If you own a home in Phoenix or any of the surrounding areas, then you may have encountered a gopher problem. Although an uncommon sight, the burrowing pocket gopher is quite common to the area. Dirt mounds littering your yard are a telltale sign, and with that in mind, here are some strategies that area residents can use to keep these pesky critters out of their gardens and other areas.
1. Multiple Mounds Does Not Mean Multiple Gophers
The gopher is a solitary animal outside of its mating season. As a general rule, you’ll have one gopher in your yard because it’ll actually fight off encroaching gophers for its territory. So, multiple mounds aren’t an indication of multiple gophers but rather just how active your one gopher is.
2. Raise Your Beds
Gophers aren’t climbers, so they’re generally going to target the vegetation that’s most easily reached. Raising beds at least 12 inches off the ground or ever higher, if possible, can make your vegetables a much more difficult target. Be mindful of compost and other materials that can shorten that distance.
3. Use a Hardware Cloth
Even if your beds are raised, you should use a wire mesh or other hardware cloth. Ideally, you should bury the wire mesh about 24 inches in order to create a barrier that the gopher cannot pass. Even if you have established beds that are not easily raised, installing such a barrier can make a big difference.
4. Create a Barrier Around the Area as Well
If you install mesh underground but don’t surround the area, then the gopher can just come up outside the mesh. This is particularly problematic if your vegetation is closed to the ground.
5. Use Decoy Owls and Attract Real Owls
Decoy owls can work surprisingly well. Attracting live owls isn’t a surefire method because success can be hit or miss, but it never hurts. Install nesting boxes about 12 feet from the ground, and avoid flood lights that can create an unwelcoming environment for these night stalkers.
If you suspect a gopher, your best bet is to contract our professional pest control company in Phoenix who can trap the gopher in a humane manner and remove it from the property. Once the current gopher is gone, you can then take the various steps to make your property less appealing to these persistent burrowers.