Gophers & Gopher Wire
They are the scourge of nurseries, gardens, lawns, athletic fields, orchards, golf courses and other open public areas. Anyone who lives in an area infested with gophers knows the signs - the mounds of fresh soil dotting the ground's surface.
One gopher can create several mounds in a day. Mounds can interfere with lawn mowers and severely impact the appearance of lawns.
Conditions for digging are ideal in irrigated areas: flower beds, lawns and gardens. Gophers love to eat vines, shrubs, trees, ornamental plants and vegetables.
Their tunnels can cause soil erosion by diverting irrigation water. During a gopher's digging activity, lawn sprinkler systems and plastic water lines can be gnawed on and damaged.
A burrow system can cover an area of 200 to 2,000 square feet. Food storage and nesting areas can be as deep as six feet. Feeding burrows with a 3" diameter are most often 6" to 12" below ground.
Perhaps the most effective way to combat the destructive and very costly impact of gophers on gardens, lawns, athletic fields, nurseries and plantings is to bury wire mesh below the ground's surface. Though costly and labor intensive, such a barrier will prevent gophers from burrowing to the surface.
Welded wire - A good mesh to use as gopher wire is 1/2"x1/2" welded wire. This is available in both 19 gauge, hardware cloth, and heavier 16 gauge wire. It comes in both a galvanized after weld and PVC vinyl coated finish. The galvanized finish protects the wire from rust and corrosion. The vinyl coating gives the mesh even longer protection. Widths up to 72" makes it easier to cover large areas with fewer joints.
Woven wire - Hex netting also makes an excellent gopher wire barrier. Vinyl coated 19 gauge, 3/4" and 20 gauge, 1" meshes are available. As with the welded wire, the PVC coating assures years of use. Lighter weight than the welded mesh products, the hex products are easier to work with. Rolls of 1" hex are available in widths up to 90".
Are gophers a problem for you? How have you tried to solve this?
Do you have a solution that's different from using gopher wire you'd like to share?
Information source: UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616