Wednesday, May 13, 2009

News from the Front

I may not be winning the Gopher War, but I think I am making headway in holding my own. The Solar Powered Gopher Repeller, a plastic stake about a foot long that makes this strange high-pitched giggling sound (like those laughing gophers in Caddyshack) seems to be working!

We put it in just before leaving the ranch for several weeks and when we came back, all the new gopher holes were on the perimeter. You could almost see the active area for this Repeller! For a while, though, I think the Mama Gophers were actually drawn to the noise and I was able to trap a couple more right by the device. Now, I have a new type of Solar Powered Repeller (different sound -- more like an electronic beep) in my rose bed which was just out of range of the other.

Which is all great news because Big Dog managed to pick up a shotgun from his dad's house and I really didn't want him using it. The rifle was bad enough.

"We have gophers in our yard, too! For the first time!" exclaimed T, wife of Big Dog's high school buddy, B, who made a surprise visit last weekend. She winced when we talked of trapping and shooting and I knew she was in her First Year of Gophers.

"Wait til the third year or so. You'll be shooting them, too!" we laughed.

T&B live in a nice residential neighborhood in San Diego and they never had gophers before.
"Now everyone's got them!"
"Was there a new development outside of town that destroyed their natural habitat?"
"I don't think so. We think maybe it's the water shortage."

All over Southern California, there is major water rationing. A bit late, we'd add. All the new residents, with all their water needs, plus the traditional lawn yard has sucked up all the ground water and then some. Limiting watering to the evenings isn't going to solve the problem. And now, it seems, it's driving the gophers to where there IS water. Where there's water, there's yummy green food.

"I heard that you can kill them with saltine crackers," T shared. "They can't drink water so that extra salt dehydrates them."
Sounds cruel...but effective?

But the best Gopher Extermination Plan was the one my friend told me about:
"I saw a clip about a year ago where some guys were getting rid of gophers using a high powered vacuum thing. They stick the hose in the hole and vacuum the bastards. The clip showed an amazing amount of them being whacked into the gadget," she e-mailed.

Now, where do you find this Gopher Vacuum? And once the vacuum is full, then what?

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