Winter Gopher Control

A Catch in Time Saves Nine!

When it comes to gopher control most folks like to wait until they have their garden or lawn planted.  Often that is way too late.  Gophers are active all year round in these parts and very soon the mating ritual will begin.  Gophers are interesting creatures as they are anti-social, solitary and territorial.  In fact, it is said that if two gophers meet in a tunnel, they will fight to keep their own territory.

Gophers are also night wanderers which makes them great prey for barn owls, especially. During the night wanderings, they can start a new burrow system, get picked off by predators and have an opportunity to mate.  The mating ritual may not last long for these anti-social hermits. Male gophers find females to mate with by following a scent trail of pheromones, a kind of sexy gopher perfume.

If mating is successful, there is no relationship implied and the female will go off and dig a deep burrow in which to have her pups.  When they are weened, the mother will kick out the brood and then they all must find a new territory and dig in.  This is when they seem to be everywhere and invade new areas.  Back to our title about timeliness, if one can catch the females before they mate or give birth you will eliminate eight or nine new gophers and divert an invasion before it happens.

Now, from January to March, is the time to put extra effort into lowering the breeding population, thus the general surge in population.  It is very easy to catch gophers in the winter. With less ground cover, gophers tend to move to drier and higher elevations or even move to roadsides or dirt roads to avoid getting flooded out.  In farming, and many gardening situations, a cover crop, especially of grains and legumes like oats, bell beans and barley will not provide the food they eat and they will move to the edges and borders making them an easy catch.

Any good gopher trap will do.  If you are successful with one, keep using it.  However, when the soil is wet gophers tend to make the small mud balls and roll them out of their burrows often causing traps to close prematurely.  If you can adjust the trigger of the trap, try to give it less sensitivity to accommodate this and your catch rate will go up.

We prefer the Cinch Gopher Trap because it is set from the surface with very little digging and that it has a highly adjustable trigger.  Also, the Cinch Trap’s large spring plate stays on the surface and is easy to monitor without having to dig it out.

Cinch Trapping Method Demonstration

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For more information, techniques and videos visit our website gopherslimited.com

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