Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thomas and the Disappearing Gophers: A Natural Solution to Stop the Digging

Can you spot Thomas above?

Last year our yards were riddled with gopher holes -- in the lawn, in the flower beds, even the empty field next door had a series of dirt mounds and a subterranean maze of tunnels. Not the neighborhood cats nor the hose discouraged the digging, and one by one our daffodils and bulbs disappeared, plants keeled over with roots eaten to the crown and our frustration levels rose. It only got worse when we saw one of the gophers come part way out of a hole to eat fresh grass shoots -- he was absolutely ADORABLE! So we stopped watering down his soil mounds and filling his tunnels with water and just hoped he'd eventually move along to a different yard. He stayed.

Our favorite visitor, Thomas.

For the last 6 months we haven't seen hide nor hair of the gopher or any evidence of digging. Turns out that an old wives tale of sorts was put into effect and worked like a charm! According to my grandmother, if you put a tuft of cat fur inside the gopher's holes, he'll think a predator is always patiently waiting and move along.

Hiding in the ferns.

Pictured is Thomas, donor of fur and indirect eradicator of gophers. He lives across the street, but shows up for pets, treats and the occasional nap. He has his own brush (source of fur for putting in holes), is treated like he's our own and likes to hide in the ferns by my bird bath and startle unsuspecting birds. While Thomas would have preferred to actually capture the gophers, we couldn't be more pleased that he was around to lend us a hand in another way.


  1. This is a great story. I'm going to send a similar article to your mom's email addy.

    Love the photos of Thomas hiding.....

  2. Ohhhh...Thomas is sooo sweet! He looks so cute resting among the fern... And how clever to keep the gophers at bay with cat fur--genius! Happy Day ((HUGS))