Extermination Atascadero


Residential and commercial property owners in Atascadero, CA share a common problem – gophers and moles.  These rodents dig up the landscaping upsetting those attempting to get rid of them.  Since you are reading this, you are struggling with this issue too and are in need of mole or gopher extermination Atascadero.


You need to start by finding out what animal is destroying your landscape.  Look at the pictures below to compare to the yard to try to identify which pest you have: Gopher or Mole.

Gopher mound

Gopher Mound

Mole Tunnel

Mole Tunneling









Gopher extermination Atascadero, CA


Gopher Control


Gophers are small animals who burrow under the soil consuming vegetation.  Although Atascadero residences rarely spot one, there is evidence of their presence if you know what to look for.  Common evidence of gophers are mounds of soil they push above ground.  These horseshoe shaped mounds are the end result of building their digging and requiring a place to dispose of the dug out soil. Gophers, also known as pocket gophers, damage the yard.  They consume grass, flowers, plants, vegetables and roots from trees and bushes.  A small flower can be taken down from underground and into its food storage.  Gophers collect food in these food stockpiles to eat at a later time.  They also take vegetation down to their burrow to use as bedding. They also have a bathroom area and drainage for when water enters the burrow system.


The nest is connected with a tunnel network that in some cases can be hundreds of feet.  These tunnels are usually roughly six” below ground level.  When the gopher builds the network it must move the material it is excavating.  Those become the dirt piles seen above ground. The dirt mounds are normally kidney bean shaped.  The gopher comes out of its hole from a 45 deg angle. It will cut a hole to the surface and force material through the hole.  The material is pushed out in only one direction which creates a flat side on the side the hole is on. To remove gophers from your yard you should weigh different options.


The 3 usual ways for a person to get rid of gophers are:


Hire a gopher extermination specialist

Many of us hire a landscaper, a house cleaner and a plumber to unclog the pipes.  These are things we can accomplish if we choose, but, we choose not to.  Some homeowners will see this is a better option for gopher extermination.  When hiring a company it is highly recommended to locate a pest control company that specializes in gopher extermination.  Reason is many pest control companies list gophers as part of the twenty others on their list.  Gopher extermination is different than bug or mice extermination and are much more difficult to get rid of.  In some states it needs a separate license than the “bug guy”.  Look for online reviews; get a feel for whether their internet site gives you a good feeling.

Gopher Poison

Gopher bait can be an effective method.  Baits for non-licensed people are limited in its effectiveness.  From all the poisons available, strychnine gives the most consistent control.  This bait usually can only be bought at 0.50% strength which is a lot lower than the 1.8% licensed pros have.  You need to be cautious around your pets.  The bait needs to be put into the tunnel and the light blocked from the tunnel opening.  Make sure the dirt does not cover the bait.  You will want to make a placement of bait every 10 sq. ft. or so, with a minimum of 3 placements 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 person traps will be the most effective and pet friendly option.

Gopher Trapping

Gopher trapping is the most effective and surefire way to get rid of gophers.  There are two basic ways to set 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 inside of.  Keep the hole open and stake the trap down.  Leaving the hole open will draw the gopher into the trap – no bait required.  Make sure the trigger (part the gophers hits with its head to set off trap) is further than 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 opening 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 burrow, keep the hole uncovered to attract the gophers to them.  Gophers are normally caught by the following day.  This is safe for the dogs and there are no questions if you got it.  This is our suggested method if you are attempting to do your own gopher extermination.

Mole extermination


Mole Control


Moles are part of the shrew family and their habits are much different from gophers.  Moles consume insects like slugs, worms and grubs.  They are less damaging than gophers but trickier to eradicate.   They create shallow tunnels in the ground where they eat from.  As they dig they are in search of worms and grubs.  Moles will return to these tunnels searching for grubs and worms trapped in their tunnel.

When laying down applications for moles, these are the tunnels where to focus on.  Moles also create tunnels in Atascadero which are mole’s main runs and where the nest is located.  Unlike the shallow tunnels, these tunnels cannot be observed from above ground.  When the deep tunnels are initially made the mole will push mounds above ground.  A mole mound looks different than a gopher mound.  The gopher mound is fan 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 caused from moles coming out of the hole at 90 degrees and dig out dirt as they go.  This makes the dirt to fall on all sides of them as they come to the surface.


The three most common ways for a person to get rid of moles are:

Hire a mole extermination specialist

Similar to gophers, sometimes getting a company to do it for us is the best option.  While attempting to get rid of mole is possible for a homeowner, the learning curve can be quite long.  Moles are much harder to get rid of than gophers or other rodents.  Their tunnel system is very extensive and some sections of the tunnels are re-traveled while others are never crawled through a second time.  When researching a mole specialist you want to make sure of one thing – someone, or a company, who only does a few pests like gophers and moles.  If they list termites, rats, bedbugs, and so on, they obviously do not specialize in gophers and moles.  We recommend not hiring 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 promote they also “specialize” in termites or rat extermination, stay away  - these targets to take care of.


Mole Poison

Mole poison sometimes is successful, some times it is not.  When it works it works and when it does not, the mole is not going to eat it regardless of how much poison you apply.  No matter whatwhich poison is used, proper placement is critical to control moles.  It is simple to find the best tunnel to poison.  For one, tunnels that are straight are more likely to be re-crawled.   Curvy tunnels are less likely revisited.  With you foot, press down on a few areas of tunnel so if the mole crawls through it again, it will lift the dirt back up.  Mark where you depress so you can locate the new raised up soil.

Look later in the afternoon, or the next day, for new raised dirt.  Where the dirt is raised is the tunnel to focus your application.  Carefully open the tunnel with your finger.  If using bait that requires you to use your hands, you should use gloves to keep your smell off the bait.  Place the poison into the hole you made and carefully cover the hole shut to block the light.  After a few days, press all the tunnels down in the landscape.  If any tunnels come back up, repeat the application.  Some moles may not consume the bait.  In these cases, switch to traps.

Mole Trapping

Moles are the hardest of the yard animals to trap.  Several trap types are for sale.  All of them work but some are better than others for different situations.  The plunger trap is the simplest to set.  Identify a straight tunnel and depress a small portion of the tunnel forcing the mole to push it back up when re-visiting the tunnel.  Place the trap so the spikes are 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 releasing the spikes.


The most universal mole trap is the Victor Out-of-Sight.  It can be placed in most any situation.  Again, a straight run should be located.  Cut a plug out of the tunnel the exact width of the trap.  Dig deep enough so the “V” of trap can sit right above the tunnel opening.  If you have the trap set too high, you will pinch the mole and it will get away.  If you get the mole high up in the trap, it is trapped and killed instantly.  Build a small compacted heap of dirt under the trigger so the mole is forced to tunnel through to pass.  When the dirt is pushed up it will set off the trigger and set off the scissor.  We suggest your set the trap off a few times to ensure it does not get caught on on roots or rocks.


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