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  • Austin Educational Article of the Month - Gopher Prevention Tips

Gopher Prevention Tips

Gophers aren't the easiest creatures to keep away, however it doesn't mean that it can't be done. Here are some of the most common methods in which to help you keep those Austin gophers away from your yards, gardens, etc.

There are many store-bought repellents available today and you are free to use them however, they do contain some chemicals that can be harmful to:
• Children
• Pets
• Other animals

That is why some people have come up with homemade solutions and here is one homemade solution that you can use:
• Get castor oil as well as 8 ounces of dish soap liquid.
• Mix them together until foamy.
• Place into a spray bottle for easy use.
• Reapply every two weeks especially if there are no immediate signs of improvement.

Rotating Crops
One particular reason for having a Texas gopher problem is the most obvious: food. A good solution to this would be to rotate your grain crops for alfalfa. By doing so, you discourage the gopher and they start looking for a better, easier food source. It is also said that this method has a dual purpose. You not only protect your crops but you get rid of your Austin gopher problem altogether. However, the problem with this method is that there is not solid or factual evidence that it actual works! In fact, other people would prefer to use 6 inches of coarse gravel or a buffer of bare ground.

Flood Irrigation
It is considered not a very effective technique because you will end up damaging plant roots and causing them to become more available food sources for the gopher. Also, with the ground moist, it will be easier for them to tunnel around and get access to that food.

Here's how to erect a fence to keep Texas gophers from demolishing certain plants in your yard or garden:
• Netting is a good option for new roots and saplings however, it doesn't guarantee that the gopher won't chew through it.
Fences are effective to a certain point and they only provide a limited kind of protection. It's not a permanent solution as well and not to mention, quite expensive and time consuming to erect.

Another method would be to try and trap the Austin gopher. This is considered as the most effective, if not the only way, to get rid of a gopher for good. With trapping, you can safely remove a gopher and release it into the wild where it can live without bothering you ever again. Here are some basic tips on how to trap a gopher:
1. Locate all of the gopher's holes and seal them up except for one.
2. Place the trap inside that hole.
3. Wait for the gopher to come running towards that main exit.
4. Release the gopher as far away from your Texas area as possible so as to ensure that it doesn't come back.

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