MACABEE GOPHER TRAP
This is the
"Most Reliable" gopher trap on the market. When properly set, they
have been found to catch 18 out of 20 gophers. The U.S. Dept. of
Agriculture uses the Macabee throughout the country as they've found
it to be a highly effective trap.
$7.95 per trap
Biodegradable, Chemical Free, Non-Lethal,
4 oz. Bottle $5.95
4-6 applications per
bottle. Squirt Gopher Getter Bait into the
before inserting the trap.
The smell helps to bring in the
gopher's to your trap!
Pocket Gopher Control
Pocket gophers are harmful in
cultivated areas. They are particularly destructive in alfalfa
fields, where they consume vegetation and their mounds hinder
crop harvesting. Root crops and gardens also suffer from their
On the positive side, pocket
gophers can be important soil forming agents, aiding in water
conservation and soil aeration. In overgrazed pastures they
feed on the larger roots of weeds, hastening the return of
grasses, (if overgrazing is controlled).
Control is most
effective in the spring when green surface vegetation starts
to grow. Although, trapping is recommended for control in the
fall when gophers are most active bringing soil up to the
surface. Fumigation has very limited effectiveness against
The most successful types of
traps are the Black Hole Trap, Macabee and the box type with
choker loop. Traps, quick and positive when properly used,
Locate newest mound in area.
Probe to locate main runway. It will be about 15 to 18
inches (38 - 46 cm) away from the mound on the same side as
Dig down to main run and remove soil so that traps can
be placed far back in the tunnel.
Attach a wire to each trap and fasten other end to a
metal stake to serve as an anchor.
Set and place two traps, one in each direction. Place
trigger away from excavation.
Partially cover openings as the gopher will
instinctively close all open burrows. Avoid letting in too
much light as the gopher may push a plug of dirt ahead of it
setting off trap.
each trap setting morning and evening for best results.
Gopher Control Techniques and
Gopher control can be approached very
specifically. For our purposes here were going
to lump gophers, ground squirrels and meadow mice or voles into one
big problem rodent category.
All three rodents damage grapes by
chewing on them. New plantings and established vines are
susceptible to both root damage and girdling. In addition to plant
damage, these rodents will also move enough dirt to redirect water
away from vines and literally into a hole in the ground. Ground
squirrels specifically will chew drip lines and damage emitters. I
have observed squirrels chewing things for no other reason than the
fact that they are there.
Control of these pests
is broken into three fairly broad categories: biological, chemical
and trapping (as discussed above).
includes habitat management and the encouragement of predators to
inhabit the vineyard. Habitat management is weed control. If you
have a good weed control program you will have fewer places for
rodents to hide and feed unnoticed. In addition, flood irrigation
may be used to discourage rodent populations from becoming
Biological control of rodents is a hot topic for one reason right
now. While choice of cover crop, weed control, irrigation
practices, and discing are all effective rodent control
considerations, Barn Owls definitely are in the spotlight for
Barn Owls eat gophers. Barn Owls eat
gophers that live in vineyards. Barn Owls are fun to watch and you
may learn lots of things you probably wouldn’t have known
otherwise. Barn Owls will not control your gopher problem. I think
that Barn Owl nest boxes are a great thing to have in a vineyard
because you will have a few more gophers eaten than if you don’t
have owls around at all. In addition, it is nice to know that
someone or something else is helping you with the rodent control
Having said all that, think about the
term “biological control” a minute. The idea is not complete
eradication, but instead a management practice. This is often
overlooked when it comes to expectations from this type of control.
If gophers, mice or rats are creating a problem, owl nest boxes can
help. Owl Boxes are designed in two styles. The horizontal box or
"barn box" design and the vertical box which represents a tree
cavity. Both contain a unique entrance that is designed to admit the
owls but exclude larger predators that may pose a threat to the owls
or their young. Shipped fully assembled and ready to mount. They are
pre-drilled for easy hanging and contain trap doors to make cleaning
trouble free. $5.00 from the sale of each box goes to continued Barn
Owl Box - Horizontal
Call for pricing on this
Chemical control is the next broad
category to cover. Both ground squirrels and gophers can be
controlled with smoke cartridges or Aluminum Phosphide. The latter
is a restricted use product.
Most of these products are available in
different formulations. The less toxic formulations are available
to the general public and the more toxic (read effective)
formulations are only available to licensed applicators after a
recommendation has been made by a pest control advisor (PCA).
It is usually worth the time and money
to have a professional come out and begin a rodent control program
for you. You don’t have to stick with them forever, but you can
learn a lot from them and all of it will benefit the vineyard. The
most common mistake made in a rodent control program is looking for
results too quickly. Ground squirrels, gophers and meadow mice live
under ground. A glance or even a walk through the vineyard does not
easily measure their activity level or population fluctuations.
Time, effort and patience are rewarded with fewer holes in the
ground and less damage to vines.