Leave the opening of the hole open.
7. Of course, in the process theyll tear up your lawn. Commonly used chemical insecticides are chlorphyrifos (Dursban), carbaryl (Sevin), and soil diazinon.Tie a wire about two feet long on the end of the gopher trap and secure it to a sturdy metal or wooden stake.
There are a number of organic or inorganic methods of killing off lawn grubs. If you spot smoke coming up from another hole in the lawn, quickly go over there and plug up that hole. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes have shown good results for white grub control. Flooding the lawn seems to help to bring the grubs up closer to the surface, where theyll be easier to kill. These grubs are larvae from any number of insect pests, and in the lawn they are also important pests of the lawn.
·Soak grub infected areas with soapy water. They should be applied to already thoroughly watered lawns late in the day and then watered in immediately. Even organic insecticides though will also kill off earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms. This particular species will find the white grubs and kill them. A nesting box for barn owls should be a minimum of 12 x 12 inches for the floor and at least 16 inches deep. Areas where grub infestations are especially thick will often show patches of lawn dying from the grubs. You can buy road flares very cheaply too, at an auto parts store. If the predators are killed off the rodent population, unchecked, will quickly explode in number.
Other preventative measures
·Keeping a lawn healthy wont keep grubs and moles out of it, but a healthy lawn can recuperate much faster after attack.Set several traps in different holes if possible. IPM is short for integrated pest management and it is often very effective and safe.
It is best to build the box so that it can be cleaned out easily once a year when the owls are gone. If the smoking doesnt work for you, buy some gopher traps
. Encourage wild birds in your yard.
·Aerating the lawn makes for stronger roots and it also gives birds a better shot at picking out these grubs. Sometimes the roofs are shingled too. Gopher snakes are, like barn owls, designed by nature to catch and eat gophers and moles. These beneficial nematodes are available in mail order catalogs, often sold as Hb nematodes. This safe product kills grubs that come to the surface and eat the grass leaves. This will also help develop a stronger root system.
Grubs or Dogs?
If you have a dead patch of lawn where the center of the patch is totally dead but the edges of the patch are extra green, this damage isnt from grubs, its from dog urine. Often you can just look at the lawn and see exactly where these mole tunnels are because they are pushed up just under the surface of the lawn.Find the newest, freshest gopher mound.
Gophers come into an area to eat the plants but moles are insect eaters and they dont actually eat any of your lawn at all. I have no idea how effective this method is, but hey, it cant hurt.
Gophers are much larger than moles and they dig much larger holes and tunnels too. I dont like killing them or any animals for that matter, but with gophers, they usually dont give you much choice. What works even better than the gopher bombs are regular red road flares. If the grubs are larvae of Japanese Beetles they can be attacked with Milky spore, which is an organic product that only attacks Japanese Beetles. The solution here is much the same as it is for getting rid of the moles.
*For a place to buy good owl boxes already made (theyll ship them to you) see the Owl Nestbox Resource Page under the links section of this book. The pesticide must be watered into the soil well after use, or it wont be effective.
·Keeping the nitrogen levels up and maintaining a good amount of humus in the soil sometimes helps to lessen the chance of grub damage. Use a quart of liquid dish soap to several gallons of water and soak the lawn with this mix. Many birds that are attracted to our birdfeeders and suet feeders also will eat both the grubs and the beetles that the grubs come from. Stamp it all shut tight with the sole of your shoe.
Sometimes a grub-infested lawn will attract nighttime raids by skunks. If you have moles in the lawn, you can be assured that you also have a lot of grubs in the lawn too.
5. Grubs will attack any species of lawn, although the worst damage is usually seen on bluegrass lawns. The boxes and their poles are placed away from the house but not too far from the lawns and yards.
Resist the urge to use gopher or mole poisons.
I have had many run ins with gophers in my years of gardening and Ive always been successful in getting them out of the lawn and garden.
The right family cat can also be a pretty good rodent catcher.
I also know of quite a few people who have caught gopher snakes and then released them on their own property. This is why the edges of the patch will be greener than the rest of the lawn.
For a chemical approach, a single treatment can be made between mid-July to mid-August. Light the road flare by twisting off the cap and then striking the tip of the flare with the end of the cap.
Smoking them out works much better than flooding them. The moles are eating these grubs. Gophers and gardening dont go together at all! The gophers got to go. Theyre not poisonous but will often bite and the bites dont feel good either. I now see in many orchards and vineyards, where they have put up these owl boxes. The best way to catch a gopher snake or two is to drive very slowly in the country on a paved road that gets very little traffic.
Shove the lit end of the road flare into the gopher tunnel and then shovel some dirt back over the top of the opening.
·Sometimes grubs can be held in check by dusting the lawn several times with diatomaceous earth. There are special gopher smoker bombs made and sold in all good nurseries and these work pretty well. The owls are saving the farmers a lot of money.
If the moles eat up all the grubs in your lawn theyll move on to a new grub-filled area. The moles are tunneling through your lawn for a reason. Point it away from yourself so you dont get burned. The stake and wire will insure that you dont lose the trap.
The smoke from road flares is sulfur smoke and it will stink out the entire tunnel.
Water, smoke bombs, and road flares
Sometimes you can get the gophers, and moles too, to move out of your territory just by flooding their holes. Nematodes are tiny soil wireworms. Of course theyre also aerating the lawn at the same time.. The best time to go looking for gopher snakes is in spring and early summer, just before and just after dark. There are bio-controls, safe biological agents that kill soil grubs.
3. The smoke and its smell will persist in the tunnel for some time and the gophers will often simply abandon the tunnel. Usually though, flooding them doesnt work very well, if at all.
6. More often though, they will take off for an area not anywhere near that stinky sulfur smoke. Take advantage of this and leave a palm tree unsheared. or get a gopher snake.
The box should have only one opening and this must be at least 3 ½ inches in diameter but not more than 5 inches wide. Evenings that are cold and windy will produce no snakes and nights will full moons are likewise not productive. Look for sources of these bio-controls in the Links section of this book, under IPM.
Dig out the gopher mound and open up the tunnel. Mowing higher promotes a stronger root system.
Small holes should be drilled around the top of the box on each side for air circulation.
2.Check the traps at least once a day and re-set them if youve killed a gopher or if the gopher has set off the trap and gotten away.
If youre out in the country one of the best ways to get rid of both gophers and moles is to put up nesting boxes for barn owls. Poison baits for moles are not a good idea either.
The gophers may well make several more attacks on your lawn and flower beds and you may need to smoke them several times and in several different tunnels to get rid of them. After they destroy your lawn theyll start eating the roots and killing your roses, fruit trees, any attempt at a vegetable garden, the bulbs you plant and so forth. By all means go ahead and stick the garden hose down a few holes and give this a try. So, what to do? The most obvious Support wheel arm answer is to kill off the grubs in the lawn. These big nesting boxes are generally perched on the top of 11 to 20-foot tall poles. Gopher tunnels are often fairly deep into the ground but mole tunnels often run just under the surface of the lawn.
·Over-seed bluegrass lawns each spring with a mix of fescue or perennial ryegrass seed. It will kill grubs. Horned owls eat rodents too, but are not nearly as tough on rodents as the smaller barn owls.
Most of the soil grubs are larvae of some kind or other of beetle.
· Mowing the lawn too short will weaken a lawn and make it more easily damaged by grubs.
Keep in mind that none of these chemical insecticides are healthful for the family dog, cat, the kids, or for the songbirds that might well eat some of the chemically poisoned earthworms or grubs. Moles seem to be much more common in high rainfall areas and are uncommon in drier, irrigated lawn areas.
Some lawn experts will recommend use of the chemicals trichlorfon (Dylox), imidacloprid (Merit), or halofenozide (GrubEx) in mid-summer as a preventative measure against lawn grubs. Too large an entrance Toothless track hole will let great horned owls in and theyll eat up the barn owls. A trapped gopher may easily draw the attention of a cat, dog, hawk, owl, skunk or fox, and theyll run off with your gopher and your trap.
The box should have small drain holes placed in the floor, in the corners.
There are a number of gopher traps on the market but by far the best is the old Maccabee gopher trap made of heavy wire. The skunks (and occasionally raccoons too) will tear up pieces of your lawn as they dig up the grubs to eat. A nesting family of barn owls will eat thousands of rodents each season, and they are very good at catching gophers and moles.
Moles and grubs
There are many different traps made for killing moles but resist the urge to buy and use these. Nematodes work fastest in sandy soils and slower in heavy, clay soils. The incredible number of rats, mice, moles, ground squirrels, and gophers theyll kill and eat is quite incredible.
These nematodes will not damage the lawn or other garden plants. Youll see some of the smoke escaping up through the dirt.
4. Left unchecked, the grubs may well destroy most of your lawn by themselves.
·In heavily grub-damaged lawns, take a rake and rake the exposed soil up; this will expose the grubs to the birds.Pound the stake down near the hole but not into the tunnel itself. A mix of water, soap, pyrethrum and rotenone will often kill most of the grubs. Pin the snakes head down with a stick, pick it up firmly from behind the head, and stick him in an old pillow sack. The nitrogen in the urine fertilizes the lawn that it doesnt outright overdose and kill.
Lawns, Gophers & Moles
A few gophers can tear up a nice lawn in short order.
·When you water, water deeply.
Nesting boxes for barn owls are usually made from plywood and the roofs are slanted so water will run off. The grubs can be up to about an inch long and they are usually white or gray and often have brown heads. The light coming into the hole will serve as bait, since the gophers intended for that hole to be closed.
·Lastly, some people put on those spiked strap on sandals and walk around on their lawn, spearing grubs as they walk.
Trapping gophers is very effective if done right. These are tricky to set if youve never done it before, so buy them at a farm supply store and ask someone there to show you exactly how to set one before you leave the store. At any rate road flares of any length work pretty well. The poisons only work so-so, and the poisoned rodents may easily be eaten by an owl, snake, cat, or fox, and then theyll die too. Even if youre a complete animal lover, you wont want the gophers in your yard.Dig out the opening of the mound with a shovel, open up the tunnel and place the trap as far into the hole as possible. There is evidence too that grubs, as with most insect pests, will attack an unhealthy lawn before they do a healthy one. If the grubs ruin the bluegrass, youll still have a lawn. The wire and stake keep that from happening.
Organic insecticides can also be used as a drench on your lawns and sometimes theyre quite effective. The bottom line with barn owls is they are the most effective rodent killers in existence. They will usually come in several lengths and the longer ones burn longer and are more effective. If you live in an area where palm trees grow, and you do not trim off the dead branches that accumulate below the crown, sooner or later a barn owl will move in and set up home. At this site you can also find more detailed instructions on building your own owl boxes. On occasion the gophers will be asphyxiated from the smoke and will die in the tunnels