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?

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. :smiley:

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.

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.

.22 works well.

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.

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.

Why don’t you just go all Caddyshack on the thing?

The most effective is a lawnmower over the hole, if you can time it right.

I’d say get the traps.

Could you not pipe your car’s exhaust down the hole?

Blow them up:

But try not to burn down the field and neighbouring building:

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.



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.

.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.

See post #2.


Nah, I knew he was kidding, but he was closer than he thought. :wink: