A Pock On Gophers

What is it with gophers? I live on three acres. I have 837,492 weeds. Green, flowering weeds. What I think are delicious looking weeds. But do the 562 gophers tunneling under my three acres eat them? No. Even in drought conditions ... a resounding no!

I was mowing my weed infested upper pasture the other day, rolling along on my tractor, when I started to list to starboard. The entire right side of the tractor was lower than the left; as if I were sinking. This is California, not Florida. We don’t have sinkholes. What the heck?

I had uncovered a gopher tunnel and was slowly slipping into what looked to be a burrow. Ok, it was only a drop of about six inches, but geez. On the heels of battling these cheeky rodents, who in the dead of night invade my vegetable garden and make off with my prize zucchini, I’d had enough. That realization propelled me off my tractor and onto my computer to identify the most efficient eradication methods. My live and let live point of view was seeing red, or more exactly a tawdry brown. What I unearthed was a treasure trove of ways to get rid of gophers – some a little sketchy, some brutal and some just plain silly.

Here we go, in no particular order, no endorsement and no practical experience on my part. 
First up, the Rodenator, which claims to win the battle over burrowing pests. You shoot a mix of propane and oxygen into a tunnel and then either manually or remotely detonate it causing concussive shockwaves throughout the tunnels. It’s pretty fierce and not inexpensive. Kind of sent concussive shockwaves to my psyche.

Next on the list, The Giant Destroyer, a rodent killing gasser – not the hot rod kind, either. It’s a sulfur gas releasing smoke bomb that gets dropped down a tunnel. A somewhat lesser shockwave to my psyche, but still a jolt.

Moving on – the Wilco Gopher Getter. Good, this sounds a little milder. You take grain coated with anise and stuff it down into the tunnel. Anise – that’s licorice, right? I like licorice. I feel good about giving them something I like. Shockwaves were dissipating.

My search continued and landed on Cinch Traps. My imagination kicked in and I envisioned tiny belts tightening around a gopher’s girth preventing it from eating. Piece-of-cake – which it won’t get to eat. Of course, I was out in the south forty on this one. Cinch does not translate as easy, breezy. A Cinch Trap is a galvanized plate with spring-loaded pinchers attached that … well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. Shockwave-o-meter registering an increase.

Rounding out my search was the Underground Exterminator. All you need is a car and a garden hose. Hook them together, turn on the car, shove the hose down the hole and the gophers just go to sleep – forever.

I’m not sure I could sleep at this point. I’d have to spend some time eradicating the visions of gophers in various stages of demise for that to happen.

Those pesky gophers can have the zucchini.

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