Is your lawn covered in little mounds and holes? You might have a mole, vole or gopher problem. Solutions for evicting moles, gophers and other common rodents from your yard can include poison peanuts if you have no family pets or livestock, castor oil sprayed through the watering system, pellet products, or packs of underground sonic pulsors that drive underground rodents crazy. Other options include gassing, flooding and trapping rodents. Keep reading to find out which extermination method is right for your lawn.
For generations, farmers have gassed out destructive garden and lawn vermin by using a hose attached to their farm equipment exhaust or a truck exhaust pipe. Putting the opposite end of the hose into a gopher or mole mound, or the underground tunnel of a rodent, while covering other holes with soil so all tunnels are flooded with carbon monoxide is an inexpensive way to treat large acreage properties. This may be illegal in some states, however, so we will investigate other options.
Setting Mechanical Traps
To install gopher traps for small animals, place them over the top of mounds you have dug out so they run across the tunnel direction. Surround the traps with black plastic garbage bag material to block out light around the traps. Be sure to rub the traps with rosemary or other strong scented greenery to mask human scent. Use disposable gloves to avoid getting your scent on anything in the area. Many underground pests are blind so they depend on a very well developed sense of smell.
Dangers of Poison Traps
Poison traps are not only very dangerous for children, pets livestock and the neighbor’s cat, animals that have eaten a poison pellet, peanuts or other trap materials can be eaten by their natural predators and they will also die. You could accidentally kill off natural wildlife and owls and other predators in your area if you risk poisoning your lawn pests.
Flooding Rodent Tunnels
Using a garden hose to flood the underworld habitat beneath your lawn with water will chase your pests out from their hidden tunnels, it can cause a muddy mess in the end, but if you wait patiently to catch the critters popping up from various holes in the area, you can try to hit them with a shovel. Local hardware stores sell gopher flares to fill their tunnel networks with and acrid smoke. This also requires great skill and patience to catch the pests as they pop out of their hiding places.
Introducing Natural Predators
Some people do not mind replacing these gophers, moles or other small underground animals with their natural predators, gopher snakes. These snakes will stay around for about a year and can clear out an acre of property before moving out of the area. You can also find certain species of cats that spend day and night hunting mice, moles, voles, gophers and other small animals. They will often bring you a trophy from their kill.
Homemade Rodent Repellent
Homemade repellent-soaked cotton balls can be an effective deterrent for specific areas of your garden or lawn to keep them away from your prize plants. Mix the following in a glass jar and shake until the solution thickens:
- 1/2 cup Castor oil
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 3 drops peppermint oil
Soak cotton balls and leave around plants, edging, and planters. You can drop them into tunnels and mole hills then cover them back up.
If all attempts fail, call in a professional exterminator.