How to get rid of gophers in a vegetable garden?

April 28, 2008 | By | Comments (7)

Q:I don’t know if I have Gophers, voles or moles, or all of the above. I need to get them out of my veggie garden. They have pulled several whole heads of red lettuce into the ground, over night. Now they are working on the cabbage. I am missing half of my onions and my fruit trees aren’t getting watered correctly because of the holes. I have about a half acre in fruit trees and garden. What can I use for a quick fix?
Lacy J

A:Moles eat worms, grubs, and bugs, not plants. Voles eat roots and stems, but since they are mouse-size, the damage is mouse-size too. You almost certainly have gophers, which I am sorry to inform you, are the worst subterranean rodent pests out there. They’re the cartoon rodents that gleefully pull whole rows of carrots and cabbages into the ground and consume them. But the cartoon isn’t so funny when it takes place in your own garden. The sure sign of gophers are crescent-shaped mounds of soil near the entrances to underground tunnels. What you need to do is use a sturdy rod or stick and push it into the ground about 10 inches from a fresh mound until you locate an active burrow. Once you find it, excavate it until you can insert a gopher trap, then cover up the hole you made. You can order gopher traps from Gempler’s (
Notice to PETA — These traps do not attempt to negotiate with gophers. They kill the little slobs. Get over it.



  1. Steve Bender

    They usually just eat roots and tubers.

    October 29, 2012 at 4:35 am
  2. Nona

    They are coming up in the chicken pen, Do they eat the mash that is in a dish on the ground?

    October 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm
  3. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    I will, Hercy!

    July 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm
  4. Hercy

    Gophers can be forced out of their tunnels by using a Bee Keeper’s smoker. The smoke traveling through the tunnel will identify all of the gopher’s back doors as smoke rises across the terrain. Have your 22 rifle ready.

    July 12, 2012 at 9:56 am
  5. CKlimen

    Your readers also may be interested in the products found at CrittergetterOnline.Com which have been proven (both through customer feedback and testing performed by the University of Nebraska) to be 90% effective for gopher control.
    These are burrowing critters are savage little beasts, however, it appears that the folks over at Crittergetter have finally accomplished something that has eluded the general public for as long as it has tried to scratch a living from the earth or beautify its surrounding landscape – furnish a product that actually eliminates any burrowing pest!
    Link to University of Nebraska report:

    April 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm
  6. Grumpy Gardener

    Yep. Moles don’t eat plants. Voles eat only the roots and stems of plants, but are too small to pull them underground. A gopher is the culprit.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm
  7. Connie

    this was a really big help, my husband and I just bought our house and this is the first year we have had a bigger garden and low and behold something is pulling our tomatoes and pepper plants under, (they just disappear). we have found mounds but actually no holes in the garden, so I asume by your article it is gophers.

    June 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm

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