Gopher Proof Fences Work For Many Garden Pests
Gophers Limited has been exploring and designing garden and small farm enclosures that save an enormous amount of frustration including plant loss, irrigation problems, footing dangers, hillside gullying and landslides. These are just a few of the advantages of fencing small rodents and vermin out of vegetative areas. The big plus is knowing that your plants are safe and the endless chore of animal control is over. Another reward is the ability to enjoy many of these amazing animal species without that vengeful feeling that they must die, that you are competing with them for your own food or profit.
Understanding invasive animal biology is the key to making barriers that are effective, not unsightly and long lasting. Some animals, such as gophers and moles lack climbing skills so a barrier does not need to be very high but does need a horizontal ledge to provide additional security to the barrier. Also gophers and moles are not deep tunnel diggers with most runs less than one foot deep. Again an outward horizontal bend is needed in the advent of a deep tunnel reaching the bottom of the barrier. So our final design looks like this:
This design is usually added to an existing fence to provide support but can also just have it’s own support with posts 18” high and at 6-8 foot intervals. The wire roll width is 48” and preferably made of 304 grade stainless steel 3/4” square mesh (available at gopherslimited.com). Most non stainless wire mesh will degrade much faster and will need replacement.
To be clear on the dimensions of the fence:
Dig a trench 6” wide and 18” deep
Use 48” wide x ¾” mesh gopher wire
Underground section 18” deep with 6” L bend to the outside
Above ground section 18” tall with 6” L bend to the outside
Trench digging can be done by hand with a trenching shovel or by using a motor powered trencher. If a fence already exists it will be impossible to trench close enough to attach the upper section. When planning a gopher fence and deer fence it is best to install the gopher fence first.
Gates and Endpoints
Terminating and adding gates are the one place that is very vulnerable to penetration as most animals will simply follow along the fence until they find a way in. Often when terminating a fence that just separates a wild space from a garden, orchard, farm or vineyard the fence does not surround the growing area but just separates it from the wild area. Of course, this means that the ends of this separation fence are where animals following the fence line will normally enter. Again, considering the animal’s thought process, we now construct a turn around or a slight spiral to confuse the animal into turning completely around. At the other end we do the same. This seems to be very effective. We also recommend this technique at gates.
How to Secure the Gates
The hardest part of a secure enclosure is handling gates and driveways without allowing easy entry points for varmints. The gate with a gap under it definitely negates all the expense and work that has gone into a fence project. We have come up with some effective and interesting ideas.
The easiest way to secure the bottom of a gate if you have a paved walkway or driveway is to lower the gate so there is a gap on the bottom no more than a half inch, lower is even better. If the gate is on soil then add a 4 x 4 made of redwood or synthetic wood that will not rot and try to get an even small gap. Covering the wood with some fencing material and making a springy hump is best so that when the gate is closed there is no gap.
The sides of the gate also get a similar treatment. Again wrap the post of the fence with the wire leaving a springy hump toward the gate so when it is closed there is no gap. This technique is difficult at first as there are hinges on one side and other obstacles. Remember that at the gates you only need to add this protection as high as the existing gopher fence.
Feel free to contact us for more information and supplies. We are the manufacturer of the best gopher and varmint wire as well as the main consultant for these crop enclosures. Check us out for this information and many other products and procedures for handling animal pests without the use of poisons. Once you do start using products and techniques that do not harm the environment or predatory animals and pets you will find peace amongst the beauty of your gardens and farms and yards.