Pocket gophers make me just a little zealous when it comes to keeping them off my property. Unwittingly, I had been free of gophers for several years because I had previously landscaped with gopher-deterring bushes and plants. I emphasize previously, since one January day a gopher devoured two flowering bushes right in front of my eyes! Whether by accident or luck, I got that pest.
Now that Spring arrived with warm temperatures, another gopher has started to set up home, though it is at the easement between the street and my front yard. In contrast to the guy using gas in this video, I went much smaller scale. If I was captured on home surveillance with a cigar lighter to ignite a blowtorch pushing gas into the burrow, I will admit to it. Like some fiend in a horror movie, I hoped some quick-drying cement would seal the critter inside the wall. Overnight, the little critter burrowed a few inches beyond my concrete plug. From horror flick to Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles, what came to mind next was this scene of Hedley Lamarr (the late Harvey Kormann) plotting to get rid of pesky townsfolk. was I going to need an army to move this resident of Rock Ridge?
Instead of bringing in bandits, ruffians, or a pest control company, I gave Dexter a long-denied pleasure, encouraging him dig to his heart’s content to find the pest. Though Dexter did not get the rodent today, he has been parading his dirty paws and muzzle. Not giving up, I started browsing on the Internet for eco-friendly solutions to gophers. Herons? Hawks? Gopher snakes? Cat? None of these seem available (our cat seems uninterested).
It was back to basics. Out came the traps, solar-powered buzzing stakes, and gopher bait. This morning not only were the traps not triggered, but next to the GopherHawk a huge pile of gravel and dirt declared that gopher is calculating I will give up before he does. Like the occasional news story that a narco-traffickers’ underground railway was found and plugged, my gopher has made a big bunker in the space between the wall and foundation. Two 50-lb bags of quick drying cement later, my concern is now the gopher will tunnel “up” into my front yard. And then the gloves come off.
I imagine my neighbors with all the pockmarked frontages may have decided the enemy beyond the gates is tolerable as long as he is not eating your tomato plants. Still, I am more than willing to share bio-weapons in the struggle with gophers. I recommended to a passerby, planting society garlic, rosemary or daffodils has been successful for me in the past, and in my improved garden plan, is keeping gophers out.
I have to admit, being an animal lover, a teeny tiny part of me is rooting for the underdog. Undergopher? That little guy is persistent! In spite of my love for animals, a pest is a pest and needs to be dealt with. I’m not sure if this will help or not but I’ve been reading about using chili powder to help get rid of mammalian intruders. In my case, it’s squirrels. I love my squirrels in the yard, and even at the bird feeders. I don’t love my squirrels trying to get into my house! I just started putting the chili powder around the house yesterday. No squirrels taunting me from the bulkhead today…yet! They say my beloved wild birds won’t be affected because they can’t taste the added ‘spice.’ Fingers crossed, this might be a humane solution.
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Wonderful to hear from you, my friend! Yes, I am torn- I purposely didn’t kill a gopher I caught a few years ago. But his (her?) nephews didn’t move down the road. I planted society garlic (an ornamental grass) randomly along my fence to deter gophers coming back into the yard. It is working.
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