FAQ's

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Is trapping the best method for getting rid of nuisance animals?

  • Yes.  Trapping ensures that the animal is physically identified and removed from the property.  
  • Utilizing other methods (gas bombs, sonic devices, flooding with water) may simply move the animal to another area of the property.

Do you use Poison ?

  • No for three main reasons:
  • I personally don't like handling poison.
  • Many of my clients are on well systems and don't want poisons contaminating ground water.
  • There is great potential for "collateral damage" to other animals.

I've tried smoke bombs, gas bombs, and flooding to get rid of gophers/moles. Why don't they work?

There are a variety of reasons:

  • First,people mis-identify what animal they are dealing with.
  • Secondly, these animals have extensive "runs" which allows them to avoid water, smoke and gas bombs.
  • Lastly, gophers will usually simply block off or plug a tunnel with dirt as soon as they detect a noxious smell.  I have literally caught gophers next to noisemakers which I believe are more annoying to me than to the gophers.

Do you guarantee your work ?

Yes. I guarantee that I will trap all animals that are present in your yard for two (2) weeks from the time I leave your yard.  I cannot prevent intrusion from other like species after that time.

I've heard of using car exhaust to kill gophers and moles. Is that a reliable method?

  • It is not only unreliable but dangerous to you and against the law.
  • California Penal Code 597u which states: no person, peace officer, office of a humane society, or officer of a pound/animal regulation department of a public agency - - shall kill any animal by using any of the following methods  - carbon monoxide gas, etc.

How can I determine which type of animal (gopher or mole) is in my lawn?

Moles:

Generally kick up dirt between the edges of your lawn and hardscape (edges of concrete, rock walls, rock or gravel walkways).  They may also pop up in the middle of your lawn which may lead you to believe you have a gopher.  Moles will also have "feeding runs" close to the surface which looks as if a snake has moved through the soil.  Moles make raised mounds of dirt which are circular at their base.  Due to their feeding habits, Moles will generally move around the entire lawn/landscaped area.  


Gophers:

Generally a gopher operates in a 5 yard radius. Their mounds are traditionally fan-shaped.  If you look straight down on one you will see a plugged hole with a "c" shaped fan of dirt in front of it.  You will normally see other mounds or plugged holes in close proximity.  You should note that the plugged holes will have small round or oval shaped dirt clods in them.  The dirt clods are made by the gopher scooping the dirt with their front legs.  Moles do not make these dirt clods as their front feet are not shaped the same as gophers.


FAQ'S (Continued)

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I have small spots dug into my lawn but no mounds. What is causing this ?

  • These are usually probe marks from a skunk, opossum or raccoon.
  • These animals are omnivores and will eat all matter of bugs and carrion.
  • If you have recently used blood meal, fish emulsion or similar products, these animals will dig into the surface to see if they can locate the source of the smell.
  • They will also manifest this behavior in search of worms, bugs, and other critters close to the surface of the ground or turf.

I have small holes in my lawn and garden but no mounds. What is causing this ?

  • These are most likely entry points for meadow voles.  These are also known as meadow mice.
  • They are commonly mistaken for gophers as they are similar in appearance.  A full-grown meadow vole is about 3" long.
  • Their fur is brown and resembles that of a mature gopher.  However, the underside of a vole is grayish-white. Voles have mouse like ears and a long tail.

When do gophers and moles breed ?

  • Gophers breed twice a year usually in Spring/Fall and will have 1-6 pups.
  • Moles (in my experience on the coast) breed once a year and have 1-6 pups. 
  • Gophers and moles will evict their pups from the den in April. This accounts for all the mounding activity that is seen at that time of year. All these pups are creating there own living spaces.

How many gophers or moles can I expect you to trap?

  • This is dependent on time of year and size of your yard.
  • Most standard yards will contain a breeding male or female.  If a female is present you have the potential of adding 1-6 pups.
  • This is the same for moles.

What do gophers and moles eat ?

  • Gophers are strictly vegetarians and eat only plant material.
  • Moles are insectivores feeding on worms and other bugs.  It is important to note that these animals are not in conflict with each other related to their diets.  This is why you find them co-existing in the same tunnel systems.

How can I keep gophers/moles out of my yard?

  • It is nearly impossible because both species move above ground and under ground.
  • I have seen gophers running across Highway 1 and saw a mole running across Etheldore Street in Moss Beach in broad daylight. Gophers and moles will move at anytime day or night.
  • I routinely get the little buggers in my yard.  Apparently the word hasn't gotten out that my yard isn't a good place to hang out.  You can read more in my prevention section.

FAQ'S (Continued)

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What if I decide not to get rid of the gophers and moles ?

  • This is an option.
  • However, your plants and beneficial worms will soon fall victim to the gophers and moles.  
  • Additionally your yard will become a breeding ground causing more trouble for you and your neighbors

Why do I see more dirt mounds in the Spring ?

  • When you see explosions of dirt think "breeding cycle".
  • Many of the new gopher and mole pubs have been evicted from their birthing dens and now have to strike out on their own.  

Sometimes I see gopher mounds plugged and some that are open with gopher peeking out. Why is this ?

  • Gophers plug their holes to keep predators out.  If you open a plugged hole and watch it for a few minutes the gopher will come out to investigate why he has a draft in his house.  
  • This is why you want to have a trap ready as soon as you open up the run.
  • Gophers stick their heads out of their runs primarily to obtain food items that are in close proximity to the opening. I found this is the best opportunity to catch these little buggers. The reason for this is:
    • You know he is close to the opening
    • He will be back soon to plug the opening
  • Also, by nature, he can't leave his front door un-plugged.  You now have the advantage to make a quick capture.  I believe they leave the hole unplugged for short periods to allow fresh air into the tunnel system.

Why don't I see much evidence of gophers and moles during the Winter months ?

  • Gophers and moles do not hibernate. When the weather becomes wet and cold they go deeper underground.  
  • Additionally, gophers store food in side pantries off their main runs.  This means they do not need to come to the surface to obtain food. 
  • Moles do not store food but simply do their hunting in deeper runs away from wet and cold.