Exclusion or gophers is nearly impossible because the cost of fencing and labor of digging. In order to keep gophers out of an area you must dig a trench 3 – 6 feet thorough and put a wire fence with a close mesh to keep them from burrowing under. The wire must be thick enough not to allow them to chew by it and thorough enough so they do not go under. The fence must also be high enough so they can not go over the top. Typically, gophers only dig tunnels so the underground exclusion is the most important factor to concentrate on.
Unfortunately, you have to do this around your whole character making the time, cost and true feasibility not worth it unless you have very expensive flowers. What most homeowners and character owners choose to do it deal with them when they come. Most people will get on the internet and find a solution. Problem is not all they “solutions” are going to help. The biggest “solution” scam are the ultrasonic gopher eradicators (also sold for moles). I can not tell you how many times I have gone to a house with a gopher hole with in a foot of one of these devices. Bottom line – don’t waste your money.
Another home cure for the novice I see is to drown them with a water hose. Although not impossible, the likelihood of this being successful is very low. Gopher’s holes are designed for their safety. They plug their holes to keep light, rain and predators out and they have many runways in different directions. A garden hose will have a tough time getting enough water fast enough to drown a gopher and it nevertheless has the option to just pop out of one of its holes to escape the water.
Smoke bombs are often sold in hardware stores and can have limited success. You must plug all holes with the smoke bombs to have a chance. The idea is to kill the gopher with carbon monoxide but usually the holes do fill with enough smoke to choke out the well hidden and protected pest.
Home improvement stores sell bait (poison) to kill gophers. The poisons obtainable to home owners and character owners with out a pest control license are low measure and require multiple feedings to be effective. There can be success with these low measure formulas but not nearly that of a specialized strength gopher poison used by a pest control company. Caution: your pets can dig up this poison or dig up a poisoned gopher and secondary poison which can be fatal. Call your local vet right away if you think your pet may have ingested any poison.
Trapping is obtainable to both home owners and professionals alike. The traps are placed in gopher runways and no bait is required. Gopher traps can either be placed in the tunnel runway which requires two traps, on in each direction, to be placed inline with the tunnel’s path. Another way to set a trap is dig out a recently used gopher hole and place a trap at the entrance with light shining by the trap. Light shinning by a gopher hole is very dangerous to the well being of the gopher and it will go to probe and plug the hole’s entrance. When the gopher comes to the trap’s entrance it trips the trap and ‘no more gopher’.
Fumitoxin pellets also known as aluminum sulfide are used by pest control professionals. You need a restricted use license to buy this pesticide because of its high lethal possible. This method is very effective. Compared to poison a gopher eats, fumitoxin method has a low secondary exposure danger. With poison a dog or cat can dig up the poison or eat a poisoned gopher and get secondary poison. This is often times fatal to the household pet.
Fumitoxin works by releasing phosphine gas which is extremely toxic to gophers. The gas is expelled throughout the tunnel system. Because pest control professionals are the only ones who can apply this method, the fumitoxin is placed in strategic locations where they know it will be effective. My pest control company, Rodent Guys, uses the fumitoxin method almost exclusive and we unprotected to nearly 100% success.
Pest control service companies such as mine based in La Verne, CA who perform gopher extermination often times will warranty the work performed. If you live in an area next to wildlife or open fields you may need a monthly service to take care of your problem. Most homeowners do not have time, patients or desire to attempt this on their own. Hiring a specialized who knows what to do and has the resources is recommended for large similarities or heavy infestations.
More information on gophers and general pest control can be found on my website at http://www.rodentguys.com.