How to Trap Garden Gophers


To trap garden gophers, use a pole to explore the ground and find the den, dig up the sod until you reach the den and then place traps in the tunnel. Find a reusable gopher trap and be careful with dangerous traps using advice from the owner of a pest control business in this free video on home pest control and management.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jim Harmon, California Pest Management. Here today to talk to you about gopher control. Now this is going to be pretty much either in your garden or in your grass but gophers are a real pain. Their mounds will drive you nuts. One of the areas you need to worry about is where are they going and what exactly are they doing. One gopher can travel up to 200 yards. They're going to go up and down in the soil just like they're swimming making their tunnels, up five feet and down five feet through branching tunnels. The mounds you see up on the surface will be a nice big horseshoe shape with a big button in the middle. That's typically where they've come up to the surface, they've ran around and fed a little bit in the early morning hours and they go back down and they seal that up. So let's look at a couple traps. The first thing you want to do to see if you have anything active is you get a nice pole. This is one of the probes that I commercially use but any kind of pole with a sharpened end will work to probe into the soil to find where your burrow is. You pushing it in, when it drops you know you've gotten the burrow because it hit an air pocket. That's where you want to dig. As soon as you get that then you start digging. OK now we've gotten in, that was a lot of digging. We've found where the burrow is but you don't want to just dig it out, you find it and you dig it and you pull big clod of sod up at the same time. That exposes the burrow. Then we're going to take our traps and insert them in and the gopher as he's coming along is going to get hit and we'll have shish-ka-bob gopher. OK now we've got two different traps here. These are all picked up at the garden store. Now this is a trapper box trap, which is a traditional box trap. This is a nice plastic one so it's all brand new and fancy. Good old tried and true, Macabee. The Macabee trap, 10 bucks and you got a great trap that's reusable, you can go and go and go. This thing though, it does have a couple sharp points on it and when you set it, you press this down, how it works the gopher comes across, hits this metal trigger and these things release and they basically skewer the gopher. Hopefully it will kill him, not always. We put our trigger up and set it. Now this trap is ready to go. We want to set two of these in every burrow system. So if the gopher's coming this way, or he's coming this way, I'll have two of these back to back. Basically I line them up here so I have two of them and I'll catch him either way he's going. Now word of warning, make sure you put a wire on the end of this, look it through the spring coils and pull that out and then I put a flag on the top so I know where my traps where because you may not kill him, he may take off running and you don't want that. This is placed inside like this into our burrow. Now one of the other things, gophers like to come up to the surface. As they're coming up, sometimes we'll have these types of traps that we'll want to use. These traps are a little more difficult, they're a lot more dangerous. Setting them is an exercise to say the least bit. Once you get it set and this trigger, it's a hair trigger. Now we can put a bait right here. Typically what I'll do is I'll put this sticking out at a burrow right where he's coming up. So right at his horseshoe mound, that's where I'll stick it, he sees the daylight coming through this end, he wants to go up and plug that. As he goes up and plugs it, this right here pulls up and kills him. See if I can get this to work. Just like that. Very violent. Now if you have dogs, cats, small children, don't use these. You do not want your kids touching these because they will hurt themselves with it.


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