There are two basic ways to control gophers and moles. 1. Chase them away, 2. Kill them.
Underground fencing might be justified for valuable ornamental shrubs or landscape trees.

Chase them away using repellants.
Pocket Gophers Management Guidelines at UC Davis' Integrated Pest Management says,
"No repellents currently are available for successfully protecting gardens or other plantings from pocket gophers. Plants such as gopher purge (Euphorbia lathyrus), castor bean (Ricinus communis), and garlic have been suggested as repellents, but research has not substantiated these claims."

However, there are many reviews on the Web about repellants which produce some results although many admit that killing them is the only sure control.

  Stick a few dryer Sheets in each opening and cover with dirt.
  Used cat litter may also work.
  Dog Doo also.

  Coffee Grounds spread through the yard and soil.

  Castor Oil + dish soap - A blender helps emulsify it.
     Spray the solution over your lawn.
  Or 1/2 c Castor Oil [$10-16 oz], 1tsp Tabasco sauce [$2.50]
    and a few drops of peppermint oil [$9-1/2 oz])
    Dip cotton balls into the mixture and stick the balls into active gopher holes.
  See more on how it works below.
  Castor Oil pellets using a lawn spreader, sprays and sound/vibration spikes.
Brand amount price coverage
sq ft
rating Where
Uncle Ian's Mole and Gopher Repellent 5.5 lbs $16 3,000 3.4/5 Home Depot
Uncle Ian's is effective for 4 weeks
Organic mix is safe to use around plants, vegetables, birds and wildlife
Sweeney's 7001 Mole and Gopher Repellent Granules 4 lbs $12 4,000 2.9/5 Amazon
Sweeney's got mixed reviews. One user reported it didn't work.
Another said he put it on twice double strength and then followed up with a liquid concentrate from another company. And it worked.
Repellex Mole and Gopher Repellent (castor oil based) Granular 7 lbs $20 7,000 Grainger
Repellex spray 1 Qt $18 8,000 Grainger, Amazon
Solar spikes Produce a sound that's highly irritating to moles and gophers.
The sonic pulse travels through the ground and it cannot be heard above the surface.
Sweeney's Mole and Gopher Solar Spike 1 $18 7,500 3.1/5 Amazon
P3 solar spikes produce vibrations to chase gophers away
P3 International P7911 Sol Mate Solar Powered Mole & Gopher Chaser 1 $18 7,500 2.7/5 Amazon
See Solar Powered Mole and Gopher Repellent stakes at
and Sonic Mole Spikes at Nextag
and Smart Solar Solar Mole and Gopher Chaser at
How Castor Oil Works:
Gopher Repellent at says,
"Castor oil coats the animals' food source and causes stomach disruptions in the animals. However, it may take up to three weeks for the gopher repellent to meet its maximum effectiveness level. The targeted animals must make the association between feeding in a particular area and the stomach disruptions before maximum repellency takes place."

Other sources say it works in a few days.

How to Get Rid of Gophers and Moles at Home & Garden Television (HGTV) says,
"To force the pests in a specific direction, apply the granules to one-third the area to be treated, beginning with the area farthest from the ultimate exit point. And within hours, especially if you water the area well, the gophers will begin moving in that direction.
A day or two later, apply more granules to the next section, and a day or two after that, apply additional granules to the final section."

There are both lethal and non-lethal traps. They usually require you to dig down and and place them in a tunnel. A cinch trap is placed over an open hole. Lethal Options:
Car exhaust gas, Smoke them with gopher flares, poisons, Juicy Fruit gum with the silver wrapper left on, castor beans, flooding, trapping See How to Get Rid of Gophers: 15 Steps - wikiHow.

Gophers vs Moles: Gophers eat roots of plants Moles eat grubs and earthworms. Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds. See the UC Davis guide (link below) for how to distinguish the mounds. Links: Pocket Gophers Management Guidelines--UC Davis IPM (Integrated Pest Managment) How do you get rid of moles or gophers? - Yahoo! Answers How to Get Rid of Gophers: 15 Steps - wikiHow Gopher and Mole Solutions |
last updated 10 May 2013