It’s difficult at times to say for sure if you have moles or gophers on your property, causing havoc. To do a good extermination job, always choose the best gopher poisons, repellents & baits.
Even though what kills most moles will also kill gophers, you’ll see in this article that certain substances make the best gopher killers, over anything else. Here’s how you can address the problem without calling an exterminator and spending even more money.
The Best Gopher Repellents, Baits & Poisons
- The Best Gopher Repellents, Baits & Poisons
- What Are the Best Gopher Poisons?
- How to Pick the Best Bait
- What About Gopher Repellents?
- Traps vs. Gopher Baits and Gassers
- Do Gopher Baits Offer Residual Control?
The Giant Destroyer Super Gasser is one of the most efficient gopher and mole killers out there. It creates toxic gas when used inside mounds, thus giving you excellent control over the population. It’s a fast killer that can take care of your infestation in record time.
The gas is not toxic to plants, so you can easily use it to treat and protect your lawn. The ingredients include charcoal, sulfur, and sodium nitrate (50%). Only 3% of the ingredients are inactive.
The Super Gasser pack comes with 42 tubes. All you have to do is locate active tunnels, place a container, and light the wick. Be sure also to cover up the exit so that the smoke won’t escape.
This Sweeney’s formula is one of the best gopher baits. It is available in individual packs or packs of four and five tubes, and the pellets are loaded with the most reliable gopher poison today - zinc phosphate.
After ingestion, the pellets will cause a devastating reaction in gophers, releasing toxic gas. Once the gas makes its way into the bloodstream, gophers have no chance of survival.
Although these pellets are not ideal for residual control, they will dispose of gophers in a matter of days. The pellets are also very palatable, which is always a good thing to have.
I should point out that Sweeney’s Mole & Gopher Poison Peanuts don’t have the best weather resistance. They break down quickly and lose potency when exposed to significant quantities of water.
Just because this product wears a mole repellent badge, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to protect your lawn from gophers. The formula is made entirely of castor oil, and you can get it as 32oz, one gallon, or five-gallon concentrate.
Even the smallest bottle is enough to treat up to 5,000sq.ft. of property. If you’re looking for a humane way to treat for your gopher infestation, this could be the solution to your problem. This repellent also shows industrial strength.
Castor oil doesn’t get diluted when mixed with water. And, it can also penetrate deep into the soil, thus setting itself straight in the path of gophers. Last but not least, castor oil shouldn’t affect your pets, kids, or plants, so it’s a much safer alternative to gopher killers.
Amdro’s gas gopher killer comes in packs of six gassers, each one holding .75oz of the deadly formula. It is an effective gopher poison and should also work against moles, skunks, woodchucks, and even ground squirrels.
The careful selection of ingredients makes this gasser safe to use in gardens, around edible plants, and on lawns. Each gasser is a small cylinder, around 3/4” in diameter and 5” long. It’s the right size to slide it into gopher tunnels with ease.
I like that the fuse isn’t faulty and that you don’t have to check the condition of the tunnels after covering up the entrances. Of course, like with all other gopher gas killers, this product has no residual control effect. You may want to consider protecting your lawn with a repellent after you kill all gophers.
The Bonide Moletox formula uses one of the best gopher killers, zinc phosphide, as the main active ingredient. Although the concentration is milder than in many other similar products, the lethal potency is still there.
Unlike most zinc phosphide-based formulas, the Bonide Moletox is not a gasser. Instead, it comes in the form of a powder. That’s partly the reason why the active ingredient makes up just 2% of the recipe.
Potent nonetheless, you can kill an entire burrow with a single teaspoon of this stuff. The Moletox is also highly palatable. So, if you’re not sure about using gassers or aren’t sure how to locate an active burrow, this product could be a more comfortable alternative.
Providing aerial coverage of up to 7,000sq.ft, the 7lbs of REPELLEX repellent still holds its position among the best gopher repellents.
The unique formulation features castor oil, cinnamon oil, garlic oil, and white pepper, among other ingredients. 20% castor oil concentration may not seem like much, but in this combination, it proves to be quite the potent repellent.
I also want to point out that the odor is not as foul to humans or pets. Therefore you can sprinkle as many granules as you wish around sensitive plants, around your lawn, or along your fence line.
If you’re looking for something environmentally-friendly and that won’t affect your plants or pets, this could be the solution. The weather resistance of the small granules is not too impressive, but unless you’re expecting heavy rain, you should get a decent barrier going for a few weeks.
The JT Eaton gopher bait blocks work in two stages. First, they use a powerful attractant to lure gophers into gnawing on the bricks. Secondly, the Diphacinone compound delivers a deadly dose of toxins, which kills most gophers in a matter of days.
One block is enough to kill multiple gophers. And, I find it fantastic that all 4oz blocks retain their palatability for extended periods. That means that the product is cost-effective. Moreover, it provides decent residual control too.
While you can put a block out in the open, the active ingredient can be harmful to pets. So I would suggest locating a larger gopher tunnel since the bricks aren’t exactly small. Alternatively, you can cut the chunks in half or simply expand active gopher tunnels manually to make room for the bait.
What Are the Best Gopher Poisons?
Three compounds are used in most gopher poisons. You’ll find either zinc phosphide, diphacinone, or strychnine on the labels of gopher removal products. Here’s a breakdown of each main active ingredient.
You can find zinc phosphide in gassers as well as bait blocks and pellets. This substance will react with stomach acid and water and will create a toxic gas after ingestion. That gas travels and enters the bloodstream, which will eventually cause the gopher to vomit and feel weakness, convulsions, and later die.
Diphacinone is a newer active ingredient in gopher poisons. It’s used in bait blocks and pellets and acts as an anticoagulant. When ingested, it induces internal hemorrhaging, causes fluids to flood the lungs, induces muscle weakness, and soon after that death.
Strychnine is among the oldest gopher killers. It is a neurotoxin that causes muscle spasms, convulsions, and death by asphyxiation. However, what was once very common is now very rare among gopher poisons for residential use. That’s due to the high levels of toxicity of strychnine and because it can also affect pets and humans.
How to Pick the Best Bait
When picking the right bait, it’s best to go by reviews and the overall track record of certain popular products. A powerful attractant is a critical component in any good gopher bait.
You won’t always need food-grade attractants, however. After all, gophers are herbivores, meaning they won’t be too picky at first.
But here’s where you might run into some problems. Say your bait drives their olfactory sense crazy, and they gnaw on it with every chance they get. At the same time, the bait is not lethal enough to kill gophers, but it does make them sick.
If something like this happens, no matter how much you keep trying, the gophers will stay away from it. They can also associate specific attractants to that feeling and avoid more potent baits that use the same attractants.
What About Gopher Repellents?
Unlike other pests, gophers have a better history with repellents. There are plenty of mixtures that will chase them away from your property. However, gophers are also more likely to come back sooner rather than later, at least when compared to other burrowing pests.
It’s also worth noting that gopher movements are much more challenging to track and predict as those of moles. Therefore, you may have to use significantly more repellent both above and below ground to secure your property.
And, as is the case with any other type of repellent, you’ll also have to worry about weather conditions and the weather resistance of said granules and sprays. Do I still recommend repellents? Yes, I do.
Even if you plan on killing your gophers now, it pays off to use a repellent for some residual control after wrapping up your treatment. Placing some granules in old gopher tunnels can prove very productive.
Traps vs. Gopher Baits and Gassers
Gopher traps are not always easy to set up. Most of them involve some digging or manipulation of gopher tunnels. So there are plenty of things that can go wrong. They will also include disposing of these tiny disease carriers by hand once they’re dead, which can get messy.
A gasser offers a more hands-free approach. You can light it up, stick it in a tunnel, collapse the entrance, and just wait for the magic to happen. You can then bury everything and let nature take its course.
Bait blocks and pellets have a similar effect. However, it’s impossible to tell where a poisoned gopher might end up dying. In some cases, it can happen above ground, somewhere you can’t see or check, which could lead to some nasty odors on your property.
Do Gopher Baits Offer Residual Control?
Yes and no. It depends on the quality of the bait blocks, specifically their moisture resistance. You see, you don’t have to worry too much about the weather, as you would with other pest control products.
Since, for the most part, gopher baits go inside active tunnels. However, while these baits can remain lethal for weeks or months, I can’t say the same about their palatability. It wears out pretty fast.
If gophers don’t find them appealing anymore, then it won’t matter how concentrated the baits are since the little critters won’t eat them.
That’s also why it’s so important to use the right kind of bait. When a reinfestation occurs, new gophers are likely to move into your old gopher tunnels at first. So, good bait will be there waiting for them, thus stopping things before they begin.
Control Your Gopher Population Sooner Rather Than Later
Gophers are among the most dangerous pests you can have on your property, or under it to be precise. Not only are they disease carriers, but they can also do a number on your lawn, edible and ornamental plants, and even your trees.
Using the tips in this article, you should now have a better understanding of the seriousness of your situation and the best course of action to take. Take a look at the products reviewed above, and pick the right one for you and your property.