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#1
Old 05-20-2008, 09:46 PM
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The most effective gopher death

I am looking for a way to kill, or at least get rid of, the horrible little pests that are digging up my yard. I was willing to put up with co-existing until the little bastards dug my flower bed. Now I will spare no gopher. What is the most effective method. I have tried the sonic steaks, they are working for the vegetable garden, but they don't seem to have much range. The smoke bombs did nothing. The gophers just moved to another part of the yard until the smoke cleared and moved back. Suggestions?

Last edited by Shera; 05-20-2008 at 09:46 PM.
#2
Old 05-20-2008, 09:53 PM
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I'd hate to use poison, because we used that on the rats on our farm for a while and it was pretty nasty. Plus, dogs and other animals would catch the sluggish, poisoned rats, and get themselves poisoned.

Small traps are effective and might be your best bet. I used those for a while. Just shove 'em in the hole and bury the entrance, then come back a day or two later. Remove dead gopher, reset trap.

Mostly I just shot them with my .22. I was the freaking Angel of Gopher Death for most of my teen years. Must've killed several hundred of the little bastards. Obviously not a solution in-town, though.

But maybe you should pull back and nuke the site from orbit. Just to be sure.
#3
Old 05-20-2008, 09:55 PM
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Apparently, and I would have thought we'd've saved it, Scylla's epic 'Evil Nazi Groundhogs' thread (which predates my time here, but which is a true SDMB classic) has been purged from the archives. It is a sad, sad day, my friends.
#4
Old 05-20-2008, 10:59 PM
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When I worked at a cemetery, we'd take gallon milk jugs filled with water and upend them in all the gopher holes. The gophers would swim up into the jug, either dead but usually passed out.

We'd pour them out onto the asphalt and kill them underfoot, but this method does leave you the option of caging them and taking them to the woods. Where they can either be eaten by predators, or live to become happy, wise old gophers.
#5
Old 05-20-2008, 11:09 PM
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.22 works well.
#6
Old 05-20-2008, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithy Tove
When I worked at a cemetery, we'd take gallon milk jugs filled with water and upend them in all the gopher holes. The gophers would swim up into the jug, either dead but usually passed out.

We'd pour them out onto the asphalt and kill them underfoot, but this method does leave you the option of caging them and taking them to the woods. Where they can either be eaten by predators, or live to become happy, wise old gophers.
I have been sticking the hose in their holes and leaving it in there for a hour or so. Does this kill them? I thought they would just go somewhere else.
#7
Old 05-20-2008, 11:38 PM
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I had so many problems with gophers, that I was considering making a stencil, so I could spray paint all my kills on the side of the house...

I've found that the tried-and-true Victor gopher trap works very well, but you need to get some experience with it, and have patience.

Gopher gassers are worthless, and trying to flood them out won't work either.

What I found works is the following:
1) Find one of their horizontal runs. Use a long screwdriver to poke around until you find it.
2) Carefully dig down until you expose the run.
3) Set two traps, and push them as far into each side of the run as you can. Remember to tie a string so you can get them back...
4) Put some greens (grass or something "green" smelling) into the hole you dug.
5) Set a rock or some sort of lid on the hole. You don't need to block all the light, some people think that having a small amount of light actually attracts them (they think their runs need fixing).
6) Check the traps every few days. In the meantime, search for other runs.
7) If you catch one, stop, if not repeat with another location.
I've had 8 traps set at a time...

The nice thing about traps is you know when you've got one - with poisons you are never sure.
#8
Old 05-21-2008, 12:07 AM
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Why don't you just go all Caddyshack on the thing?
#9
Old 05-21-2008, 05:24 AM
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The most effective is a lawnmower over the hole, if you can time it right.

I'd say get the traps.
#10
Old 05-21-2008, 05:38 AM
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Could you not pipe your car's exhaust down the hole?
#11
Old 05-21-2008, 06:26 AM
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Blow them up: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2umEFHeo6mw

But try not to burn down the field and neighbouring building:
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Alberta/...3/5082996.html
#12
Old 05-21-2008, 11:41 AM
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We had traps in the garden that were pretty effective when I was growing up, but there was one smart gopher that never got caught. Eventually my father went and sat still in the garden with a shotgun pointing at the hole. After half an hour, it poked its head up to see if he was gone. No more gopher.
#13
Old 05-21-2008, 12:21 PM
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TO, ANTSFO. ITOWTBS.

</obligatory>
#14
Old 05-21-2008, 12:26 PM
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Lots of dry ice in the holes. It gives off CO2, which is heavier than air, and will displace the oxygen in the burrows. It's non toxic, and when mixed with air outdoors, harmless. The trick is to have enough. Mind you, it does leave the burrows intact for the next family to move in.

I like the Rodenator better though. Looks very, you know, satisfying. And it destroys the burrows.

As a McGill Mechanical Engineering grad, I must say though...
... I love the smell of Fuel-Air-Explosives in the morning.
#15
Old 05-21-2008, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man
.22 works well.
.22, .23, whatever it takes.
#16
Old 05-21-2008, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervaise
TO, ANTSFO. ITOWTBS.

</obligatory>
[Nitpick] ISWTOANTESFO. ITOWTBS.[/NITPICK] CITE
#17
Old 05-21-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
.22, .23, whatever it takes.
.223 is a perfectly useful varmint round. Personally I'd like to try .357+P rounds, but those tend to get a bit more.......messy.
#18
Old 05-21-2008, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervaise
TO, ANTSFO. ITOWTBS.

</obligatory>
[Nitpick] ISWTOANTESFO. ITOWTBS.[/NITPICK] CITE

Psst.
See post #2.
#19
Old 05-21-2008, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun
.223 is a perfectly useful varmint round. Personally I'd like to try .357+P rounds, but those tend to get a bit more.......messy.
Whoosh!

Last edited by Rick; 05-21-2008 at 01:13 PM.
#20
Old 05-21-2008, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Whoosh!
Nah, I knew he was kidding, but he was closer than he thought.
#21
Old 05-21-2008, 01:32 PM
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Antifreeze. Just pour some in a bowl, not down the hole. It works for prairie dogs so I reckon it'll do the same for other rodents.
#22
Old 05-21-2008, 01:33 PM
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Death by beagle. He has killed 4 groundhogs and 10 moles.
#23
Old 05-21-2008, 02:20 PM
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Gopher snake, perhaps?
#24
Old 05-21-2008, 02:22 PM
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I guess since you are a town dweller a firearm is out of the question. Is is against your local laws to discharge an airgun? Plenty of affordable airguns churn up enough oomph to dispatch the lowly gopher.
My grandfather, who could be rather....dramatic when dealing with lawn n' garden pests, used to dump wood alchohol into all the entrances of their burrows he could locate. Then he'd give the fumes a chance to spread and light it all off. Mostly they died underground, but once in a while you'd see a flaming gopher come scrambling out. Grandpa'd smoosh them with a shovel.
#25
Old 05-21-2008, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieu
Antifreeze. Just pour some in a bowl, not down the hole. It works for prairie dogs so I reckon it'll do the same for other rodents.
You could also end up killing someone's pet this way, though. Traps especially for the gophers are the best bet - and unlikely to cause collateral damage.
#26
Old 05-21-2008, 03:23 PM
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Barrow someone acetylene tank and pump into the gopher hole wait a bit and ignite. You get a good thump and a little fire and the burrows should collapse.
#27
Old 05-21-2008, 03:50 PM
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Try this
#28
Old 05-21-2008, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz
Could you not pipe your car's exhaust down the hole?
Not sure that'd work. Modern cars produce far fewer toxic emissions than they used to, and with the price of gas these days, you'd probably blow 40 bucks before you even approached lethal levels.
#29
Old 05-21-2008, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaB
Apparently, and I would have thought we'd've saved it, Scylla's epic 'Evil Nazi Groundhogs' thread (which predates my time here, but which is a true SDMB classic) has been purged from the archives. It is a sad, sad day, my friends.
I was the first reply to that thread. I suggested cats, but everyone said I was thinking of gophers instead of groundhogs. What finally was the consensus was big dogs who liked to hunt them, a truck that vacuumed them out (I think that was real), or filling the holes with propane and blasting them.

As for gophers, my dad had pretty good luck with buried traps, but once he had to get out a .22 at the right time of the morning. That finally worked on that one.

As for the exhaust method, find someone with an old beater. That should work, I'm told.

Last edited by Cardinal; 05-21-2008 at 07:15 PM.
#30
Old 05-21-2008, 07:49 PM
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Warning: DO NOT use Antifreeze, Gasoline, Acetylene or any other toxic material. Doing so WILL not only pollute your yard and make future gardening problematic, but if you are caught by the authorities, it may leave you subject to criminal charges and/or liable for a possible (and very expensive) EPA mandated cleanup.
#31
Old 05-21-2008, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup
My grandfather, who could be rather....dramatic when dealing with lawn n' garden pests, used to dump wood alchohol into all the entrances of their burrows he could locate. Then he'd give the fumes a chance to spread and light it all off. Mostly they died underground, but once in a while you'd see a flaming gopher come scrambling out. Grandpa'd smoosh them with a shovel.
Good lord!
As a child i would be mesmerized AND traumatized at the same time!
#32
Old 05-21-2008, 11:35 PM
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Hunting woodchucks
#33
Old 05-22-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup
I guess since you are a town dweller a firearm is out of the question. Is is against your local laws to discharge an airgun? Plenty of affordable airguns churn up enough oomph to dispatch the lowly gopher.
My grandfather, who could be rather....dramatic when dealing with lawn n' garden pests, used to dump wood alchohol into all the entrances of their burrows he could locate. Then he'd give the fumes a chance to spread and light it all off. Mostly they died underground, but once in a while you'd see a flaming gopher come scrambling out. Grandpa'd smoosh them with a shovel.
It's been a long time since I've seen so many potential band names in one post.
#34
Old 05-22-2008, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
I was the first reply to that thread. I suggested cats, but everyone said I was thinking of gophers instead of groundhogs. What finally was the consensus was big dogs who liked to hunt them, a truck that vacuumed them out (I think that was real), or filling the holes with propane and blasting them.
These are defenatly gophers. I found a dead one on my lawn yesterday. As for the cats, sadly I have two and they seem to not care for the task in the least. Lazy bums.

I wish I had a .22 that I could use on them, but I don't. Besides, I live across the street from a Sherriff, so shooting off firearms may not be a wise course of action. I will try the traps, I guess. Wish me luck.
#35
Old 05-22-2008, 04:37 PM
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Set up a music player a few feet from a gopher hole. Use the player to play the U. of Minnesota fight song, while you stand behind the hole with the weapon of your choice. As the gophers dash out to sing along, dispatch them with your machete, flail, pitchfork, 3-wood, or claw hammer. While the pitchfork is effective, you might miss the second gopher while removing the first writhing animal from a tine. Remember, each tine can kill and hold several gophers while you dispatch additional interlopers. Do not become sentimental at the lamentations of the dying varmints. They are not your friends. Think of the safety of your garden, and stab, stab, stab.


Last edited by AskNott; 05-22-2008 at 04:38 PM.
#36
Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AskNott
Use the player to play the U. of Minnesota fight song, while you stand behind the hole with the weapon of your choice.
This WILL NOT WORK during football season.
well, I suppose they might choke.
#37
Old 05-22-2008, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shera
I wish I had a .22 that I could use on them, but I don't. Besides, I live across the street from a Sherriff, so shooting off firearms may not be a wise course of action.
Would using a sling-shot be legal?
#38
Old 05-23-2008, 01:26 AM
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OK, here's what works and what doesn't:

Doesn't:
- Flooding the holes with water.
- Putting noxious gas down the holes or other substances.
- .22 or .233 or whatever. The critters are underground, losers.

Does:
- Traps in the burrows.
- Poisoned gopher bait put into a tunnel using a gopher bait applicator.

Maybe:
- Glass or other cutting substance tilled into soil. Doesn't hurt, but you'll never know if it worked.

All else is folklore; you might as well cross yourself and spin three times to make the critters go away.
#39
Old 05-23-2008, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shera
These are defenatly gophers. I found a dead one on my lawn yesterday. As for the cats, sadly I have two and they seem to not care for the task in the least. Lazy bums.
You are feeding your cats too much. Feed them about 1/2 what is necessary for them to survive and the gophers will be all gone. Never underestimate hunger as a motivating factor.
#40
Old 05-23-2008, 05:29 AM
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Charge licensing fees not long after the popularization of a completely free alternative.
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#41
Old 05-23-2008, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee
- .22 or .233 or whatever. The critters are underground, losers.

.
They exit the burrows and can then be shot. I've done it. Loser.
#42
Old 05-23-2008, 07:12 AM
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I just popped in because I have been waiting for somebody to mention gophers, so I can casually mention my new joke:


Gopher: The Mounding Bane.


hee hee hee hee
#43
Old 05-23-2008, 08:28 AM
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Flooding can work; it depends on how the soil drains where you are. My mother recently sent me a picture of a very unhappy and wet gopher in New Mexico who was eating her sunflower plants. I think she just relocated it.
#44
Old 05-23-2008, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera
Warning: DO NOT use Antifreeze, Gasoline, Acetylene or any other toxic material. Doing so WILL not only pollute your yard and make future gardening problematic, but if you are caught by the authorities, it may leave you subject to criminal charges and/or liable for a possible (and very expensive) EPA mandated cleanup.
The local authorities in our area published a pamphlet stating that the approved way to get rid of gophers was to place a rag soaked in Javex (preferably not lemon scented) as deep into the hole as possible. The pamplet went on to say the gopher would chuck it out. You soak it again and put it back in. After a couple of rounds the gopher would go away. It took three or four tries, but it worked. On the other hand, who knows? I'm not there all day, and my neighbors are all retired folk, and serious gardeners. I have a feeling they might have got together one day and dispatched the little beast using more direct means after seeing me prancing around with my pathetic Javex-soaked rag on a stick every evening.

Is Javex on a rag a bad idea? I haven't the slightest clue. It seemed kind of dangerous to me, like a very slightly-less noxious alternative to gasoline, etc. If you had several gophers, you'd be dousing your property with the stuff.

Last edited by Lunar Saltlick; 05-23-2008 at 08:50 AM.
#45
Old 05-23-2008, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee
.22 or .233 or whatever. The critters are underground, losers.
Here's your flashlight and your .45 soldier. Be mindful of booby traps and see if you can locate any useful intel. Your company is depending on you.
#46
Old 05-23-2008, 11:50 AM
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Mod note:

Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee
.22 or .233 or whatever. The critters are underground, losers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup
They exit the burrows and can then be shot. I've done it. Loser.
Guys, don't call each other losers in IMHO. That's what the Pit is for. (I want to type "Losers." here so bad I can taste it. Gaaahhh!!)
#47
Old 05-23-2008, 01:55 PM
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Most of the ground in my yard is Adobe. Water does not drain very quickly thorugh it. Out of curiosity, why doesn't the gas work? I tried to cover all the holes that were smoking and everything. Also, how exactly does one find the Burrows? As I mentioned before, the dirt is Adobe, so sticking things through the soil isn't really an option. The ground is much to hard for that.

My cats are a bit on the rotund side. Maybe starving them isn't such a bad idea.

Last edited by Shera; 05-23-2008 at 01:56 PM.
#48
Old 05-23-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giraffe
Guys, don't call each other losers in IMHO. That's what the Pit is for. (I want to type "Losers." here so bad I can taste it. Gaaahhh!!)
If you flood them out, does that make you a [Canadianism]hoser[/Canadianism]?
#49
Old 05-23-2008, 03:25 PM
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Dig a tunnel underneath their tunnels, pack your tunel with explosives . . .
#50
Old 05-23-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin
Dig a tunnel underneath their tunnels, pack your tunel with explosives . . .
Better watch out for sneaky gophers with matches when you are loading that tunnel up.
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