided the gophers with great entertainment, as the yard looked like they did a little "underground maypole dance" around the battery-powered yard stakes.
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September 01 2010
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