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The Fence Post

Gopher Problem? Try This!

September 23, 2014 | by Duncan Page


Preventing a Takeover

Gophers are highly destructive animals. They live in burrows and like to eat many of the plants that people have in their gardens and yards. If a family of gophers takes up residence in your yard, you could quickly find your lawn taken over by gopher mounds and tunnels. It is easy enough to kill or capture gophers once they arrive, but it would be greatly preferable to keep them out in the first place.

gopher holes

Gopher Dilemmas

Gophers can cause a number of problems. The aesthetic damage to your landscaping is just the beginning. Gophers also eat garden plants like carrots, lettuce, and radishes. Gophers also carry dangerous diseases like rabies. They have sharp teeth, and like any other animal, they can be dangerous when they feel threatened. Worst of all, gophers make holes in your yard; these holes are a trip hazard for children, elderly individuals or well, anybody. Before you know it, a child could have a sprained ankle. An older person could end up with a broken ankle, wrist or hip. 

There are several solutions to gopher problems to choose from, depending on your needs, preferences, and budget.

Plants that Repel

Gophers have a rather adventurous palate, but there are some plants that they do not really care for. If you plant these species at the perimeter of your property, you could make your yard a less attractive area to gophers. Consult the plant experts at your local nursery for advice on choosing gopher repelling plants.

Setting Traps

There are many reasons that trapping gophers may be preferable to killing them outright. Gopher traps allow you to rid your yard of gophers easily and humanely.

Possibly Poison

Poison is quite effective at killing gophers, but there are serious concerns surrounding its use. The poisons that are effective against gophers could also be harmful to children, pets or livestock. If you can be certain that none of these will be in danger of ingesting the poison, it may still be a good solution, provided you have some way to dispose of the dead gophers.

Fence Gophers Out 

Fencing is a very effective tool for keeping gophers out of your yard.  What kind of wire mesh do you need? To keep the gophers out, choose wire mesh fencing with no more than ½-inch openings. Gophers are burrowing animals, so the fence should extend at least 18 inches below the surface. Because it will be highly susceptible to corrosion, choose galvanized steel or vinyl coated fence wire. If your yard is already populated by gophers, you will need to use one of the other methods to get rid of the gophers once you install the fence; otherwise, you could end up with a gopher sanctuary.

A Safe Haven

No matter what solution you choose, keeping gophers out will make your property a safer place that is better looking or more productive. It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a healthy yard; do not let gophers ruin your hard work. Choose the solution that works for you and get rid of these uninvited guests before they ruin the party.


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Topics: gopher fence, vinyl coated wire, galvanized, 1/2" mesh

Gopher vs. Fence Materials - What Is The Best Defense?

March 16, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman

Gopher in hole with Bill Murray from film Caddyshack

The Battle with the Wee Beasties

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 land, 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.

gopher pest control

Fighting Gophers, Corrosion, and Rust

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 provide 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” x 1/2” 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

Another option to help keep the gophers out is the installation of perimeter fencing.  The fence should have small openings and the bottom of the fence should be buried 2’ to 3’ deep with at least 6" to 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.

To Conclude

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!

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc.


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Topics: gopher fence, stainless steel, galvanized after, vinyl coated, 1/2x1/2

Gophers & Gopher Wire

March 3, 2011 | by Duncan Page


Hungry, determined, and not so funny

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
  • vegetables                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Tunnels and Gnawing
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.
Drawing the Line

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.

Hardware Cloth

A good mesh to use as gopher wire is 1/2" x 1/2" 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.

Easy to work with: 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


Duncan Page signature Duncan Page picture

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Topics: hardware cloth, woven wire, welded wire, gopher fence

Gopher Deterrent - Galvanized & Vinyl Coated Hardware Cloth

December 10, 2010 | by Duncan Page

gopher deterrent barrier

Allow us to ask--

  • Does the damage caused by gophers cost you money?
  • Are you tired of gophers destroying your lawn, garden and flower beds?
  • Have you been looking for a gopher deterrent to solve the problem?

Outfox them 

An effective way to eliminate damage and destruction of your lawn, garden, and planted areas is to lay down wire mesh under the soil. This will form an impenetrable barrier, preventing gophers from digging their way to the surface, forcing them to stay underground outside of protected areas.

19 Gauge Hardware Cloth

One type of mesh ideal for this purpose is 19 gauge hardware cloth with a 1/2" x 1/2" square mesh. This galvanized after weld mesh will last for several years underground. The zinc coating resists rust and corrosion. It is available in 24", 36", 48", 60" and 72" widths. Roll lengths are 50' and 100' except for the 60" and 72" sizes which are only available in 100' rolls. The wider widths work well when you need to cover a large area like a lawn.

Long-lasting Black Vinyl Coated Mesh

If you want a product that will last even longer, use wire that is black vinyl coated. The same mesh is available in all widths in 100' rolls. Vinyl coating over the galvanized mesh gives significant additional protection against rust and corrosion.

Here's one man's battle and his final answer:


Have you tried other methods of gopher exclusion? Do they work?gopher

What other types of gopher deterrents do you find effective?  

Duncan Page signature Duncan Page picture

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Topics: hardware cloth, gopher fence, black vinyl coated

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