How to Kill Striped Gophers


Also known as thirteen-lined ground squirrels, striped gophers are small tan rodents with 13 alternating dark and light stripes on their backs and heads. The dark stripes have a series of white spots that are almost square in shape. These animals, which are native to the U.S. Midwest and southern Canada, can damage your garden as they feed on seeds, shoots and grains. They also burrow in the ground and make your yard look unsightly. Traps are effective at controlling them..

Things You'll Need

  • Snap traps
  • Bait
  • Wooden boxes
  • Place peanut butter on a wooden rat snap trap as bait and attach the bait to the trap trigger. You can also use pieces of fruit, vegetables or nut meats, but peanut butter is usually more effective, because striped gophers can't easily remove it without springing the trap.

  • Place several baited snap traps in the yard, especially in areas where striped gophers have previously caused damage, near their active burrows or on runways.

  • Scatter 1/2 tsp. of rolled oats on and around each snap trap to make it more attractive to the gophers.

  • Cover each trap with an inverted wooden box big enough to allow the trap to snap. Cut out a hole about 2 inches in diameter in both ends of the wooden box for the striped gophers to enter. This excludes most other animals.

  • Check the traps every day, discard the dead gophers and reset the traps. If you go two or three days without catching any striped gophers, move the traps to other locations.

Tips & Warnings

  • If striped gophers remove the bait without springing the traps, replace the rat snap traps with smaller mouse snap traps. You may have young striped gophers, which are too small to spring large traps.

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