How to Get Rid of Gophers in Arizona
The most common gopher in Arizona is the Botta’s Pocket Gopher. Also known as the valley pocket gopher, these rodents are known for burrowing through the ground and tearing up plants, lawns, irrigation and anything else below the surface. It is often very easy to spot a pocket gopher problem on your property by their signature mounds created & plugged while burrowing. Typically feeding on roots, grasses, and green plants, pocket gophers can easily leave your backyard looking like an old battlefield. Effective gopher removal begins early, before gophers have enough time to build out expansive networks of tunnels in your Arizona yard. Getting rid of gophers in Arizona can be a difficult, trial and error process that may require the help of a professional in order to be done correctly.
Arizona pocket gophers are excellent diggers, creating an elaborate system of tunnels that can run hundreds of feet just below the surface, however some may reach several feet down. While the tunnels are only a few inches in diameter, pocket gophers will create larger chambers used for breeding dens or storing food.
As they dig through the ground with their teeth and claws, they kick the dirt back out through the hole at ground level, creating a crescent or fanned pile surrounding their entrance. Since they spend most of their time underground, they will also plug this hole to keep intruders out. Finding these holes are a sure sign of gophers in Arizona.
The tunnel systems don’t expand outward very far, usually not exceeding 50 feet, so the longer tunnels, or runways, zig and zag throughout their territory. This can lead to a very porous yard, with sections collapsing and root systems being interrupted and destroyed (those they don’t get to directly through feeding).
Trial & Error
How do you get rid of gophers? There are several ways to try, and none of them are pretty, including flooding, poison, gas, traps, and even some electronic devices. You’ll likely need a bit of trial and error to get rid of your gopher problem, as well as patience. It’s hard to get rid of a pest that you can’t see (unless you excavate your lawn), so ensuring you’ve gotten rid of the entire population is difficult but cruicial, and can require multiple attempts to get rid of all the gophers. Better to get rid of the gopher problem now by being thorough, rather than allowing it to fester and appear again.
Attempting to flood the pocket gopher lair can work. However, this can just end up in small sinkholes when the water doesn’t simply evaporate in the dry Arizona heat. You also may spend a lot of time chasing around newly formed mounds with a garden hose before you realize you’re actually making the job of digging easier on the gopher by softening the ground for them.
Poison bombs are rarely effective as they tend not to reach many parts of the complex tunnel system. Other poison baits can be effective when used correctly, but gophers can be very picky when it comes to what they eat, and may never take the bait at all.
There are several traps available on the market to address gopher problem in Arizona yards. However, it does take a good amount of work to do it correctly. By locating fresh mounds, you can lay traps within the tunnels near the entrance/exit. This may take a lot of trial and error in order to set the trap just right, in the correct location, and a bit of luck that the rodent hits the trap as intended. And, if you disrupt the tunnel, gophers may be wary of approaching it, thus abandoning it to create yet another hole in the ground.
There are electronic devices available that claim to use a specific sound frequency to deter gophers from the area. Reviews are mixed and seem to show various degrees of success, however, they are limited to somewhat small diameter of effectiveness for the sound to travel, so if you have a larger property applying them in bulk may get expensive quickly. This type of solution also tends to just push the proplem out of the immediate area for the time being, so gophers may will still be active on adjacent properties. If you do proceed with this option, and you have pets and/or active wildlife in the area, please carefully do your research on information regarding possible effects on other animals in the area.
An Experienced Approach
Certain movies may have made a joke of how difficult it is to get rid of gophers, but there is definitely truth to it. The best solution is contacting a professional that is experienced in identifying, locating, and removing gophers from your lawn. If you want effective gopher removal, your best bet is to trust those with proven success over the years.