I was sad when the gophers (brazenly in broad daylight) got my parsley just as it was blooming; I was sad when the gophers ate the only two carrots that survived, also as they were blooming, but now they have started in on my chiles, and that’s just too much!
In years past once summer got in full swing our friend the 4 1/2 foot bull snake would arrive with the drip irrigation, and the gophers would stop their relentless pursuit of yard and garden destruction. This year he never returned, and the smaller bull snakes just don’t seem up to the task.
I need to deal with the situation, both in the moving on with my life and accepting that this is part of the way of things, and in the “please don’t eat my chiles” way. I don’t want to spread poison about my yard for the kids and (less destructive) wild animals to eat, and I doubt the efficacy of traps (but am willing to be convinced).
Long term solutions are raised beds with wire linings for more sensitive plants (but I didn’t know that they ate chiles!) but that’s probably a few years out for me. Maybe by then one of my smaller local snakes will be big enough to take over the good fight.
What should I do, this year and next year? Specific companion plants? Breathing exercises? Some other change in my cultivation practices? Are there kinds of foods that they just leave alone? Calming music (for myself or the beasties)?
Cats do a pretty good job if they are hunters and mature, big enough, to handle the size. We have 3 that do a pretty good job at hunting down most of the rodent population and they are a lot more enjoyable to have around than bull snakes 😉