Getting rid of gophers in the garden


The gophers in San Francisco are tough and smart. There are not many places or them to go, so if you do have a garden, they know how to stay around. I guess they are also pretty tough because they must hit a lot of cement! The other aspect is, at least where we are located, the depth of dirt is only about 15″ or so before you hit solid rock, so tunnels can easily collapse if you try complex traps or other removal tools.

Anyway, we have the ‘noise/vibration posts’ that are supposed to annoy them to leave, but they really do not work for us and we didn’t want to go with poison because we have cats roaming the neighborhood as well as our dog. We decided to try the Juicy Fruit gum trick and it didn’t work at first but as we tried different attempts, we got it to really be effective.

Here is what we did.

First, if you see a mound, don’t mess with it except to open it slightly

Then, with a pair of rubber gloves on, cover them in dirt and roll a few sticks of Juicy Fruit gum into tight balls one at a time and try to get them down the gopher hole as far as possible. For each hole, I tend to put 5 or six balls in there. Lastly, cover the hole.

Getting the gloves dirty prior to rolling the gum seems to be the trick since it might mask any human and/or rubber scent. The gum is very fragrant and if you leave the hole and tunnel intact and cover the mound, the scent will travel back down through the tunnels and attract the gopher to it where they will eat the gum and it will adversly affect their digestive systems.

It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of this, but the lack of any further activity (mounds, tunnels, etc.) in the garden is good enough for me. Also, we have been lucky enough on one occasion to see he direct effect – a gopher laying on the top of the dirt having issues from the gum intake and in a state where he was easily removed from the garden.

You might give this a shot, since the expense on this is minimal and it is actually the most effective way we have seen to get the job done.