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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Evaluation of Potential Repellents for Botta's Pocket Gopher


Pocket gophers are fossorial rodents that cause substantial damage to crops, reforestation, and property. We tested potential repellents to identify candidates to reduce irrigation tubing damage. We dipped carrot chunks in the test materials, using mineral oil as the solvent. Gophers prefer tuberous roots and, when kept in captivity, are often fed carrots as part of their maintenance diet. None of the materials tested proved effective as repellents, even at concentrations as high as 20% active ingredient or in combinations. Wood blocks soaked in a few of the repellents received nearly significantly less damage than the control blocks and could be looked at further as repellents. However, it appears that the quest for an effective gopher repellent will continue to elude researchers.

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