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May 25, 2009 11:52 PM

Hairballs that kill

We have lost large trees ( redbud and orange) roses, azaleas, artichokes,herbs, all kinds of flowers. The neighbors have lost grass, roses, tomatoes, you name it. The gophers have taken our hill. Our yards are like a springy sponge. That is not a good thing.

Any ideas of how to kill these hairballs? One neighbor suggested dry ice. You put it down the hole and it sucks the oxygen out. Or so a magazine said. Any one tried that?

We have all spent hundreds of dollars replacing plants and trees. And yes as we replace the plants they are wrapped in hardware cloth. Help!

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  1. A couple years ago we had some problems with moles and got some of those battery powered sonic posts. They seemed to keep the moles and some of the other pests away. Don't know if they would work for gophers.

    1. We had a couple of those sonic posts... all they did was drive gophers to other parts of the yard. We've tried smoke bombs, those pellets and powders that are supposed to repel gophers, I stuck dog fur and/or poop down the holes, and had a professional pest company out five times in a row to "professionally" gas the holes. Nothing worked. I actually saw a tomato plant disappear into the ground as I was standing there.

      When we talked to Orkin about termite protection, we asked about gophers and they said they do a two-phase treatment where they drive the gophers away from your yard and they soak a castor oil-mixture of gunk into the perimeter of your yard to keep gophers from digging back in.

      Because we only had 2 gophers, we ended up digging holes along the tunnels to find the main burrow, then set manual traps in all the connected tunnels from there. We managed to catch 2 gophers, then a few months later another one that probably moved into the empty burrow.

      Good luck! I'm thinking if you have so many gophers and tunnels on your property, smoking them out or using dry ice or anything that's supposed to make the tunnels inhabitable won't work. There's just too much air space underground and the gophers will just retreat until the threat is gone.

      1. We've done the Bazooka (bubble gum, not guns) down the hole remedy for years, and it seems to work really well believe it or not. Supposedly clogs up their insides and they die. Our yard is now firm while all the neighbors are mushy, the texture reminds me of the 1950s movie, Invaders from Mars. Now we can call it, Hairballs from Mars!

        1. I was talking to my nursery lady last week. Here is what she did. It chased them away, but did not kill. So...

          She has a terrier mix. She gathered shedded hair while wearing gloves and stored it in a ziplock. Then when she got enough hair she used gloves and shoved the hair into the holes. She said it made them leave her property. Her neighbors called the exterminator. I think they gassed their hole. A lady who lives in mole country said she lines her beds and trees - as a perimeter with fine chicken wire. I bet that works, but how pesty. My sympathies.