Home Remedies for Gophers

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The creature driving Bill Murray crazy in the movie ‘Candyshack’ was a rodent known for digging tunnels in the soil. In search for food and shelter, the gopher has earned a reputation for ruining commercial agriculture plans, destroying garden plots, and disrupting landscaping. Because of this, people seek out home remedies for gophers before resorting to other means of trapping and poisoning.

What is a Gopher?

There are more than 100 kinds of gophers in America – all belonging to the rodent order, Rodentia. Gophers can become a real pest for gardeners because they feast on vegetables, roots, and buds. They also dig tunnels to create a larger connection of tunnels that can reach 800 feet long. Placing rocks and large mounds of dirt at the entrance of their homes, gophers also keep lookout. It is not uncommon to find adult gophers standing guard at the entrance of a tunnel system and whistling when predators come close.

Gopher Home Remedies

It’s no fun having a rodent tearing up your yard and ruining your plants. Gophers have a knack for testing the patience of homeowners. If you have an animal den in your yard, seek home remedies for gophers that make them believe their homes are unlivable and the food supply is too hard to obtain. Below are a few gopher home remedies to consider: ?

a) Garden Hose:

To avoid using toxic chemicals to get rid of gophers, try making their home undesirable to live in. A garden hose placed inside the main runway of a gopher tunnel can help flood out unwanted yard guests. Turn on the water and run it for no less than 15 minutes – longer is better. It could take awhile to flood out the gophers, especially if they have created a tunnel system more than 1,200 square feet.

b) Chicken Wire:

Keep gophers away from certain plants, roots, and other vegetation by digging a trench two feet deep around the perimeter of a garden. Line your garden with chicken wire to create a fence that discourages gopher activity.

c) Castor Oil:

The scent of castor oil turns off gophers. Spray a diluted mix on the ground to send gophers roaming in a different direction. This home remedy could possibly save your plants and garden.

d) Mulch:

There is evidence that gophers are not fond of mulch. A buffer made out of mulching could keep gophers away from your plantings.

e) Jalapeno Peppers in Mulch:

To create a potent gopher repellent, cut fresh jalapeno peppers into large chunks measuring one inch. Add the peppers to wood or straw mulch to make about one pound of mulch. Situate the mulch as a border around plants and other parts of the garden you want to keep gophers out of. Gophers do not like the scent of the jalapenos or the presence of the mulch.

f) Jalapeno Pepper Plants:

You could also plant jalapeno plants within four inches of the area that gophers like to attack. ?

g) Cat Litter:

If you own a cat, keep in mind that felines are natural enemies of gophers. The scent of a cat should scare gophers away, which is why pouring used cat litter into the opening of gopher tunnels may encourage the rodents to find another home.

h) Welcome Owls into Your Yard [1]:

If you live in a region where owls are abundant, building an owl box in your yard or nearby woods can encourage the predators to help you control your yard pest issues. Owls are known to eat the occasional gopher or two.

i) Bounce Fabric Softener:

Oleander-scented fabric softeners contain the aroma of a flower known as a natural repellent to gophers. Place a couple of fabric softener sheets into the opening of a tunnel and cover with dirt.

j) Coffee Grounds:

It is said that gophers dislike the scent of coffee grounds. Spread grounds in your yard, around tunnels, and about your garden. The coffee grounds also act as an effective fertilizer. ?

k) Radio:

Put a portable radio inside of a freezer bag (like Ziploc) and turn it on. Seal the bag shut and place it close to the opening of a gopher tunnel. The human sounds should scare your furry intruder away.


[1] http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/asktoh/question/0,,683002,00.html


  • Harold eo

    If the gophers are destroying a certain type of flower or plant in your garden, go to a garden center and buy a nice fleshy-rooted plant of the same type (4 inch pot or larger). Get Gopher-Getter poison pellets in garden department of major home suppliers. Go home, poke several small holes at least an inch or two in depth into bottom of plant, and carefully spike your plants with the poison pellets. Use gloves or wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Plant your bait plants in the problem area. The gophers seem to like new roots from the potted plants. They chew and swallow, and disappear.

  • BeeBee

    There’s only one sure way to get rid of gophers from my experience. You have to shoot the suckers. But the upside to that is that they are part of the food chain and you’ll have turkey vultures and hawks eating them in no time. I know it sound gross but nothing else works. I’ve tried everything out there.