I thought I was over it a year ago. Gophers destroyed our lawn as well as our neighbors with tunnels moving 4 houses away. How did I know this? My first line of defense was the gopher bomb which is basically a large smoke bomb that you light and stick down the hole. Smoke started coming out of the grown four houses away in both directions.
We tried to be nice and use all the other ethical humane ways to get rid of them, but the holes kept coming back and back again. They even started to show up in our backyard that a smoke bomb verified that they were so intrenched that they had actually dug under the houses foundation to our back yard over 40 feet away.
None of it worked. So it was time to go all medieval on them because we had lost half our lawn to them. Most of the pellets never worked and I finally had to resort to seeds that had a cyanide coating on them. These would suggested by one of the several hardware stores who felt my pain and warned me to make sure that they went into the hole and nothing was left out because you didn’t want to start poisoning cats and dogs in the neighborhood. I even asked my dog owning friends if they had any gopher chasers, but that was to no effect.
After a couple of weeks of watching the gophers poke their heads at me from the holes they finally disappeared. I don’t know if it worked or not, but now we had what was our lawn back. We had some extra money and decided to try and reseed the lawn with some patch restoring stuff from Home Depot. I was skeptical because I had used it before and nothing worked. This time it did and what grew back was wonderful. It looked better than the sod that we had installed many years ago that’s gone over to mostly more weeds than grass due to our neighbor who rents his house out and doesn’t give a damn about his lawn and maybe come once every six months to trim the weeds down.
Now the gophers are back or at least one gopher because the damage is not as bad as before as you can see from the picture. Just to give you a little bit of history to go with this, when these homes were built there were two strips of green either side of the walkway into the house. By law you were required to have these areas planted and keep up in a nice neat fashion. This was why Dads would be out mowing the lawns on Sundays and then drinking themselves silly after they finished. That was how the old boys club worked in the Sunset district.
With the water shortage in the 70’s the city lifted several laws to conserve water and several people ripped out their lawns and put in concrete or the even more hideous white dolomite rock. Our neighbor on the corner, Mr. John Mass had the lawn on the block that he was the proudest of. He would manicure that like a golf course and never was a gopher seen on his lawn. Dogs would not even pee or poop on his lawn there was just something magical about how perfect it was. I always wanted a lawn like that.
Now I have the gophers again and I’m thinking of starting to douse the lawn with lots of weed and feed and just kill off as many weeds as possible and hopefully the gophers will go away before I have to get medieval on my end again. Then I’ll find a way to get an even larger bag of that seed mix and start all over again. If any of you out there have some sure fire remedies for getting rid of the gophers let me know [no I will not stand out there and pee down the hole as someone once suggested to me.] I’m willing to try ethical treatments as well as long as you can find one that works.