Category Archives: Gophers

Anything to do with gophers

Gopher Problems

Gopher sitting in a yard next to a gopher tunnel.
A gopher ruining your perfect yard.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

We gophers just LOVE when you people try to take care of your gopher problems sometimes.  Gives us such a kick to watch you out there, standing over a hole and debating different ways to get rid of gophers.

Okay, so you wake up one morning to see we’ve had a huge party in your yard.  You had no idea that something so small could cost you so much money or cause such a big problem.  We may be little but we’re fast!  We’ll dig tunnels, burrows and put fan-shaped mounds of dirt all over your property.  Maybe your dog’s paw gets stuck in a hole and trips the big snuffler, or maybe it’s a horse hoof that lands in the hole.  Maybe you try to ignore us and break out the lawn mower.  Our little mounds of dirt can sure destroy those blades!

And, it’s not just our dirt piles that get ya.  How about gobbling up grass roots, uprooting other plants, tasting tree roots, feasting on flower roots and bulbs?!  What makes me laugh is that you wonder why we’ve moved in.  There’s too much food to pass up!!

So then you’re standing there, shaking your head, mad as heck that we’ve taken advantage of your generosity of greenery.  And the best solution you can dream up is to pour water down our tunnels?  Since none of us is named Noah, you think there’s no way we can survive your flood.  News flash – most of our burrows are higher than the tunnels, so we can still stay out of the way of the water.  Even if you get one or two of us, the rest of us can escape into our burrows or out another hole until it’s safe again.  Where does all that water end up?  Your basement, maybe?  Or the neighbor’s yard?  And, here’s the best part . . . you’ve made the dirt more soft and pliable.  Thank you!  It’s even easier to dig more tunnels, burrows and holes.  Hooray!

Some of you think gasoline is a better solution to your gopher problem than water.  Same question – where does all the gasoline end up?  Under your crops?  In a window well?  Your friendly neighbor’s yard?  Ooooh, you light it?  And do even more damage to your yard, huh?  Makes sense, sorta.  How about those who drive their truck onto the front lawn, stick a pipe onto the exhaust and the other end into a hole?  Here’s a thought – we have other holes that allow us to get out or gets more fresh air into the tunnel.  Kind of dangerous for you, not a big deal for us.

And gum.  Ah, gum.  We can’t resist a stick of peppermint, is that it?  We chew it, swallow it and die as it “gums” up our intestinal system?  Hate to break it to ya, but it’s never been proven to work, and you certainly can’t get all of us.

So, yeah, we just don’t take you seriously until we see a real professional walking around, someone who knows how to really get rid of a gopher problem.  Until then, it’s gopher giggles galore!

Get Rid of Gophers

get rid of gophers
Come along with me and I will show you the best way to get rid of gophers.  Hunting gophers will make you feel like the great hunters among our ancestors, the wild creatures who tamed the untamable vermin, who chased them across alien terrains into their holes and then drug them right out of their very homes.

We emerge from the safety of the known and streak across the fields, ears flapping in the wind.  Take in the smells, the joy of running as fast as your four legs can carry you, each sound and odor an adventure.  Feel the grass brush your belly as you leap and jump.  Howl and bark and give voice to your freedom and then give into the hunt.

Sometimes you smell them first, sometimes you hear them burrowing just under the surface, sometimes you might even see one streaking across the grass in front of you.  You have already struck terror into its heart and it knows it will soon face extermination.  And you, you are to be feared.

The ground feels slightly spongy.  It will mean the gopher will be able to dig quickly, but so can you, and your paws are ever so much bigger.  We are designed perfectly to get rid of gophers.  It is our calling, our destiny.  Ah!  You catch a whiff and stop dead in your tracks.  Ever so still, we cock our heads this way and that way to pinpoint exactly where it’s gone to ground.  Our every sense is quivering, searching. 

Then, POUNCE.  Forepaws furiously grind through the grass, weeds and dirt.  We are a blur, a flurry of digging, and yet we are frustrated it’s just not fast enough, so we even use our mouths to pull up chunks of dirt or debris in our way.  It cannot escape, it will not escape.  It is just a matter of who can dig faster, us or the gopher. 

We have been told we have sweet, deep dark puppy eyes, but not at this moment.  Our eyes are full of fury, devotion to the hunt, hard.  We are wild, crazy, but it is our insane pulling at the ground that will give us success.  We shall get rid of the gopher.

We hear it moving back and forth, frantic to escape, but there are two of us and it is caught in one tunnel, can only go two ways.  It is between us, underground, but it knows its end is near.  We have dug deep enough that our snouts can reach in, teeth and tongue straining down the tiny tunnel, desperate to get at the creature.  We are so, so close.  Almost there!

Ball?  Wheeee!  Chase the ball!  Chase the ball!

How to Get Rid of Gophers

how to get rid of gophers
The laptop is a beautiful invention, because it’s allowed me to work anywhere, and it’s also taught me how to get rid of gophers. 

            I occasionally have to travel across the country for meetings, or run into the office from time to time, but mostly I am able to work right from the comfort of my own home, thanks to the laptop.  I call my corner lot in the outer suburbs My Ranch.  Admittedly, it’s not a catchy name, but it describes my dream.  I’m hoping to retire in a few years and actually buy a ranch property, but until then, I’m enjoying my beautiful wrap-around porch that overlooks my large lot.  I spend a lot of hours and money maintaining my yard, keeping the grass pristine, investing in ornamental landscaping in the hopes that the place will sell quickly when I’m ready to retire.

            It had been a rough month of travelling, client meetings and family emergencies, and I’d been away from home more than I liked.  Finally, though, life was going back to normal for a little bit, and I looked forward to spending the morning working outside.

            I kissed my wife as she went off to work, made sure the kids had done their homework as they headed out to their high school classes, and I went out to work on the porch, laptop and coffee mug in hand.  Breathing in deeply, I looked out over my yard.  And, right in the middle of the lawn was this fan-shaped mound of dirt, ugly as sin.  I walked over to investigate.  Dirt was thrown around, mostly to one side of the hole, but the hole was plugged up with a matt of dirt and dead vegetation.  I kicked the dirt in disgust and looked around the yard.  Sure enough, there were more fan-shaped mounds of dirt scattered throughout the lawn, the fresh mounds smothering the healthy grass.  The thought of some creature munching on tender grass roots below made me sick.  I walked over to my landscaping area in front of the house and knelt down, a knot in my stomach as I surveyed further damage to my more expensive plants.  Some of the small, young trees were girdled, and some of the shrubs had been clipped just above ground.  What a mess.  Obviously a gopher had taken advantage of my lack of yardwork over the last few weeks, and had moved in.

            I decided to put off work for just a while until I got things under control.  Opening up my laptop, I typed in “how to get rid of gophers.”  I got all kinds of advice, ranging from the ridiculous to the dangerous.  Gotta love the web.  The more advice I got, the more I realized I didn’t want to try this myself.  Too much hassle and I was inexperienced.  I didn’t want to waste time with trial and error and hope that I’d be successful.  I decided to get a wildlife removal specialist out to my home.  They could worry about getting that damaging critter off of my property.  My time would be better spent getting my yard back in shape and enjoying the beautiful day while earning a living at the same time.

Gopher Removal


gopher removal
            Labor Day is the perfect day for hanging out at the park, enjoying the sunshine, letting the kids play, barbequing, flying kites, and thinking about gopher removal.  Well, you’d hope it wasn’t that last one, but a group of picnickers were surprised to see a gopher pop up, bold as you please, out of a hole in the middle of a large crowd. 

            After the initial shock, it became the center of attention and the topic of all conversations.  Its little head poking around at the top of its hole, sniffing, looking around, and generally being adorable.

            It explained some of the other holes all around the area.  Some of the kids had tripped and fallen as they played, their little feet tripping over the gopher holes.  A few women oohed and aahed over the cute little rodent, which had already disappeared into its hole and then popped back out again, with a scoop of dirt between its paws.  Admittedly, it was cute, if you like that sort of thing.  Light brown with little black eyes and tiny little paws.  It had no fear at all of the people standing and playing around its holes.  It knew it could just dive back down out of reach at the first sign of trouble. 

            But, some of the more observant members of the crowd looked around at the park and spotted the damage.  Some of the trees were dying.  Bark was stripped off the bottom of the trunks and they looked like they dying of thirst, their roots having been eaten by the gopher.  One tree was leaning over dangerously, it was probably undermined enough to topple one of these days.  The grassy park was littered with splotches of dirt, splayed out and around the holes. 

            But, for now, it was Labor Day, and no one was probably working at the city offices to take the call, requesting gopher removal from the park.  Never mind that gophers usually attract larger predators that might lurk around after dark, hoping to catch a tasty treat.  Weasels, skunks, bobcats, snakes would all love a gopher meal.  Never mind that gophers can carry lice, fleas, ticks or mites, or even carry diseases such as monkey pox or rabies. 

            No, for the moment, it is considered a cute distraction, an extra attraction to the festivities at the park on Labor Day.  Children continue to play, sometimes peering down a newly discovered hole in the hopes of seeing another one.  Parents continue to drink their drinks and talk and maybe take a picture or two of the wild creature joining in on the party.  They can think about gopher removal another day, right?