Rodents Family Blog Image


Gophers can be a nuisance in your garden or yard, causing damage to plants and creating unsightly mounds. If you’re dealing with a gopher problem, trapping and catching them is an effective solution. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of trapping and catching a gopher successfully.

Finding the Gopher

Step 1: Locating a Fresh Gopher Mound

The first step in trapping a gopher is to locate a fresh gopher mound. Look for freshly turned soil or raised dirt piles in your yard. Gophers are known for their distinctive cone-shaped mounds, which are caused by the gopher excavating tunnels below the ground.

Patience and observation are key here. Keep an eye out for new mounds and mark their locations for further action.

Determining the Tunnels

Step 2: Identifying the Tunnel or Tunnels

Once you’ve located a fresh gopher mound, the next step is to determine which tunnel or tunnels the gopher is actively using. There are usually multiple tunnels in a gopher’s network, so it’s important to choose the right one to set your trap.

An effective method to identify active tunnels is by using a probe or a metal rod. Gently insert it into the soil near the mound and feel for resistance or a hollow area. This will indicate an active tunnel.

Repeat this process near other mounds if you suspect multiple active tunnels.

Step 3: Digging Hole and Uncovering Tunnels

Once you’ve identified the active tunnel, dig a hole nearby to expose the tunnel. This will allow you to set the trap directly in the path of the gopher.

Use a small shovel or garden trowel to carefully remove the soil and uncover the tunnel. Be cautious not to collapse the tunnel while digging.

Trapping Methods

Step 4: Choosing the Right Gopher Trap

Choosing the right gopher trap is crucial for successful trapping. There are several types of traps available, but the two most common options are wire traps and box traps.

Wire Traps

Wire traps are designed to capture the gopher when it attempts to pass through the tunnel. They consist of a spring-loaded mechanism that triggers when the gopher pushes against it.

When selecting a wire trap, ensure it is the appropriate size for gophers and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting and placement.

Box Traps

Box traps are another effective option for catching gophers. They consist of a box-like structure with an entrance and a trigger mechanism inside.

To use a box trap, place it carefully in the uncovered tunnel, ensuring the entrance is aligned with the tunnel opening. The trigger mechanism should be set to be sensitive enough to spring the trap when the gopher enters the box.

Two Traps Are Better than One

Using multiple traps in different tunnels or even combining wire and box traps can increase your chances of catching a gopher. It’s important to cover all the active tunnels and increase your trapping efficiency.

Setting and Securing the Trap

Step 5: Setting the Gopher Trap

Whether you’re using a wire or box trap, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting and arming the trap. Ensure it is secure and ready to capture the gopher.

Step 6: Securing and Covering the Trap

To prevent other animals from interfering with the trap or alerting the gopher to its presence, it’s important to secure and cover the trap. You can use rocks, boards, or any other sturdy material to ensure the trap remains undisturbed.

Carefully backfill the hole and cover it with soil, leaving the entrance to the trap clear.

Removing the Trapped Gopher

Step 7: Safely Removing the Trapped Gopher

Once you’ve successfully trapped a gopher, it’s important to handle the situation carefully and safely. Use gloves to avoid direct contact with the gopher and gently remove it from the trap.

Release the gopher far away from your property or consider humanely euthanizing it as per local regulations or ethical considerations.

Additional Tips for Gopher Trapping

Pro-Tip: Use Clean Gloves for Digging and Setting Traps

When digging holes and setting traps, it’s recommended to wear clean gloves. This helps prevent introducing foreign scents that could potentially alert gophers to the presence of traps.

Pro-Tip: Cleaning and Maintaining Traps

To ensure the effectiveness of your traps, regularly clean and maintain them. Remove any dirt or debris from the traps and ensure they are in good working condition.

Additionally, check the traps frequently to increase your chances of catching a gopher as soon as possible.


Overall – Trapping and Catching a Gopher

Trapping and catching a gopher can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll increase your chances of successfully trapping and removing gophers from your property. Remember to handle trapped gophers with care and consider humane methods of disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do if I catch a gopher?


If you catch a gopher, it’s important to handle the situation carefully. Wear gloves and gently remove the gopher from the trap. Release it far away from your property or consider following local regulations or ethical considerations regarding humane euthanization.

Q: How often should I check the traps?


It’s essential to check the traps frequently, ideally every 24 hours or even more frequently if possible. Regularly monitoring the traps increases your chances of catching a gopher as soon as it’s trapped.

Q: Are there any other methods to remove gophers?


Trapping is one of the most effective methods for removing gophers. However, there are alternative methods like using repellents or hiring professional pest control services. Consider your specific situation and consult with local experts for the best approach.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *