How to Trap Pocket Gophers


Gophers burrow through the ground feeding on root systems. These burrows can fill with water and cause sinkholes or washouts. Gophers can also damage underground wiring and plastic water pipes. According to a pocket gopher study done by the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, "trapping is extremely effective for pocket gopher control in small areas..." Trapping pocket gophers is easier than you might think. Special traps kill the gopher quickly and humanely so both the animal and your yard don't have to suffer.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Wire hanger
  • Pliers
  • Wooden stake, 1-inch by 1-inch, 8-inches long
  • Gopher trap
  • Hammer
  • Remove the freshly dug soil from the gopher mound with a garden spade. Stab the soil with the spade until locating the entrance to the gopher's tunnel.

  • Untwist the hook end of the wire hanger with pliers, and then straighten it out. Wrap one end around the upper portion of the wood stake and twist the end back around to itself. Attach the free end of the wire to the rear end of the trap and twist it back onto itself so that the trap and stake are hooked together about 18 inches apart.

  • Set the trap according to the instructions for the type of trap being used. Find these instructions on the manufacturer's website or on the trap packaging.

  • Slide the trap into the gopher's tunnel at least six inches. Leave the hole open to the sunlight. Pound the wooden stake into the dirt at least four inches with a hammer.

  • Check the trap every 24 hours.

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  • Photo Credit taupinières image by Claudio Calcagno from
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