If your once beautiful lawn or garden is now filled with volcano-like soil mounds, you are probably in a gopher situation.
That said, you could also be experiencing a gopher attack if you have sudden unexplained plant loss or damage.
This is because the gophers may enter your property from an adjacent one while digging through their tunnels.
Gophers cause much damage to crops and other farming infrastructure such as irrigation lines. It is best to control them as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Initially – You may not notice the damage they are causing, but it will be evident as time goes by. The fact that gophers live underground makes it difficult to catch them.
There are various ways to get rid of gophers, but trapping is one of the safest and most effective.
If you have confirmed that you have gophers on your property, here are some of the best gopher traps you can buy.
1. Victor the Black Box Gopher Trap
This is one of the most highly effective gopher traps available.
Unlike other gopher traps, this trap uses a loop-style chocker mechanism that instantly catches the gopher.
However, the effectiveness of this trap depends on how well you place it. It is, therefore, critical to follow the instructions given.
You start by locating the tunnels using a probe to set them up. Once you find it, dig a hole down to it and place the trap.
Ensure that the trap is in line with the straight portion of the tunnel. You should then cover the hole with dirt to make it look like part of the tunnel.
The trap quality is also an attractive factor. The combined use of weather-proof plastic and galvanized steel means that you can use the trap repeatedly for a long time.
Even more, you can use this trap on all soil types, including sandy soil.
- Easy to set up
- Highly effective
- Made of long-lasting materials
- Usable on any soil type
- You have to cover any holes to block light
You also don’t have to worry about the safety of your children or pets as they move around your lawn or garden.
This is because all the moving bits of the trap are underground, and it’s non-toxic.
2. GopherHawk Gopher Trapping Set
If you’re looking for a convenient trap to use, this is a great choice.
The setup process for the trap is straightforward. You begin by identifying the tunnel location using the probe.
Next, use the wedge to make a hole in the trap position. Then set the trap and pull the black tube.
You will know that the trap has been activated when you see a yellow indicator.
This trap’s visibility is both an advantage and disadvantage. For the farmer, it makes it easier to locate.
On the other hand, it may attract curious children and pets who could try to pull it out and injure themselves. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep children and pets away from the area.
- Easy to use
- The set comes with everything you need
- Durable material
- Easy to locate
- It can be used many times
- May be dangerous to pets and children
This Gopherhawk trap is made of high-quality plastic that resists corrosion and damage by weather elements. It also has stainless steel springs that do not rust.
You can release and reset this trap multiple times until your property is gopher-free.
3. Victor 0611 Easy Set Gopher Trap
The dimensions of this trap make it easy to use.
With a narrow frame and short base, it easily penetrates the tight gopher tunnels.
That way, you don’t have to dig through the soil. The trap also comes ready to use, having all its parts pre-assembled.
You can use this trap in any season as it is made of galvanized steel which is sturdy and rust-free.
Soil type is also not an issue as the trap works excellent on any soil type.
- Made with durable galvanized steel
- Requires little effort to set up
- Compatible with all soil types
- Active parts are hidden underground
- The trap is too sensitive. It may require multiple attempts to place it.
You don’t have to agonize about potential injuries as the active parts of this trap are all tucked underground.
4. Cinch Gopher Trap with Tunnel Marking Flag Heavy-Duty
This trap gets rid of gophers and other rodents such as moles.
The trap uses a quick-cinch mechanism which provides a fast and clean capture. It requires a bit of effort when setting up.
You have to widen the hole before placing it, hence needing to use a shovel or spade.
You also need to put it as deep inside the hole as possible to increase its effectiveness.
The trap is made of heavy-duty steel, which gives it high resilience in all weather. You can use it to catch multiple gophers over a long duration.
- Heavy-duty metal
- Can catch other rodents
- Fast and clean killing mechanism
- Since it’s underground, its safe for kids
- Requires digging before set up
- The mechanism is highly-sensitive. Setup may take long.
The trap kit also comes with flags for you to mark the placement spots.
5. The Original Blackhole Gopher/Rodent Trap
The cylindrical shape of this trap makes it easy to place it directly into the gopher tunnel.
This makes it look like an extension of the tunnel, making it easy to capture the gopher.
Once the gopher enters the trap and triggers it, the metal wiring quickly kills it.
This trap does not require the use of bait. Also, once you have captured a gopher, you clean it up and set it back.
This blackhole trap is rugged plastic resistant to rapid temperature changes, corrosion, and water.
This means that you can use it when it’s freezing or in a heavy downpour. The metal springs are also made of tough stainless steel.
- Quick set up
- No bait needed
- Weather-proof plastic and galvanized steel
- Can capture other animals
- Cleaning it up maybe a messy affair
Apart from catching gophers, you can also use it to capture rats, moles, and other burrowing animals.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Gopher Trap
Here is what you need to look out for when picking your ideal gopher trap.
The Material Used
Most gopher traps are either made of metal or plastic. The strongest and most durable ones are galvanized iron or stainless steel.
They are also more effective at killing rodents and will do so instantly.
The plastic ones work by trapping the rodent until the user releases them. This is a more humane option of control.
Also, plastic traps are typically less expensive than metal ones.
They are also less durable than metal traps and will need frequent replacement.
That said, good-quality plastic can withstand bad weather. Some traps, such as The Original Blackhole, combine both materials.
If a trap is too big, a gopher may manage to escape the noose. It is best to ensure that the trap you buy is sized for gophers.
The more sensitive a trap, the higher the chances of catching the gopher. Traps made of stainless steel have high sensitivity, making them more effective.
If you have pets and children, it is best to get a safer trap. Considering how fast the traps react to any trigger, they are capable of causing great harm if mishandled.
It’s best to choose a trap that is mostly hidden underground. Avoid using traps that require chemicals or poisons.
This is because they would threaten other organisms in the soil, including the beneficial ones.
Also, your pets could die from the poison if they accidentally run into it.
When Is The Best Time To Set a Gopher Trap?
Gophers are more active in moderately high temperatures. Late spring or early summer is the perfect time to set your trap.
Once the temperatures lower, the gophers become less active and stick in one spot. This makes it challenging to capture them.
What Baits Can I Use In My Gopher Trap?
Gophers typically feed on grass, shrubs, and trees. If your trap requires you to use bait, use alfalfa greens, dandelion, or prickly pear cactus.
If those aren’t available, you can use household foods such as lettuce, carrots, apples, or peanut butter.
Whichever bait you choose, ensure that it is the only source of the said food. That way, the gophers will be attracted to it.
Consider the weather when choosing your gopher trap bait. If it’s raining, carrots or peanut butter will endure for a bit longer than other options.
Where Do You Place The Gopher Trap?
You should set your gopher trap at the opening of the tunnel.
Depending on the size and type of your trap, you may need to dig through the soil first.
In addition, it is best to set two traps, one in each direction of the tunnel. This is because you may not know the direction the gopher will be headed.
How Often Should I Check The Gopher Traps?
Different traps become effective at varying lengths of time.
Check your traps’ manual to see how long the first catch will take.
That said, you should check your trap once or twice a day.
If you haven’t captured a gopher after two days, moving your trap to a different location is advisable.
What Is Attracting Gophers To My Property?
Gophers are attracted to areas with food sources. Plants such as potatoes, radishes, and carrots are among their favorites.
They also like shrubs, grasses, and flowers such as tulips.
Clay soil is also attractive to gophers due to its moist nature, which they love.
It is also best for their burrowing activity as it has fewer chances of caving.
On the other hand, Sandy soils have poor moisture retention and can easily cave in. The gophers, therefore, tend to avoid them.
What Plants Won’t Gophers Eat?
Planting crops that gophers do not eat is an excellent way to keep them away.
You can consider planting onions or garlic as they won’t bother eating them. For your flower garden, daffodils are a good option.
You can also consider having plants that repel the gophers.
They include rosemary, lavender, gopher spurge, catmint, and marigolds.
Apart from keeping gophers away, they might also help control insects such as mosquitoes.
What Type Of Damage Do Gophers Cause?
- Gophers cause damage to your plants by eating the roots. If not controlled, they could lead to the death of your plants. In addition, they could feed on the bulb plants you may have in your garden.
- Apart from harming plants, gophers also damage irrigation systems and electrical lines.
- Gophers are carriers of diseases. If bitten by a gopher, you could get rabies as they carry it without any visible symptoms. Other diseases include monkeypox, plague, and hantavirus. However, they are rare to transmit these diseases to humans because they are always underground.
- They can transmit ticks and fleas, which could attack your outdoor pets.
- The dirt mounds could cause a walking hazard. When walking around your lawn or garden, your foot could get caught in the holes, causing you to twist your ankle.
With any of our five best gopher traps, your gopher problem should be solved soon. Choose the trap that you prefer considering the factors outlined.
It is essential to note that this is not an instant method. You need to be patient before you manage to catch all the gophers in your area.
Additionally, if your property is large and you are taking too long to eliminate them, consider combining trapping with other control methods.
Lastly, you can seek the services of a pest control expert to get personalized advice.