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The gopher is an interesting little mammal that likes to carry away extra food to its home. They are able to do this due to the pouches that are on the inside of their cheeks. They are known for the complex tunnel systems that they build underground so that they can eat vegetation. Their long teeth and front leg provides them with the ability to push dirt out of their tunnels and up onto the ground. These mammals are more often seen in North America in areas such as Canada. People have claimed to see them in Southern areas, but more than likely they saw moles which look similar to gophers.
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Because gophers are born with tiny little eyes and ears, they can easily lose their hearing and develop very poor eyesight. However, they have whiskers that help them determine where they are as they dig underground and move through tunnels. Of course their teeth are very large which gives them an advantage when eating plants, and they have claws on their front feet for them to dig into the soil effortlessly. Would you believe that these little creatures actually dig up 2 tons or dirt or more a year? Incredible! Their tunnels are not visible above ground, but they can build various tunnels underground as long as 200-300 yards and all in different directions.
While gophers mean no harm to human beings, they can certainly leave you frustrated, especially if you're a gardener who takes pride in their work. They can pull all of your beautiful plants and flowers underground with them within seconds considering that they eat all types of plants. Not only can they ruin all of your hard work, but they can often damage underground electrical lines and pipes with their out of control digging. Eviction is necessary but will not be effortless at all.
Benefits of a Gopher in Your Yard
One thing is for sure, if you know there is a gopher on your property, you can be somewhat relieved because there will only be one at a time. They don't like to be around other gophers and you'll never have two in the same tunnel. Gophers are not all bad. They actually play a major role in the ecosystem. By creating the tunnels that they dig they combine fecal wastes and plant elements to improve the fertility of your soil. As a result, new soil is formed quicker due to the minerals that they bring to the surface. Of course, none of this really matters if you are plagued by the creatures and are looking for a way to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid Of Them
On the market you will find a lot of suggestions for getting rid of gophers such as baits and chemical repellants. These are solutions that can remove gophers but they do so by poisoning or harming them which is not recommended. Gopher repellants are used as a way to attempt to get rid of gophers; however, the problem with these is that not only can they be harmful to you and the gopher, but they can also be harmful to your lawn. Besides, they don't show any real effectiveness, and they eventually wear off and need to be reapplied every so often.
Companies have come up with an idea that they think will keep gophers out of your yard and it has to do with electronics. A thin device shaped similar to a pencil is place in the soil of your yard. It then sends signals out that makes gophers agitated and want to leave. They claim that this is effective and easy to use considering you'll only have to change the batteries in them every year. However many people deny that these work and if gophers barely can hear, how is this actually supposed to be effective? This too costs money that most people can't afford to dish out.
Traps are the only true way to catch and remove a gopher from your yard, and you can do this without distributing any harm to them. They're cost effective meaning that you don't have to continually buy traps just to have a gopher return. However, it can be quite difficult to set up a trap for a gopher, but there are many experts out there who will be more than willing to catch the gopher for you and relocate him. The traps will need to be set up near one of the gopher holes. For it to truly be effective, all holes, except for one, will need to be filled in and sealed so that the gophers have no other way to leave and search for food except the one hole you have left for them. As they come out of their hole, they will sniff or see the bait and enter the trap. Once the gophers have been caught, you can then relocate them to another area that is suitable for their survival, or consult with an expert who will know exactly how to handle and remove the animals without harm.
More gopher removal information:
About Gopher: Appearance, biology, life cycle, habitat, diet, behavior
How to kill Gophers
Remove gophers in the garden or yard naturally
How to trap a Gopher
What kind of damage can Gophers cause?
Gopher Prevention - How to keep Gophers away from yard