Pocket gopher problem

Asked April 8, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

How can I get rid of the pocket gopher problem ( very large problem) that I have ?

Minnehaha County South Dakota wildlife damage management gopher control pocket gophers

1 Response

First you need to make sure you have pocket gophers and not another critter.

Pocket gophers leave a characteristic fan-shaped mound of dirt on the surface, created by pushing dirt out of the hole and then backing down the hole. Pocket gophers plug the hole tightly with soil to keep intruders out. The tunnel system is composed of a main runway with numerous lateral runways. A single gopher usually occupies about 2,000 square feet and depending on the quality of the habitat, pocket gopher density can be from one to 20 per acre. Mole mounds are more conic and kind of look like a volcano whereas gopher mounds are more flattened, crescent-shaped and with an obvious plugged hole.

According to the Extension site for wildlife management: Only three options exist for keeping pocket gophers out of your property without using traps or toxicants.

    The first is to remove all the vegetation. If the pocket gopher cannot find food, he cannot survive.
    Second, pocket gophers don't dig in wet soil or swamps. You can try flooding the holes, but don't expect great results.
    Third, install a fence made from 1/4 to 1/2 inch mesh and buried at least 36 inches below the surface and extends at least 1 foot above the surface. The sandier your soil, the deeper the gophers will burrow, so keep that in mind. In fact, research on Botta pocket gophers indicates that they will burrow below 5 feet (marked gophers in these underground enclosures were found in adjoining enclosures).
    Repellents, noise/vibration makers, and most other commercial products have not been proven to be effective.

    Trapping can be effective and economical for control because there are typically very few pocket gophers in any one area.

    Grain baits treated with strychnine alkaloid (0.25 to 0.5% active ingredient) or zinc phosphide are sometimes used. These products are registered as Restricted Use Pesticides and only licensed pesticide applicators may use the product. Baits should be placed in the burrow to reduce the likelihood of killing non-target species. The following site is quite comprehensive and I hope the information I have sent is helpful. http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=72