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Your Lawn and Nasty Critters

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Forget about the cute dancing gopher in the movie Caddyshack. That critter was a stuffed doll pushed about by a film crew. Real gophers have the movie rodent's tenacity, but the wreck and ruin they cause to your lawn and garden is not so funny. In Fresno, where city subdivisions are dotted between remnants of old family farms and just down-slope of the Sierra wild, valley pocket gophers can be quite destructive.

Typical remedies by lawn care and pest-control companies can include baiting, trapping, and fumigation. If you've seen the golfing comedy, you know by now that flooding -- while a cartoon staple -- just doesn't work, and it creates more problems to your lawn than it alleviates. Plus, gophers are gold-medal swimmers.
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There are varieties of poison sold in lawncare and garden shops all around Fresno. They work. But there is this caveat: say old Sparky the gopher eats poison and struggles up his hole to your backyard lawn. Now good old Spot hops out of the doghouse and gobbles up the dying burrower (that's what doggies do). After a fashion, you're burying your poisoned dog under the grass, just above the complex of tunnels inhabited by gopher survivors.

Gopher Broke

If you don't want to call in a lawn care or pest-control professional, you can try setting traps yourself. Place traps at each end of the freshly opened tunnels (push them in; widen the openings if you need to) and cover the exits with clods of grass to block the sunlight. Bait them with fresh leafy vegetables and check them a few times a day. If you don't catch any, you may have to move the traps to other gopher runs in the lawn.

Be persistent. It's a quality shared by your lawn adversary.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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