The attempts to annihilate gophers in agricultural fields and gardens reveal how resilient life can be. Gophers are industrious and fertile. These pesky subterranean rodents love to eat the roots of wild and domesticated plants alike. They must tunnel no matter what they eat in order to survive. A typical gopher's teeth grow 15 inches per year. If the they didn't burrow around, a gopher's teeth would grow into a long curve which would impale the base of their own skull.
They are as reticent at being killed as they are reluctant to tunnel. A farmer might put poison bait in the soil, in fake gopher tunnels made by a tractor-draw implement, over a 20-acre area. Yet this will only protect the center of the field for approximately two years. By then, the offspring of the gophers around the edge will have migrated into the "free" area. Gardeners face a more difficult problem. Gophers are territorial. They make plenty of babies (up to seven in each “brood”) who must stake out their own turf. Even extensive trapping, the Macabee trap is my favorite, is often compromised.
Only religious, consistent trapping (especially in the Spring when the young are trying to establish their new territory), is a possible solution. Trapping in your neighbors’ yards can help the invasion from the edges. Kill more gophers!
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