How to Repel Gophers

Gophers have a ravenous appetite for roots and tubers — along with just about any plants growing above ground. All it takes is one or two gophers to wreak complete havoc on your property. Luckily, there's a variety of ways to repel gophers from your property. By using a combination of these methods, you can experience the best results.

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How to Get Rid Of
How to Repel

1Locate Existing Tunnels

Targeting gophers where they are active is most important to your repelling strategy. Gophers rarely ever stray from their underground tunnel systems, so the best way to reach them is to seek these out:

Signs of gopher damage include:

  • 1. Identify gopher mounds: fan or kidney-shaped piles of soil that gophers create to conceal their entrance holes.
  • 2. Identify tunnel: using a stick or probe, slowly and carefully press into the ground a few inches around the mound(s). Main tunnels are located about 6-12” underground, and your probe will drop slightly when you pierce one.
  • 3. Mark your tunnels: Gophers are known to quickly seal up any holes made in their tunnels, so be sure to leave a mark that you can identify later when you are ready to apply your repellents.

2Choose Your Gopher Repellent

The best gopher repellents target their most important senses used for survival - smell and touch - to make your property uncomfortable and inhabitable. The more senses you disturb, the better results you’re likely to see.

Castor Oil Repellents

Best Used For: Coating your vegetation with an overwhelming odor and spoiled taste that stops feeding in your yard. Castor oil repellents protect your plants from damage and send gophers seeking food elsewhere.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Best Used For: Sending tiny vibrations throughout the ground to which gophers are extremely sensitive. Pulsating vibrations emited by ultrasonic repellents alert gophers to danger and drive them away to find a safer place to live.


3Apply as Directed

Apply or install your repellents as close to gopher tunnels as possible. It’s critical to the functionality and safety of your gopher repellents that they’re applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Important steps include:

  • watering castor-oil repellents thoroughly into the earth in order to penetrate your gopher’s tunnels
  • reapplying repellents periodically to maintain repellency and keep gophers away
  • digging a hole for your ultrasonic gopher repellent before pressing it into the ground to avoid putting too much pressure on the device
  • ensuring your solar-powered device has daily exposure to direct sunlight so it can remain charged

Expert Tips

Gopher repellents work best when applied in or near a tunnel system.

Gophers often create several mounds in a row, so drawing a line between two or more gopher mounds may help you determine a tunnel’s path.

Tunnel systems can cover up to 700 square yards of land, so it’s important to identify as many excavated areas as possible and apply repellents to each.

Maintain a persistent gopher repelling regimen even after they’re gone in an effort to keep gophers out of your yard for good.

When dealing with widespread applications of mole repelling granules, using a fertilizer or granule spreader is recommended.

Additional precautions can help you maintain a gopher-free yard. Read How to Get Rid of Gophers to learn more.


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