If you’ve found Western Planting Solutions, chances are you already have a gopher problem in your yard. In most areas, the gopher problem you’re experiencing is actually caused by a pocket gopher. It’s named for the fur-lined pocket on the outside of their little mouths. You’ll see most gophers range anywhere from six to 13 inches in length and have poor eyesight, but they’re not blind. But what you most likely know them for is their affinity for eating all of your plant’s roots with zero regard. While it’s easy to get frustrated and slap a gopher trap into one of their little holes around your yard, it might be better to refrain from killing the little rodents.

Your Gopher Problem is Actually an Abrasive Rototiller

In a recent meeting of the Ecology Society of America in Portland, Jim Reichman presented his thesis that pocket gophers are actually a key portion of the ecosystem’s continued prosperity. His thesis mentions that the little rodents loosen and aerate the soil wherever they go. This brings the speed at which dead plants can decompose way up and causes a higher production of plants. They also promote the biodiversity of plants in any region they occupy, rendering them critically important to the ecosystem surviving, but also evolving. He actually goes so far as to attribute the maintaining of the western plant life before grazers and people arrived at these furry and sometimes annoying little animals. This thesis is what’s backing the efforts to restore native habitats with the very same pocket gophers that are terrorizing your lawn.  

Avoid Gopher Deterrent, Promote Plant Biodiversity

As a concession, yes gophers will obliterate the roots of your plants. That’s because for them to dig around, they use far more energy than it takes larger creatures to exert minimal effort in physical activity, like walking. To keep up with this constant output of energy, they’ll eat the majority of the vegetation’s roots. Obviously, this will significantly impact plants in the region. But the simple act of the gopher digging up dirt from beneath the surface and depositing it on the surface introduces nutrients and different soil conditions that result in a vertical mixing that cannot be imitated by another natural process. This process is completed by collapsing burrows and the moving deep soil to the surface which starts to fix horizontal patchiness and reforms the soil matrix. In this way, the surviving plants will start to encounter different factors in the soil and can start to evolve and fundamentally change and adapt.

Gopher Repeller Could Prevent Ecological Advancements

The thesis states that these fuzzy little vermin will help restore native grasslands all over the United States and preserve our natural beauty. Jim Reichman mentioned that, although ecological conditions are quickly deteriorating, it is giving ecologists the chance to learn about how natural systems work and it’s helping us to understand how we can aid in the swift adaptation that certain vegetation might need. In other words, it’s helping them determine what we can do for the environment, rather than merely predicting that it will collapse.

Shop Our Gopher Baskets

Instead of killing off these amazing little critters, merely protect your plants and let them rototiller your yard for free. Shield your plant’s roots from nibbling gophers with steel gopher wire. Contact us to find out more about how it works and special orders.