produce pete
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:16 am
Location: Cambria, CA

will gopher poison kill my vegetable plants/or me?

I have the worst gopher and mole problem. ....................here is what i did........i put gopher killer/poison in their little gopher tunnels those tunnels go right thru my plants or encircle them. i also put poison in the tunnels that encircle them. im sure the plant root (if not killed by the gophers/moles) will grow and touch the gopher poison eventually.

will this kill the plant?

will the vegetables be edible?


here is a pic of one gopher tunnel..fortunately i put wire under those plants which are corn, beats, artichoke, and watermelon

[img]https://image_url[/img] (alt+p)

https://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk257/shoalnervo/DSC02659.jpg

<a href="https://s282.photobucket.com/albums/kk257/shoalnervo/?action=view&current=DSC02659.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk257/shoalnervo/DSC02659.jpg" border="0" alt="gopher tunnel"></a>
*** If you have tips on how to combat gophers and or moles PLEASE LET ME KNOW! ***

TheLorax
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Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

Have you never heard of a live trap?

Have you never heard of sinking a fence down two feet below the ground around the perimeter of a garden allowing several feet above ground to deter squirrels and chipmunks? A properly installed below ground barrier deters tunneling activity.

Moles feed almost exclusively on insects. Although gophers do feed on vegetable roots, they can be deterred.

Using poisons is barbaric.

The animal dies a slow and agonizing death.

These types of poisons are definitely not target specific. That means when they take off to die they are frequently eaten by a higher order predator. Here's hoping an endangered raptor doesn't end up with one of your moles or gophers in its mouth and here's also hoping a neighbor's dog doesn't end up with one in its mouth too.

Very wrong to be using poisons.

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Pete, did you read my message to you the other night about gophers?

Sunset recommends live traps and gives details on how and what to use for bait. And if the traps don't work, Sunset recommends sinking cages into the ground to protect your plants and/or raised beds with hardware cloth in the bottoms for protection.

I know I gave more detail. Will look in a minute. But the poison, yes, it will get into your dirt and plants and who knows where the gophers will die? What animal will feed on them and innocently be poisoned? The food chain is real; that's how eagles, peregrine falcons, etc., almost became extinct: food chain => DDT accumulation (poison originally intended for mosquitoes).

Will get that reference.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I posted in response to your "Hi, I've joined" post the other day. Maybe you missed it b/c "gophers" isn't in the topic title?

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8452&highlight=

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Hi and welcome to the Helpful Gardener,

Yes the poison can kill your other plants. If it is a water soluble poison then your other plants can take it up and possibly bioaccumulate the poison but, I'm not sure on that. Best to be safe though.

I generally reccommend against using poisons and anything with the suffix -cide because of the fact that they don't just kill the organism that you are waring against they also kill broad based organisms across all 7 kingdoms from Bacteria through fungi and plants/animals and everything in between. This harms the soil to no end and therefore harms your plants and actually makes them more prone to disease.

Anyway, it's not surprising that you were not aware of this and thank you for asking your questions, you were right to ask. It's interesting that when we walk into nurseries and big box stores that there are poisons and salt based fertilzers stalked to the ceilings.

Anyway, life traps to work well. If you are in an area where you are permitted to use firearms, that method works as well. Though, I like to work with nature.

You can also examine the benefits of having these mammals on your property realizing that their burrows do aerate the soil and may have some other benefits as well.

Another thing that you can do is attract their predators into your yard by planting plants that will attract them or by building structures that will do the same.

Good luck with your problem and try to clean up as much of the poison that you spread as possible.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

produce pete
Full Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:16 am
Location: Cambria, CA

thanks for the reply everyone!!

ok i get, don't use poison! Hey, i also do not like the idea of killing an animal slowly. however, when the animal is slowly killing all the plants that i would eat myself then its fair game. furthermore, i realize the dangers of using poisons and it is possible that another animal may eat the gopher once it is dead (yet i read that they die under the ground). my solution to this mess is to dig up ALL my plants and put them in 5 gal pots (id use wire mesh but this is getting too expensive. I am just afraid that my vegetable's roots will not be able to reach there natural length/volume causing the plant to dwarf :( i will put up a new thread with more questions ..thanks for all the help everyone
*** If you have tips on how to combat gophers and or moles PLEASE LET ME KNOW! ***

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

You are welcome Produce Peat, that's why we're here. I wish you luck with your problem.

A good book to read from start to finish which will give you insight on dealing with pests, water conservation, planting and the list goes on and on and on is: Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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