Got Gopher?

Thankfully, gophers are not a problem for me. But since several of my gardening friends are constantly fighting against these little demons, I thought I would spread what I have learned from others. Gopher killing products are found in nurseries, big box stores, and hardware stores. The most common product is poison bait. The use of bait is discouraged because the secondary poisoning effect. If another animal eats the killed gopher, the dog, coyote, owl, or whatever, will be likewise poisoned. Probably the preferred gopher killer is the Black Box trap by Victor. There is a very effective You Tube video produced by Dirt Farmer Jay who demonstrates how to use this trap. He will also show you how to use a flare device that emits poisonous smoke. Still another method is to use propane gas. Run a hose from a propane tank into a gopher run and that will poison the gophers. I have also heard that it is effective to attach a hose to the exhaust of a riding mower and lead that into a run. I’m not sure if these last two are legal. But whatever your technique, I have sympathy for anyone with a gopher problem. They can do a devastating job on a garden you have worked so hard to create. I have included a picture of the Black Box.
Stan

Gopher Trap
Gopher Trap

P.S. You know, if you are planning raised beds, you might want to lay down hardware cloth first. This is a layer of wire mesh that has ½ in holes in it. That would at least keep gophers out of your box.

Bucket

bucket
bucket

            Body count tonight:  57.  I remembered just before going to bed that the snails would be out in force since it rained a little today. I grabbed a flashlight and my snail masher from behind the front door.  It consists of an old cut off flagstaff with a 2 x 2 block attached at the end.  The grandkids use it when they visit and earn 5 cents per snail killed.

            I don’t understand why snails come out from their leafy protection and crawl around exposed on pavement and pavers.  I actual feel guilty murdering helpless snail after snail.  You really can’t call the exercise “snail hunting” because that would indicate that some sort of sport would be involved.  Perhaps, if you were a snail hunter, you shouldn’t be able to kill a snail unless it is in flight.  LaVille said that she’s seen snails take flight.  She and her siblings would visit an aunt in Salinas and collect snails and then return home to Calexico where they would place them on hot pavement to see how high they could fly.  Perhaps snail hunting should be restricted from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.  Snail hunting season would be limited to the winter months.  You wouldn’t want to kill snails during their breeding season.  Of course no artificial light source could be used.  To make the sport more fair to the snail, size of the snail masher could limited to a ¼ inch diameter rod.  Naturally no snail with a shell diameter less than 1 inch could be harmed.  Chemical products of any sort would be outlawed.

            I’m considering starting a club called “Snails Unlimited”.  Would you like to join me in protecting the lives of these helpless mollusks.  Let’s ensure that the sport of snail hunting is available to be enjoyed by future generations.

Stan, The Snail Killer

P.S. LaVille suggested an addendum was needed here:

When we had rounded up a significant collection of these hermaphroditic herbivores, LaVille would take them into her classroom and distribute them in small paper bags as pets to her students for responsibility training (for the kids).  Then periodically she would hold races on the overhead projector by placing these snails in the center to see which sprinter could reach the periphery first.

I have to caution you however:  Do not store your collection of snails in a paper bag.  They will eat their way out and you will find estivating snails all over the house for weeks.  Trust me

Snail Killer

Body count tonight:  57.  I remembered just before going to bed that the snails would be out in force since it rained a little today. I grabbed a flashlight and my snail masher from behind the front door.  It consists of an old cut off flagstaff with a 2 x 2 block attached at the end.  The grandkids use it when they visit and earn 5 cents per snail killed.

 I don’t understand why snails come out from their leafy protection and crawl around exposed on pavement and pavers.  I actual feel guilty murdering helpless snail after snail.  You really can’t call the exercise “snail hunting” because that would indicate that some sort of sport would be involved.  Perhaps, if you were a snail hunter, you shouldn’t be able to kill a snail unless it is in flight.  LaVille said that she’s seen snails take flight.  She and her siblings would visit an aunt in Salinas and collect snails and then return home to Calexico where they would place them on hot pavement to see how high they could fly.  Perhaps snail hunting should be restricted from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.  Snail hunting season would be limited to the winter months.  You wouldn’t want to kill snails during their breeding season.  Of course no artificial light source could be used.  To make the sport more fair to the snail, size of the snail masher could limited to a ¼ inch diameter rod.  Naturally no snail with a shell diameter less than 1 inch could be harmed.  Chemical products of any sort would be outlawed.

I’m considering starting a club called “Snails Unlimited.”  Would you like to join me in protecting the lives of these helpless mollusks.  Let’s ensure that the sport of snail hunting is available to be enjoyed by future generations.

Stan, The Snail Killer

P.S. LaVille suggested an addendum was needed here:

When we had rounded up a significant collection of these hermaphroditic herbivores, LaVille would take them into her classroom and distribute them in small paper bags as pets to her students for responsibility training (for the kids).  Then periodically she would hold races on the overhead projector by placing these snails in the center to see which sprinter could reach the periphery first.

I have to caution you however:  Do not store your collection of snails in a paper bag.  They will eat their way out and you will find estivating snails all over the house for weeks.  Trust me

No Waste Sprayer

No Waste Sprayer
No Waste Sprayer

         

  A couple years ago I was alarmed by the discovery of a population of carterpillars that were gorging on our redbud tree.  These red humped caterpillars love redbud trees and walnut trees.  There were hundreds of these little buggers completely devouring the leaves on dozens of branches.  When simply spraying with a fire hose type nozzle didn’t get them all, we resorted to an environmentally friendly chemical treatment.

            The sprayer I used is the tool of the month.  The Gillmour No Pre-Mix Sprayer is a hose end sprayer.  Rather than mixing a chemical in a spray can and lugging it around, you simply add the concentrate to the spray bottle.  On top of the sprayer is a metering dial that allows you to set application rate from 1 teaspoon per gallon to 10 tablespoons per gallon.  When you are finished, you save what remains and pour it back into the original container.  The sprayer also has a removeable nozzle attachment that can deflect the spray in different directions.

            You obviously would only use this device if you needed to treat a large area, and, of course, an area that is reachable by a hose.

            If interested, you may purchases the Gilmour Pre-Mix Sprayer on Amazon Prime for $80.  Better yet, how about an identical Chapin G362 Professional All Purpose Sprayer for $20?

            Hoping you don’t need this tool,

            Stan, The Tool Man