Most gopher stories start with, “It’s been a couple of weeks and my lawn care company…” and it goes downhill from there. “They started with smoke bombs, they filled the tunnels with water, and they even used poison. They finally caught one using a trap.”
Don’t get us wrong…San Diego Pest & Termite Owner Earl also uses a lawn care company to help take care of his mowing, trimming, and so forth. But would you go to your dentist for a stomach problem? Or to your hair care salon for your regular teeth cleaning? We certainly would not! It may be cheaper, but we would hate to live with the results!
In the past few months, several customers have called asking for help with an infestation of gophers. They set an appointment, and when we arrive they start telling the frustrating story about the gophers that are absolutely ruining their landscape.
Lawn care companies do what they can, but without the proper training and materials, they just are not able to get the job done. Earl has come across lawn care companies that retail the counter products, but they are usually unsuccessful. Remember, licensed pest professionals are able to use materials that other companies are not licensed to purchase. It’s like going to the local corner drug dealer and asking for headache medicine. You’re probably going to get something much different than what you need, or want. You’ll need to go to the licensed pharmacist on the other corner to get the right treatment.
A very common problem with treating gophers after you’ve attempted to use traps, smoke bombs, and over the counter products is that the gopher has learned how to avoid these now-familiar snares. Earl has seen traps pushed out of the way, bait discarded by pushing it out of the tunnel and fresh greens set behind a trap gone – gophers completely evading the trap. This means it’s now going to take a lot longer to rid your landscaping of the pesky little problem.
Pest Control Professionals (or PCP’s as we call them) are required by the State of California to be licensed to treat your home with pesticides. The California Agricultural Department requires PCP’s to register and be inspected in the use of products for the control of gophers. This includes an onsite inspection, registration with the Dept. of Agriculture, and submission of monthly reports showing the products applied, how much was applied, and how it was applied.
Now a little information about gophers. You never really have an ‘infestation’. Except during the early months of February and March when they’re mating, gophers are solitary rodents. If they encounter each other at any other time, they become aggressive and will argue with each other until one decides to go the other way. Gophers normally dig about 6 inches below the surface, with new mounds appearing each morning. They can dig as deep as 6 feet, with pockets for food and nesting throughout the tunnels. They can easily escape predators by running into these pockets and sealing off the entrance. Predators include humans, so don’t believe you can get away with being bigger than your opponent. They have their ways of escaping our best efforts.
That’s where we come in.
The best method of treating a gopher problem is with a bait placed inside each tunnel. This assures the gopher will find the bait, and either begin ingesting it immediately, or putting it in its food cache. Normally the gopher will begin to eat the bait right away, and the problem disappears in as little as one day. This saves a lot of further destruction to your landscape. Now that the gopher is gone, it doesn’t mean that another gopher from next door won’t take advantage of the ready-made tunnels! In fact, old wives tales of ‘leave the gopher in the hole and another gopher won’t take over’ is far from the truth. Any gopher nearby will push the old gopher aside and begin to burrow all over again. This is why we normally guarantee our gopher treatment for 30 days – which a lot of companies will not do.
True, it’s more work for us, but you have less chance of another gopher ruining your landscape. So do yourself a favor. If you think you have a gopher problem, or see mounds in your landscaping, just call us and we can take care of the problem before it becomes costly. I guess the old saying “Pay me now, or pay me later” is really true. You only need to decide how much you really want to pay for a new landscape!
So you understand, the EPA has passed new laws requiring most common pesticides and rodenticides be removed from the retail market this year. Most rodent products must be removed before June, 2014, leaving fewer options for the homeowner to do their own pest control. Information on these rulings can be found at: