How to Get Rid of Northern Gopher Rats


The northern gopher rat, also known as a pocket gopher, is a type of burrowing rodent common in North America. Their presence is commonly announced to homeowners in the form of dirt mounds. These mounds are destructive to lawns and gardens. For this reason, a homeowner will want to be rid of the northern rat gopher as quickly as possible. However, care must be taken as pocket gophers may attack other animals when threatened, including humans. They can inflict deep wounds with their long and sharp teeth.

Trap and Dspose of Gophers

  • Purchase a trap system. Traps for gopher rats can be purchased at pet and hardware stores, or online at specialty websites. Read reviews to find those traps which work best. Two to three small traps should be enough to capture a gopher rat on the average home property.

  • Place the traps around your property. Gopher rats spend most of their time below ground and only surface at night. Traps must be placed where the gophers will find them. Putting a trap at in the middle of your yard will do no good so make sure to place the traps at the entrances and exits to the tunnel system.

  • Check your traps and dispose of the animals. Check your traps daily to avoid having to deal with rotting gophers. Call pest control to promptly and properly remove the carcass. If you have chosen to use live traps, you can take the gophers away from your home and release them into the wild.

  • Poison the gophers as an alternative. If trapping does not work, you can introduce a poisoned barley seed to their tunnel system. This is not recommended as other animals may ingest the poison and be harmed. There is the added risk of the gopher dying somewhere you cannot reach and decomposing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean your traps when using them again; blood from a previous kill can drive away other gophers and cause corrosion on the moving parts.
  • Poisons and traps are dangerous tools and should be handled with care. If you are unsure how to deal with them, you may want to call a pest control specialist.

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