We are Gopher Control (baiting and trapping) specialists. We service the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul area including the seven county metro. We’re one of very few companies in the state that are licensed to bait gophers commercially.
Minnesota has two species of Gophers, the Plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) which is the larger of the two gophers and covers more area and the northern pocket Gopher (Thomomys talpoides) which is restricted to the west and northwest part of the state. The damage that you would be experiencing in and around the Twin Cities would be caused by the Plains pocket gopher.
Plains pocket gophers, like Moles, are solitary and live under ground, in the safety of their dens and burrows. They have large teeth on both upper and lower jaws that are used for digging and food gathering. Some other characteristics:
- Length of 10- 12 inches
- Weigh up to a pound
- Litter of 1 to 6 pups per year.
- Some areas of southern MN have two to three litters.
Plains pocket gophers occupy many soil types, but have greater success in light textured soil with good plant production. Some habitat characteristics:
- Prefer vegetation with large thick roots, bulbs, or tubers
- Feed on roots they encounter digging
- Strict herbivores (feed on plants only)
- Burrow system consists of main burrow with several branching burrows
- Diameter of burrow is 3”
- Create one to three mounds per day, and as many as 200 per year
- 16 to 20 Moles per acre and live up to seven years
Damage caused by gophers
Gophers can cost land owners in time and money with the damage caused by the burrowing and mounding of soil.
- Damage to residential/commercial landscapes and turf.
- Damage to crops on farm land and Alfalfa fields, reducing crops by 25%
- Gophers burrow system can cause injury to live stock such as cows, pigs and sheep by stepping into mounds or burrows
- Soil erosion to crop land
- Injury to horses on ranches, by once again stepping into a gophers burrow or mound potentially breaking a leg, that could cost an owner ten of thousands in investment.
- Damage to farm equipment and lawn equipment from shock of hitting mounds.
- Fresh mounds smother vegetation creating germination sites for weeds
Baiting is the most economical means of controlling a gopher population, however, in some cases, where it involves high risk as in animals on farms or ranches, trapping may be required, much faster results. Both methods work well though.
Baiting would involve digging down to the main run and placement of bait to each pound that is accessible. Depending on the size of the infestation, or the number of mounds present, may take anywhere from 4, 8 hours or a full day or two to bait. There would be a follow up in three weeks to check the results of the baiting.
The success of both baiting and trapping is entirely dependent on the process in which the bait and traps are applied, using proper technique. Believe it or not, this is an art!
Arguably, trapping is the quickest and surest way to eliminate gophers, but does cost more due to the repeated visits to check and reset traps, every three to four days. As mentioned before though, may be absolutely necessary though given the circumstances. Where there’s live stock involved and the need to remove is immediate, you can’t wait for bait to take effect, which can take a couple weeks, but the need is now!
If you have a Gopher infestation or see the signs of gophers give us a call and we’ll come out and assess the problem.
Contact us on the Contact page or call us at 612-267-4646