I knew that living in the country would come with a lot of changes, but I didn't realize how many pests I would have to deal with each day. Even the winter came with its own pest problems. My blog is all about the problematic pests that country living presents. You will find out what you can do to keep your home pest-free and how to eliminate the pests that have already moved into your home. Hopefully, my personal experiences can help you find the solutions to pest problems that you have and take back your home from the insects and rodents causing you troubles.
Maintaining a garden takes a lot of hard work and a wide variety of pests can destroy the fruits of your labor, including gophers. Gophers are squirrel-like creatures that live underground and may take up residence in your garden. Here are three things gardeners need to know about gophers.
How can gardeners identity gophers?
Since gophers live underground, you'll probably notice the signs of their presence before you see the animals themselves. If gophers are living in or near your garden, you'll see a gopher mound in your soil. A gopher mound is a pile of soil that is created by the gopher's tunnelling activities. The size of this mound can vary based on the extent of the tunnelling as well as the number of gophers that are present. Gophers communicate with each other by whistling, so you may also notice this noise while you're working in your garden.
Gophers will sometimes come out of their tunnels to feed, so you may see them. These animals can be anywhere between 12 and 30 centimeters (4.7 and 12 inches) long. Their fur is brown or tan, and their tails are bushy, just like squirrels. They have puffy faces due to the large quantities of food that they can carry in their cheek pockets.
How do gophers damage gardens?
Gophers love to eat roots, fruit and leaves, which makes them bad news for your garden. As they tunnel through your garden, they'll gnaw on the roots of your favorite plants, which will damage or kill the plants. When they venture above ground, they'll strip your plants of leaves and steal the berries from your fruit bushes. They're also known to gnaw the bark of trees, which can kill the trees in some cases.
Gophers are can destroy your garden quickly because they're hoarders. They don't just take what they can eat in the near future; they're known to store huge quantities of food in their underground burrows, which they'll then take their time eating.
How can you control gophers?
You can install gopher wire—a metal mesh—to keep gophers from being able to tunnel into your garden. Galvanized hardware cloth can also be used if you can't find gopher mesh. This wire is installed around the perimeter of your garden and buried to a depth of two to three feet. It needs to extend about six inches above the surface of the soil to prevent gophers from entering the garden from above. Highly valuable plants like fruit trees or roses can be planted inside gopher baskets. Gopher baskets are also made of metal mesh and protect the root systems of plants.
If you're having trouble controlling gophers with nonlethal methods, a pest control company can poison or trap the gophers for you. Contact a company like Cascade Exterminating Service LLC for more information.