Lone Star Ranch Management

Treating the Problematic Gopher

Gopher Mound

March brings on Spring and Spring brings on ample opportunities to improve your ranch. Gopher treating is one of the annual chores we take on in March for both our own ranch and our clients’. 

What is a gopher?

Picture shows a gopher digging a hole.

Gophers are a small burrowing mammal that dig tunnels underground. If you’ve ever seen those dirt volcano shaped mounds on the surface of your land, that’s a gopher. In the springtime, the gophers become more active as the plants begin to come alive again. When plant roots are your main source of food, growth is delicious. 

How can you treat gophers?

Three primary ways work best with two being relatively inexpensive and the later a bit more involved.

  1. First is the gopher bait applicator. Essentially it is a large t-handled rod that is inserted into the gopher hole, while bait is dropped by a simple lever. This method is easy to use and inexpensive. Once you have the applicator, all you need to purchase is the bait itself and then you are ready to go. One key tip – This tool needs to be kept in a location with low humidity. Otherwise, the bait will plug up the applicator. One other consideration is that this applicator requires the use of poisonous bait. If you have pets, you will need to take extra caution in making sure they do not come in contact with the poison. You can purchase these applicators at a variety of stores including the one found HERE at Walmart or HERE on Amazon.
  2. Second is the tunnel trap. These traps are cheap, but the success rate of trapping isn’t always that high. You will have to put in a little elbow grease to dig the tunnels out so that the trap can be placed at a good depth. While this method may take a bit longer, some folks prefer it because the use of poison is not involved. While this trap can be reused, it is important to note that oftentimes, the trap can become “lost” somewhere underground when it is inadvertently moved by the digging gopher. Here is an example of a tunnel trap found on Amazon: Victor M9013 Poison Free Outdoor Gopher Trap https://a.co/d/7eIiTxF.
  3. Last and most effective is the gopher killer attachment for your tractor. These can range from $1k used to a few thousand dollars, depending on the model. My advice is to rent one for $200-$300/day from a local farm store. The attachment plows a small tunnel and steadily applies the gopher bait. This application is great for large areas like pastures and fence lines. Here is an EXAMPLE of an attachment for your tractor.
Gopher attachment for a tractor.

Contact Ryan at 979-253-9662 or ryan@texasranchmanagers.com to help you with any of your ranch needs, including those pesky gophers.

Happy Gopher Hunting!


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