Lawns, Gophers & Moles
- by Terry
A few gophers can tear up a nice lawn in short order. Even if you’re a complete animal lover, you won’t want the gophers in your yard. After they destroy Gardeners Gold Coast your lawn they’ll start eating the roots and killing your roses, fruit trees, any attempt at a vegetable garden, the bulbs you plant and so forth. Gophers and gardening don’t go together at all! The gophers got to go.
I have had many run ins with gophers in my years of gardening and I’ve always been successful in getting them out of the lawn and garden. I don’t like killing them or any animals for that matter, but with gophers, they usually don’t give you much choice.
Resist the urge to use gopher or mole poisons. The poisons only work so-so, and the poisoned rodents may easily be eaten by an owl, snake, cat, or fox, and then they’ll die too. If the predators are killed off the rodent population, unchecked, will quickly explode in number.
If you’re out in the country one of the best ways to get rid of both gophers and moles is to put up nesting boxes for barn owls. These big nesting boxes are generally perched on the top of 11 to 20-foot tall poles. The boxes and their poles are placed away from the house but not too far from the lawns and yards. A nesting family of barn owls will eat thousands of rodents each season, and they are very good at catching gophers and moles. If you live in an area where palm trees grow, and you do not trim off the dead branches that accumulate below the crown, sooner or later a barn owl will move in and set up home. Take advantage of this and leave a palm tree unsheared. The incredible number of rats, mice, moles, ground squirrels, and gophers they’ll kill and eat is quite incredible. I now see in many orchards and vineyards, where they have put up these owl boxes. The owls are saving the farmers a lot of money.
Nesting boxes for barn owls are usually made from plywood and the roofs are slanted so water will run off. Sometimes the roofs are shingled too. A nesting box for barn owls should be a minimum of 12 x 12 inches for the floor and at least 16 inches deep.
The box should have small drain holes placed in the floor, in the corners.
Small holes should be drilled around the top of the box on each side for air circulation.
It is best to build the box so that it can be cleaned out easily once a year when the owls are gone.
The box should have only one opening and this must be at least 3 ½ inches in diameter but not more than 5 inches wide. Too large an entrance hole will let great horned owls in and they’ll eat up the barn owls. Horned owls eat rodents too, but are not nearly as tough on rodents as the smaller barn owls.
A few gophers can tear up a nice lawn in short order. Even if you’re a complete animal lover, you won’t want the gophers in your yard. After they destroy Gardeners Gold Coast your lawn they’ll start eating the roots and killing your roses, fruit trees, any attempt at a vegetable garden, the bulbs you plant…