Residential and commercial property owners in Shingletown, CA share a common problem – gophers and moles. The animals dig up the landscape and frustrate those attempting to remove them. Since you are reading this, you are having problems with your landscaping and are in need of mole or gopher control Shingletown.
First you need to determine what pest is digging in your landscape. Look at the photos below to compare to the yard to help identify what animal you have: Gopher or Mole.
Gopher control Shingletown, CA
Gophers are rat-size rodents who dig under the dirt consuming vegetation. Although Shingletown residences rarely notice one above ground there is evidence of their presence if you know what to look for. Common evidence of gophers are mounds of dirt they push above ground. These fan shaped mounds are the end result of building their tunneling and needing a place to put the dug out earth. Gophers, also known as pocket gophers, are very destructive to the landscape. They eat lawns, plants, flowers, gardens and roots from trees and bushes. A plant can be yanked down from below and into its food storage. Gophers store food in these food caches to consume at a later time. They also take vegetation down to their nest to be used as nesting material. Gophers also have a bathroom area and drainage for when water enters the burrow system.
This burrow is connected with a tunnel system that often is hundreds of feet. The tunnels are normally about 6 inches below ground level. When the gopher is creating the tunnels it must do something with the dirt it is digging out. Those are the dirt mounds seen above ground. The dirt mounds are usually horseshoe shaped. The gopher exits its hole from a forty-five deg angle. It will cut a hole to the top and push soil out the hole. The material is forced out in only one direction creating a fan shaped mound. To exterminate gophers out of your garden you need to weigh different options.
The 3 normal methods for a person to get rid of gophers are:
Hire a gopher control specialist
We hire a gardener, someone to clean the house and a plumber to fix the plumbing. These are tasks we can accomplish if we choose. For many it is a great option for gopher control. When hiring a company it is highly recommended to locate a pest control company who specializes on gopher control. Reason is lots of pest control companies show gophers as part of the 35 other pests on their site. Gopher control is different than bug or mice extermination and are much more difficult to control. Some States it needs a separate license than the “bug guy”. Look for online reviews; see if their internet site gives you a good feeling.
Gopher bait is a good option. Baits for unlicensed individuals are limited in its effectiveness. From all the baits for sale, strychnine is the most effective. This bait normally can only be purchased at 0.50% strength which is a lot lower than the 1.8% licensed pros use. You need to be cautious with any dogs. The poison needs to be placed into the tunnel and covered up. Make sure the dirt does not cover the bait. You will want to make a placement of poison every 10 sq. ft. or so, with a minimum of 3 spots if just one gopher. If you have pets with access to the treatment area it is highly recommended to use more pet friendly methods. For the average homeowner traps will be the most effective and pet friendly option.
Gopher trapping is the most effective and surefire way to get rid of gophers. There are two basic ways to place traps inside the tunnels. One is down the hole of the mound and the other is in the middle of a tunnel with a trap going in both directions. When trapping down a mound simply open the hole the gopher originally came out of to make the mound. This is found on the flat side of the mound in the middle. You can usually make out a round plug that can be opened and place trap through. Keep the hole open and anchor the trap down. Leaving the hole open will attract the gopher into the trap – no bait required. Make sure the trigger (part the gophers hits with its head to set off trap) is passed the opening of the tunnel. If you do not have it in far enough, the gopher will bury your trap. If no mound exists or you cannot find the hole you can also dig a small hole in the middle of the tunnel. Because gopher traps are not bi-directional, one trap must be placed in each direction it travels. Again, when setting the traps in the tunnel, keep the hole open to draw the gophers to them. Gophers are normally trapped overnight. This is safe for our pets and you know if you caught it or not. This is our recommended method if you are to attempt your own gopher control.
Moles are in the shrew family and their diets are quite different from gophers. Moles consume insects like grubs, slugs and worms. They are not as damaging than gophers but more difficult to get rid of. They make tunnels in the soil in which they hunt for food. As they tunnel they are looking for food. Moles will come back to these tunnels in search of insects and other food caught in the tunnels.
When performing applications for moles, these tunnels are where the efforts are concentrated. Moles also make deeper tunnels in Shingletown which are the main runs and where the nest is located. Different from the surface tunnels, these tunnels cannot be seen from the surface. When the deep tunnels are initially created the mole will push mounds above ground. A mole mound is different from a gopher mound. The gopher mound is kidney bean shaped with the tunnel opening on the flat side. A mole mound is cone shaped with the hole in the middle of the round mound. This is made because of moles coming out of the ground straight up and dig out dirt as they go. This makes the material to fall on all sides of them as they exit.
The 3 most common ways for a homeowner to get rid of moles are:
Hire a mole control specialist
Similar to gophers, sometimes paying someone to do it for us is the better way. While attempting to get rid of mole is possible for an amateur, the learning curve can be quite long. Moles are more difficult to eradicate than gophers or even most yard pests. Their tunnel system is very long and some sections of the tunnels are reused while others are never traveled a second time. When researching a mole specialist you want to find one thing – someone, or a company, who only does a few pests like gophers and moles. If they list all kinds of bugs, rats, pantry pests, and so on, they obviously do not specialize in gophers and moles. Be leery of these companies. The common pests that a specialist in this field would do are gopher, moles, squirrels, prairie dogs and live animal trapping. If they suggest they also “specialize” in termites or rat extermination, stay away - these pests to eradicate.
Mole poison will work while other times it don’t. When the bait does not work the mole is not going to eat it no matter how much bait you give it. Whatever poison is attempted, proper placement is important to have a chance of controlling moles. It is basic to determine the optimal tunnel to poison. For one, straight tunnels are most likely to be re-traveled. Curvy tunnels are not commonly revisited. With you shoe, press down on a few areas of tunnel so if the mole crawls through it again, the mole will push the soil back up. Indicate where you push down so you can easily see the new pushed up soil.
Look later that day, or the following day, for new raised soil. Where the dirt is re-pushed up is the tunnel to focus your efforts. Gently open the tunnel with your finger. If applying bait that you have to use your hands, you should use gloves to keep your scent off the poison. Put the bait into the hole you made and gently close the hole shut to block the light. After several days, push all the tunnels down in the yard. If any tunnels come back up, repeat the process. You may get a mole that is not going to eat the bait. When this happens, switching to trapping is the best option.
Trapping moles takes practice. Many different traps are available. All of them work but some are better than others for different situations. The harpoon trap is the simplest to set. Find a straight tunnel and depress a small part of the tunnel forcing the mole to push it back up when re-visiting the tunnel. Place the trap so the spikes goes over the top of the tunnel on both sides, and the trigger is placed on top of the depressed spot on the tunnel you made. When the mole travels through, it raises the tunnel up pushing the trigger up setting off the spikes.
The most useful mole trap is the Victor Out-of-Sight. It can be used in most any situation. Like above, a straight run should be found. Cut a section out of the tunnel the exact width of the trap. Dig the section out deep enough so the “V” of trap can sit just above the tunnel opening. If you have the trap set too high, you will pinch the mole and it will get away. If you catch the mole high up in the trap, it is caught and killed instantly. Make a small compacted heap of dirt under the trigger to force the mole to tunnel through to pass. When the mound is pushed up it will set off the trigger and release the scissor. It is recommended to set off the trap several times to make sure it does not get caught on on roots or rocks.