Gophers and Moles are wild animals indigenous to our area here in California. They don’t hibernate and are active all year long in our gardens and the open space that surrounds us. Since they can make a real mess of a garden, eat our veggie gardens, and wreak havoc on roses, getting control of these critters can become an essential need. One idea that is popular is preventive measures to get ahead of the problem before it begins. While we love the idea, we have found that unfortunately there are not very many effective strategies. Everything that we write here will be our opinion and just that, but as professionals in the field, we wanted to give our thoughts about the preventive measures available.
We get calls weekly from people who have used or are using the vibrating sticks in their gardens to deter gophers and moles. While some people swear by them, the fact of the matter is that we are still getting the calls for help! It may be worth a try, but it may also be worth saving the money and putting it towards control that you know will work because we don’t stop until the activity stops.
Gopher netting under lawns is extremely popular! The good news is that it can work well! The bad news is that it won’t work well forever. With gopher netting solutions it is very important to consider the cost-benefit of the installation and the quality of the service that will be provided. This is essential because if it is a very costly addition to your landscape install you may want to consider the value it will save you in gopher control costs over the few years that it is effective. If a company installing can guarantee effectiveness for a certain amount of years with gopher control included in that guarantee at no cost to you then I think it may be worth it. However, if not, then it may work out to be cheaper to pay to catch the gophers than to have the netting installed under the lawn.
In addition to the expense, there are several techniques to gopher netting installs. Sometimes, they bury the wire slightly which is good for lawn health, but greated space for shallow digging invaders like moles and sometimes gophers. Other Times, the gopher netting is installed directly under the sod, which is good because critters won’t be able to get on top of it, however, if there are any imperfections in the netting it can lead to pockets and air bubbles under the lawn where it won’t be able to root and grow healthily.
Cages around the plant’s roots can be helpful and effective in protecting young plants and may be worth considering.
Gopher fence is similar to gopher netting under a lawn but it is dug in around your fence line to create a preventive barrier to your property. Installations of these is not something we recommend just based on the high expense of this service. The gopher netting won’t generally last long enough, with enough effectiveness to justify the cost of itself when compared to paying for gopher control. Likely, someone will end up paying for both. While this is an option some companies offer, we highly recommend conservation of the overall cost v. potential savings to determine if it is a good option for you.