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Need help on varmint ID!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by boo, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Hoffmm1

    Hoffmm1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Moles dig just below the surface looking for grubs and worms. Because they are just below the surface they usually make a hump above the surface that you can see just where they have been. Gophers on the other hand are vegetarians and eat plant roots. They never have runs just under the surface. Did you dig down to see where the hole led to?
    Pocket gophers usually dig at night or early morning. They also never leave the hole open. If you dig it open, come back the next day and it will be closed. If you trap one or more from that family of holes(mounds) and then leave the hole open, if there are any more gophers down there, they will close the hole, guaranteed.
    Moles don't make mounds per se. They occasionally will push dirt up as they are making their way just under the surface. And it will look more lumpy. The gophers mound will be fine, like pulverized dirt, and usually much larger than the moles.
  2. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Great info Hoffmmn1!

    You described what I have to perfection. I dug down and found a tee just as you said.

    Do you have any recommendations on types of traps to use?

    Thanks again.
  3. Hoffmm1

    Hoffmm1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I use one called "Death Clutch" that works pretty good. If it catches em, it kills em. The "flat trap" or "pan" trap as it is somethimes called will sometimes only catch them by the foot and then you have to finish the job with a stake or club. You can find traps at ranch and farm stores. Around here we have "Fleet Farm" stores that carry them. Also, try the local hardware store.

    p. s. Also, there is usually a small bounty on them from the local township or city.
    That's where I made my money as a kid.
    Good luck
  4. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

  5. Reubens888

    Reubens888 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey, great info guys...I've got a similar problem in my yard. I've found a couple holes where the soil is tossed out into the yard - with an open hole. There are other holes that have no extra soil around them. I've got about 6-8 of them in a 20x150 foot area. The weird thing is that they have above ground runs between the holes, which is trampling my grass. I've tried drowning them, but since there are so many holes, its like playing a guessing game. For all I know, they could be over in my neighbors yard at that time. What times are they usually active (so I can see where they go) and what time do they usually turn in for the night (so I can catch them)?

    Thanks for the help!
  6. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    It sounds like you have something a little different than pocket gophers. Pocket gophers don't leave open holes. From an earlier post in this thread it sounds like maybe you have ground squirrels. It also could be some other type of gopher that leaves exposed holes - but I'm just a rookie here, so someone else may have some good info.
  7. boo

    boo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    For completeness to this thread, I'm posting a follow-up (and hopefully a conclusion) to this story.

    Based on help in this thread as well as a little research on the web, I concluded that it was a pocket gopher giving me the trouble. I went to my local farm and garden store and purchased a "death klutch" trap, found the most fresh mound in the yard, dug out the hole, set the trap about 12" deep in the hole, and left the hole open/uncovered.

    Early the next morning I checked the trap and, with a little surprise, found I had successfully trapped my first gopher - it seemed a little too easy.

    Right about the time I was feeling terribly proud of myself, I looked out the window only to notice dirt flying around another area of the yard...I had another gopher!

    To make a long story short, this one proved more elusive than the 1st, but I finally got him today. Hopefully he is the last. The trap I used worked very well and was pretty inexpensive. Thanks again to all that helped.
  8. wvbill

    wvbill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17


    It sounds like you may have the same thing I did last year: Voles .
    I managed to get rid of them by dropping little blocks of rat/mouse poison (Warfarin) down their holes. They were gone in a few days.

    They must have had quite a city down there 'cause this spring an area about 4 feet by 8 feet "sank" a bit where I'd discovered their runs.

    Best of luck.

  9. Arnold

    Arnold LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 194

    Those are not moles they are pocket gophers the best way to find out is to buy a trap, catch one and see if it has pockets in its cheeks. There will be no exposed holes because they rome at night and they can barely see during the day. I buy all my traps from the local Ace Hardware. Buy the ones that have the flapper on them so when they try to plug the hole they get caught in the trap. This will elliminate needing to dig down to the runways. These traps are so easy to use my 5 year old daughter sets them on the golf course all the time. If you need the name of the traps just ask.

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