I live in Northern California (Sonoma County) in an area with excessive gopher and mole populations. The soil is sandy loam. My little terrier is a pretty good hunter, but I think I would need 25 of her living on the property at all times. One challenge is that the orchards and vineyards next-door tend to rototill, which sends more gophers my way; I also fear if someone starts poisoning the gophers, and if my terrier happens upon on of them.
Being that the problem is the solution...anyone have ideas?
I would also like to mention one of the people who inspires me, Perma pastures farm,
Who sell bone sauce and comfrey,
But are also just great people to watch and listen to who have a great sense of building community!
I think if you look them up online you will find them to be a wealth of great information, and they also have alot of time for other people! So maybe great in looking them up!
Alex Moffitt wrote:Hey Shirley,
My grandfather had 25 acres of sandy loam on the hunter river,
He used owls, foxes, Bone sauce, smelling flowers and herbs tree guards, His rifles, nets traps, to eliminate the rabbits,
Cheers Alex - I love that he used nature to help with owls and foxes.
I have groundhogs and discovered one under my BBQ . . . Now that’s asking for trouble!
I don’t know where this solution lands at on the Permie scale, but one option I have used is ground up castor beans. They are available at garden stores or online by brand name “mole go” or “mole be gone”. I put them in a fertilizer spreader and covered my highly dug up/tunneled yard. The moles & gophers HATE the smell, but I can’t smell anything bad. If anything, I thought I smelled freshly cut hay for 2-3 days even though there was no hay anywhere near.
The moles made a straight line out of the yard. After the first application, I would occasionally add more if I saw mole activity, but I only spread near the edge of the yard. This kept moles out of the yard though I could see their tunnels circling the yard. That was fine with me as long as they stayed outside my lawn.
Castor bean oil is also available via a hose applicator and I think it works faster smells a bit stronger (but certainly not offensive) but does not last as long.
Eric Hanson wrote:I don’t know where this solution lands at on the Permie scale, but one option I have used is ground up castor beans."
I don't know of any toxicity to other plants, but all parts of the castor plant and especially the beans contain ricin, a deadly poison. So pets, other wildlife, chickens/other livestock, perhaps even beneficial soil organisms, all will be at risk.
What's worked pretty well for me is periodic flooding and Yolanda, a chihuahua terrier mix that is a holy terror on vermin. Still have some burrows along the road frontage where there is a mounded up area of drier, sandy soil that needs some kind of earthwork and plantings that 1) won't immediately be devoured by gophers, lol, and 2) won't interfere with overhead and underground utility lines.
If you open the box, you will find Heisenberg strangling Shrodenger's cat. And waving this tiny ad:
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