Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can we keep gophers away from our vegetable garden?

A reasonably non-toxic method to keep the gophers and other burrowing animals away from your garden is to use a powdered urine extract that contain scent markers from one of the major gopher predators such as the Red Fox, Coyote or Mountain Lions. These products are available online and have been shown to be somewhat effective under certain conditions, but as always, use common sense and always read directions.

Other methods that can help include:

1. Encouraging predatory birds such as owls and hawks to hunt in your garden. Set out bird baths or large shallow containers filled with water to encourage Sharp Shinned and Red Tailed hawks. (Keep the water high off the ground if raccoons or skunks are a problem.)

2. Place natural predators, such as Gopher Snakes or California King Snakes, into the gopher burrow.

3. Clear away weeds and shrubs from around fence-lines so that predatory birds can easily spot gophers at work.

4. Line raised vegetable beds with hardware cloth (heavy wire mesh) to prevent gophers from tunneling in. The hardware cloth should be placed at least 18 to 24 inches below the surface of the soil.

5. Dig around fence-lines and install hardware cloth vertically in the soil as a barrier for tunneling gophers. Use a pick to dig a deep trench, install the hardware cloth and fill in the soil. The trench should be 18 to 24 inches deep.

6. Leave pets outside at dawn and dusk when gophers are most active. Dogs and cats will hunt and kill, or at least bother, gophers while they are digging, acting as an effective control.

  UC IPM - Gophers