Oh those pesky gophers! Who can forget the classic movie “Caddyshack” and Bill Murray’s ongoing battle with the varmints! It was hilarious in the movie but when it’s your yard being attacked, they don’t seem nearly as cute and cuddly. What can you do? Well, you could always try to hire Bill Murray to blow up your yard or bring in a Gopher snake or Barn Owl to eat the rascals. OR, you can take a more sensible and less dramatic approach…install gopher deterrent fence.
Sure it’s a lot of work, but if protecting your lawn, trees, shrubs and garden is important to you, then it’s worth it! Even one Gopher can cause tremendous and costly damage. And in fact, in most cases it is only one gopher terrorizing your property since they are extremely territorial and solitary animals. It just looks like there must be a whole “herd” of them from all the holes and damage.
The first step is choosing the right type of fence to use since it will have to withstand the rigors of being buried. Choosing the wrong type of fence can be a costly and very frustrating mistake. Chicken/poultry wire or aviary fence is not intended to be buried and will fail in a short period of time. Galvanized After Weld, Vinyl Coated, or Stainless Steel wire provides protection from rust and corrosion and will last for many years. Obviously, these are not the favorite choices of gophers! In terms of mesh size 1/2”x1/2” is ideal because the openings are small and stiff enough to prevent gophers from gaining access to the surface.
For protecting lawns and garden areas, the fence should be buried 2”-6”deep, covered with soil, and the sod or plants installed on top of the soil. The wire should be secured using sod staples or “U” pins placed two to three feet apart. Be careful to have tight overlaps of 4-6 inches without buckling or openings. After the gopher bumps his head a few times, he will move on to greener pastures! For above ground use, these meshes can easily be made into baskets to protect individual plantings.
Perimeter fencing can also be installed to help keep the gophers out. The fence should have small openings and the bottom of the fence should be buried 2’-3’ deep with at least 6-12” above ground to prevent gophers from burrowing underneath or invading from the surface. The buried portion of the wire should have a ninety degree bend to the outside.
For additional weapons in the war against gophers, try putting a pine scented cleaner or chili powder in the burrows. Gophers hate this!
Don’t let gophers defeat you. Take back control of your lawn and garden so you can spend time playing golf or whatever it is that you enjoy.
And, be sure to say hello to Bill for me!