Problem with gophers eating the roots of my Roses

Lesa Ishtar
by Lesa Ishtar
I have lived in my home for about three years, when I moved in one of the best things about the place was that it had thirty beautiful rose bushes aroud the perimeter of the house and the fence. every year I loose a couple more bushes due to gophers eating the roots or burrowing through them. the roses are in a raised red brick bed which is about one to three feet wide, depending on the area. I really don't want to use poison because I usually have a vegetable garden in the middle of the yard and do not wish to contaminate it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You. Lesa J
  8 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 23, 2013
    A consulting rosarian with the Marin Rose Society recommends planting roses in wire cages. That's not possible since your roses are already in the ground, so you may have to rely on traps. She also has a strategy for saving roses that have been damaged by roses. See the article here:
  • Betty Koutsos Betty Koutsos on Dec 23, 2013
    Try moth balls, they keep every thing else away, good luck.
  • Teresa Teresa on Dec 23, 2013
    put chocolate in the gopher holes when the holes fill up with sh-- then they leave, another is to have a shovel, and slam it in the holes, once in a while you get one, another time is peanut butter on bread will stop them too, need too wait awhile for them to eat first then as far I`ve learned they die......
  • Nancy Thrift Nancy Thrift on Dec 23, 2013
    don't know if this will help, dig holes around roses and put cyann pepper, I know it works above ground to keep deer away, who knows might iwork if you place it in soil just a thought
  • Bob1313 Bob1313 on Dec 24, 2013
    I have fought gophers for years on our acreage. Wire cages help, but if the varmints aren't removed, they continue to feast on anything outside of the wire. At best. this stunts the growth, worst case is that eventually the plants die. We lost many trees this way. I have tried just about everything. I thought that I had found the answer with electronic vibrating stakes. They worked for a while, but I found that they had to be moved regularly. Poisons are not good for a multitude of reasons, one being that you never really know if your "got them" or they just moved away for a little while. They do come back! Traps are really the only thing that I have found that offers a permanent solution. It takes patience and a little research to find where and how exactly to place the traps, but in the end they do work. I learned how to use them while working at a golf course, and this was the preferred way to control them. The first year I used the traps, I exterminated over sixty of the little buggers. I can be a somewhat nasty job, but the satisfaction one gets from the results of their hard work in the yard/garden certainly makes up for it.
  • Moxie Moxie on Dec 24, 2013
    A feral cat is the best solution to yard varmints; prior to that I used to loose all my hostas every year to the same gopher/chipmunk. If you trap...they find peanut butter irresistible (I used a rat trap under a weighted plastic crate that bigger animals could not get into) and really put a dent in the population. I'm not normally this cruel but as you know when you loose all your hard work they are not so cut anymore.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Dec 27, 2013
    You can also soak the area with castor oil. It's an organic home remedy, but evidently gophers, voles and chipmunks don't like the taste any better than people. LOL I use it in my daffy beds and have convinced the voles to go bug the neighbor.
  • If you or if you know anyone who has snakes, keep the skin when they shed and place a good long piece in each in hole. They won't be back. Tried and true!