Stay up to date

Stay up to date

Tips and Tricks Pests

5 Quick Tips How to Effectively Set Gopher Traps

Picture of Bed Bug Dog Bob
By Bed Bug Dog Bob on February, 6 2018
a squirrel standing at the center of a green field

There goes another carrot! Ah, there’s nibble marks on your prize-winning tomatoes. Not again. Are pesky gophers ruining your garden? It never fails, as soon as your garden is planted, up springs a hungry gopher looking for a free lunch. If left to their own devices, these little twitchy-nosed plant stealers can wipe out your entire garden within days with not so much as a thank you note for your excellent hospitality.

It’s relatively easy to tell if you have a gopher problem. They’re not really secretive about where they live. If you suddenly notice large dirt mounds in your lawn that weren’t there before, then it’s a good indication you have a new unwanted neighbor. The upside to gopher holes though, you know where their front door is located. All you have to do is go over, knock and ask them to leave. Oh, if it were so easy.

Actually, gophers tend to create multiple fronts, back and side doors in case they are met by a predator such as a snake, who will slither down a gopher’s tunnel to find a delicious baby gopher meal. It can be difficult to tell just which hole is the one it’s currently using the most. A good indication is how fresh the dirt is built up around it. If the dirt is fresh, then your little pest is probably not too far away.

The Ultimate AIPM Field Guide to: Pocket Gophers Ruining the Landscape. Download Your Free Copy Today!


He gnawed on your rutabaga? This means war! It’s time to use a good gopher trap and be rid of him once and for all. There are a lot of good traps to choose from on the market.  The three best traps you could choose from are:

Wire Traps

Consider this trap as a “builds a better mousetrap” trap. They are spring operated, much like a snapping mousetrap, and when triggered they snap around your gopher, killing him instantly. They’re effective, but a little gruesome.

Box Traps

Similar to the wire traps, box traps lure the gopher inside and snap it. The upside of this trap is you don’t have to see any mess inside.

The Black Hole

This particular trap emulates the inside of a tunnel. An unsuspecting gopher happens along, believing it’s just another part of the ground and *SNAP*, no more gopher.

All three traps are effective to remove gophers from your property. Before using them though, you first need to know how to properly install them.

Choose Your Trap

Choosing the right trap may be determined by the location of your gopher mound. If it isn’t a highly trafficked area, such as an open field, you may consider a wire trap. If it’s in your garden where pets nose around, a more secured “black hole” trap may be more in order.

Take Precautions

It doesn’t matter what kind of pest or critter you’re dealing with, if it has teeth, they can bite. If they can bite, then they can carry diseases such as rabies. Gophers are no exception. When working with traps, use protective gloves and wear long pants to keep from being bitten.

Purchase Multiple Traps

As mentioned before, gophers seldom only have one hole. For better odds of trapping it, purchase 2-4 traps and set them up in each hole you find.

Gather Equipment

When setting a gopher trap, you will need:


Chain or wire to secure the traps in place.
Stake (metal is better than nibblable wood) to hold the chain or wire in place.

Something to cover the hole to help block light out such as wood or plastic. Keep in mind the type of material you use. Material such as cardboard would disintegrate quickly if exposed to moisture.

Use a Tall Container

Most of the time, once a trap is tripped the gopher is dead. On occasion, only a piece of the gopher is trapped and when you go to pull the trap out of the tunnel, WATCH OUT! That gopher will not be a happy critter, that’s for certain. If that happens, be prepared by having a garbage can or barrel nearby to toss him into. Once he’s no longer a threat, you can *wack* him with a shovel.

If gophers are making you want to tunnel for the hills, then it’s time to call a professional. The pest control professionals at AIPM will handle all your carrot snatching, rutabaga nibbling, creature concerns. The professionals at AIPM are university trained and know exactly how to handle any pest or insect related problem. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

The Ultimate AIPM Field Guide to: Pocket Gophers Ruining the Landscape. Download Your Free Copy Today!


Submit a Comment

Get latest articles directly in your inbox, stay up to date