Management of Pocket Gophers | South Carolina Approval #20804

Management of Pocket Gophers


Course Description

The site of a fresh mound of soil in an otherwise manicured lawn or alfalfa field can be enough to send a landowner into a tizzy. Pocket gophers can be devastating to both lawns and agricultural fields if they are not properly controlled. The damage caused by pocket gophers can sometimes be confused with either moles or ground squirrels. There are multiple control methods available to management pocket gophers. This course will cover the basics of pocket gopher management including biology, damage, trapping, and toxicant use.

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  • Correctly identify the difference between molehills, ground squirrel mounds, and pocket gopher mounds.
  • Describe the different types of toxicants labeled for pocket gopher management and the pros and cons to each.
  • Locate the different parts of pocket gopher burrow systems and correctly place traps in each tunnel. 

Chapter 1

Lesson 1 

  • Northern Pocket Gophers
  • Capabilities
  • Life Cycle
  • Habitat and Reproduction
  • Damage
  • Pocket Gopher vs Ground Squirrel
  • Habitat Modification
  • Cultural Controls
    • ?Deep Soil Tillage
    • Crop Rotation
    • Flood Irrigation

Lesson 2 

  • Pesticides – Toxicants
  • Pocket Gopher Tunnel Systems
  • 3 Ways to Hand Bait
  • Probes for Pocket Gophers
  • Hand Baiting
  • Baiting Pocket Gopher Tunnels
  • What to do When There are Too Many Mounds
  • Toxicants
    • ?Non-Anticoagulants
    • Alfalfa and Non-Anticoagulants
    • Anticoagulants
    • ??Efficacy Rates
    • Costs

Lesson 3 

  • Burrow Builders
  • Fumigants for Pocket Gophers
    • ?Aluminum Phosphide
    • Carbon Monoxide?
  • ?Propane/Oxygen Devices
  • Trapping
  • Trap Check Technique
  • Quackery and Illegality
  • Best Practices
  • Timing and Persistence
  • Monitoring Zone

Final Assessment 


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