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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Control of pocket gophers


Pocket gopher biology, behavior, damage, and control are discussed extensively in this paper, with emphasis on Thomomys spp. found in California and elsewhere in the western states. Habitat modification by use of herbicides to reduce forbs, which are preferred by gophers, has been demonstrated to be effective on Forest Service rangelands. Limitations of burrow flooding or burrow fumigation are discussed. Exclusion techniques are described as most useful in home and garden situations. Gopher control is most effectively done by poisoning and/or trapping, both of which are discussed in detail, as are types of traps commonly used. Effective poisons are Compound 1080 and strychnine, if correctly formulated and applied. The recently developed mechanical gopher bait applicator implement, the burrow-builder, is discussed. Pertinent references are provided.

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