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Moles & Gophers

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > House & Garden > Moles & Gophers

June 2007

There is an imbedded drainage pipe in the up-sloping hill behind our house. The hill collects rain water and the pipes (drilled into the hill when the houses were built) directs the water into the underground pipe which then goes to sewer.

Gopher (an army of gophers?) invaded the area and dug up absolutely everything. Now water does not go into pipes any longer but comes out springing from under ground in very many places, including going towards our house.

To fight the gopher, we tried poison, gas, sonic devices, traps, everything we could read about. The gopher stays, digs new holes, creating new water springs in random places.

We are at a loss - we are guessing the underground pipes are clogged by gopher activity (soil? rocks?) so water finds alternative ways. We tried talking to EBMUD but since all this is on a private property, they said it's our own problem.

We're so scared the underground tunnels and water springs will crack our foundation, destroy our house.

What should we do? Can we do it on our own or must it be a major engineering project? If we need an expert, what kind of an expert?

Please help! Maria

Shake Away and the web site is www.shake-away/ We used the one for rodents like voles, moles, mice and rats. It contains garlic oil. They have another product for Small Critters like gophers and a number of other animals that contains fox urine; we did not use that product. They charge $15.95 for each of their cans.

We also used garlic tablets from another company called They also sell castor oil which apparently repells moles and gophers and is the most cost effective product. They also have Shake Away for $19.95.

We used the garlic oil from shake a way once and the garlic tablets from once. The next day the gopher disappeared; we have only had gophers twice in the last year. One gopher can make many tunnels and they are solitary animals. You probably have only 1 gopher.

Gopher traps are another option. Let me know if you want info on that; we did not need to try the traps. JUDY

Dec 2003

I have seen the previous posts about rodent control and exterminators but nothing specifically about gophers or moles.We have some gophers or moles ripping up our lawn and would like some advice in getting rid of them or services we can call. Judy

I certainly understand your distress having done battle with a mole in our backyard this summer. First thing is to identify if indeed you have a gopher or a mole--they have different mounding/tunnel tendencies. From our experience, if you have a mole, you might just learn to live with it, because our various attempts to get rid of it, were utter failures. We hired ''Critter Control'' to put out the ''guillotine'' type traps to kill it, but after a month and $100, we all called it quits. I talked to Contra Costa Animal Control about it and they didn't give me much hope either. The one thing that worked a little (maybe?) is that the mole was tunneling under our irrigated lawn and it was recommended that we change our watering regime to early morning (rather than the evening) so the lawn dried out a little more and provided less of a grub habitat which is what moles eat. But anyway, the mole eventually went away on his own (overall stay about 3 months) and he's been gone about 4 months now. I wish you luck but not much hope! a mole a day keeps the grubs away
April 2003

We just moved to a home with a beautiful wooded backyard. It is being overrun by gophers or some other burrowing pest. We tried the sulphur bombs. No luck. Any advice? We have a dog and child, so we want the solution to be non- toxic, with minimal damage to the soil and landscape. Thanks.

(no replies were received)
May 2002

After many years of professional gardening, this is the first time I've had to deal with the problem of moles burrowing through a newly planted parking strip. How have people dealt with moles in the garden? I am loathe to kill them - but are there alternatives? Thanks in advance. Jadwiga

I think I read this tip in a local newspaper (or maybe here in the digest?) for getting rid of gophers...this person put dog poop down every visible gopher hole in her garden, and that kept the gophers away! (She happened to have two dogs so acquiring dog poop was not a problem.) Although, I've never tried this myself--I have a dog but fortunately no gophers--so I don't know if it really works. Clarisse
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