Monday, April 30, 2007

More Mole/Gopher/Squirrel Links and Info

Here's a second article from a neighbor on Canyon Dell:

I read the item in the recent Meadows newsletter about the gopher infestation our neighborhood is undergoing. I certainly have a problem with them here and have had since last year around this time.

I've been researching control methods and have learned that pets and wild animals are sometimes poisoned to death after eating gophers that have taken poison grain. The problem is that even if you use the probe and place the bait in the burrows away from other animals the gophers have a habit of stuffing their cheek pouches with the poison grain--up to an ounce of it-- and often come to the surface when they start to feel the effects of the poison. Once there they're easy targets for our cats and dogs as well as the various predators that hunt in the neighborhood.

I read one account of an adult Borzoi that died after eating a poisoned gopher. You can read that here:

The vet in that case said that the grain in the gopher's cheek pouches and the undigested grain still in it's stomach was plenty to kill a dog that size. I called the Vanderhoof Veterinary Hospital on Lake and spoke to a woman who talked to her colleagues there and confirmed that this does indeed happen.

My yard is patrolled day and night by 3 neighborhood cats, a bobcat and a fox not to mention the birds of prey, snakes, etc. As much as I'd like to poison the gophers I just don't feel that the risk to the other animals is justified. Add to that that, unlike most homeowners, we're at the edge of a wilderness where there's no shortage of live gophers to replace the dead ones no matter how many we kill and poisoning seems even less attractive.

My guess is that we're seeing more gophers here in the neighborhood as a result of the ongoing drought--the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer in the wild but there are plenty of good things to eat in our well irrigated yards. Whatever the cause, though, I have no doubt that removing them from our yards either by killing or even by humane trapping and relocating is doomed to failure.

I'm pinning my hopes on a new repellent--basically a preparation of Castor oil--that seems to be getting good results for some. It works by making the ground and the things that gophers eat taste and smell bad to them so they simply leave. It's non toxic to plants and animals. I've ordered a product of this type called MoleMax. It comes in the form of granules that you spread like you would seed or fertilizer and then water in. I'll let you know how it works.

Here's another link. This one is to an article on
They council against poison and for Castor oil:

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