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Agriculture and gophers

Anyone affiliated with Agriculture knows how destructive pocket gophers can be; loss of crops, water, erosion, all play a major part in whether a farm can sustain or not.

For her entire life, the owner of The Gopher Getters has watched the plight of the farmers when it comes to gopher damages, loss of crops, prices and threats of losing the farm. Even her own father lamented over entire fields of water being washed away after gophers tunneled underneath a road, leaving crops without the irrigation they need, to burn up in the summer heat.

All farmers suffer from many problems; weather, irrigation, market prices, bugs, diseased, etc. When it comes to pocket gophers, these rodents do more than make a few mounds here and there.

Homes located near farms also suffer from pocket gopher damages. Once they get underneath any structure, the breeding begins and the population gets out of control within months. Lawns, trees, sidewalks, driveways, septic tanks and lines, water and sewer lines and underground utilities will all be affected. If ever you've tried walking on an area that has been undermined for years, it's difficult! We know of public schools where playing fields are off limits!

Agriculture organic, ag, farming

Pocket gophers always utilize anything on the surface. The gophers will follow the ditches, sidewalks, roads, etc., to find a nice cool, damp spot to make their den and start producing generation after generation. In the photo below, you can see darker and smaller mounds are next to the older larger ones. They are in varying sizes but very apparent that this pocket gopher den has multiple generations and at least 6 babies emerging from the den.

ditches and gophers

From experience, working on a tractor and hitting gopher tunnels, one after another hurts the driver, tractor, equipment and leaves ugly rows. Now days, tractors are equipped with all the bells and whistles; GPS, tracks instead of tires, stereos, air conditioning, enclosures, even super-soft padding on the seats. Even with all that equipment, gopher tunnels, mounds, erosion and sinkholes caused by the gophers can swallow tractors, destroy mechanics, parts and your day.

alfalfa and gophers

Irrigation is always targeted by pocket gophers, they want water to sustain. Once they locate the pipe from the wells, pumps, ditches, canals and tape, they will quickly rip through it.

gophers and water

They can live easily off the roots of all plants, when there is access to water, they will make sure they have many tunnels to support their community and young.

Canals and ditches are favorites as they can den and have a cool damp room, even suck the water from the damp soils. Once in a while, a young one may dig too close to the ceiling, creating cracks, holes and once a little water gets in, lots of water can follow. I have seen entire sections of land drain off, taking crops, roads and cement ditches with it. The time and cost to repair is something no farm wants to deal with.

erosion and gophers

While in California, I've noticed that vineyards, orchards and fields have nearly all moved into the irrigation tape. The drought and politics of California are leaving farms high and dry. The United States depends on these growers to produce. Without water, it isn't possible.

irrigation tape damageThis irrigation tape is laid below the surface, there are emitters every so often that allow the water to saturate directly near the plant roots. It's a great idea EXCEPT there are pocket gophers in that soil too. Not too much foresight went into this. This material is nearly paper thin and the gophers slice through it like it's melted butter. Even thicker soaker hose and rigid PVC pipe can be damaged by the pocket gophers when they're thirsty. The more the population, the more damages your farm will have. The ONLY way to solve this problem is to kill all the gophers. NOT stir them up, move them around, chase them from field to field...no. They all must be killed, with traps.

This is what we teach.

In the past few decades, the Pest Control Industry, Manufacturers and their supporters have moved into , educational, state and Cooperate Extension offices. They're pushing useless products that never eliminate the pocket gophers, it simply stirs them up. When a farm is being told to purchase $10,000.00 monthly and it's doing nothing for the pocket gopher population, then there must be drastic changes.



Something you must consider is that pocket gophers have been on the planet for millions of years, surviving through 5 different ice ages. These digging machines are born to dig, eat and destroy. Born without hair/fur, without the ability to see, they are born with claws and teeth and ready to tunnel within days. They have outsmarted many, know exactly what to eat and what not to eat, how to protect themselves and stay alive.

baby gophers

If you delay in eliminating your pocket gophers, you are only creating a greater population. Every month, you will have more generations born.

Remember, your employees will learn everything about pocket gophers; biology, breeding, lifecycle, behavioral sciences, safety and disease prevention, tracking, identification, correct trapping and prevention, to name a few. We want your farm, vineyard or orchard to be successful. Applying useless products over and over will do nothing but cause more damages and waste more money.

Don't continue paying out to the pest control industry and those in their pockets. Control is NOT killing your gophers or stopping your problem, it's adding to it. Regardless of what you or your pest control company uses will not kill off your gopher population unless it's by trapping AND trapping correctly.

This is what we do, teach your employees to trap correctly and quickly. We will also end this cycle your farm has been in. It's time your farm has success, takes back control and eliminate the money that has been going to those who know their products do not give a permanent solution.

Call or e-mail today, we will be happy to help you.



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