Regular readers of the blog (and there have been quite a few of you recently, so thank you!) know my struggle with pocket gophers. They will munch on practically anything in the garden, pulling the plants right down into their tunnels. One minute you're admiring a lovely blooming pea plant, the next minute you're watch it getting tugged down into the earth. It seems like the only veggie gophers won't eat is zucchini... the one thing I have way too much of.
Even worse than the garden destruction, at least in our case, is the dangerous effect the gopher tunnels are having on our yard and hillside. The holes are so numerous that spots in our yard are sinking, the flag stones on our patio are becoming uneven and cracked, and the path down our hill has destabilized.
I've tried all the usual gopher repellents from solar sonic buzzers to dried blood and chili pepper. The gophers just laugh at me and burrow somewhere else. I refuse to use poisons or cinch traps. Poisons linger in the garden soil and can be ingested by other wildlife and pets. Cinch traps do not always kill quickly and the gopher can suffer. Even if they did kill quickly, I'm a no-kill kinda guy.
But this week I found a solution that has already proven its worth. Checking eBay for gopher live traps, I came across a seller who makes them for only $9 plus shipping. When the trap arrived I could hardly believe my eyes. With all due respect to gsqueen9 on eBay, the trap looked like it had been cobbled together from recycling bin scraps. But I should have known better than to judge a book by its cover. This thing works!
Within hours of setting the trap per the enclosed hand-drawn instructions (which I find pretty adorable and I hope gsqueen9 never stops including them), I caught my first gopher. No bait, no mess, no kill, and guilt. I put the gopher in a container with soil and gave it a carrot to munch on until I could drive it down to a local park.
The first video below shows how easy it is to release the gopher from the trap. The second video shows the pre-park release carrot snack. Turn your sound up for the second video, the munching is about as adorable as it gets.
Disclosure: I have absolutely no relationship with the eBay seller and I sincerely hope he/she continues to sell this great product. It is saving lives. I have included an affiliate link to the product's eBay page, meaning I might make a small profit by referring my readers to eBay. You can find it here for $8.95 plus shipping. I love the ingenuity of DIYers like gsqueen9, so please support her/his eBay shop if you're looking for a humane gopher solution.