You may not see them, but they’re out there.
Gophers and moles, tunneling through yards across East Texas.
We’re told the better you know them the easier it is to get rid of them.
There’s a seasonal pest in East Texas, and their staging ground is in your yard.
The Eastern mole and pocket gophers are tunneling this way, foraging for food.
“They burrow into the ground and they scalvage, hunt looking for insects and debris and so forth in the ground,” said Ricky Thompson, Nacogdoches County Agrilife Extension Agent.
Moles and gophers are not the same, they are two separate species; the moles are carnivorous while the gophers are herbivores.
In the hunt for food, both tend to leave a casualty or two in their wake.
They’ve been known to tear up plants and erode the ground beneath homes, and they enjoy a nice looking yard as much as you do.
“They like to feed on mowed grass, that’s their best area,” said Lynn Hill, A-1 Pest & Termite owner. “Yards, sprinkler systems and everything they love them.”
It’s the sandy soil here in East Texas the little vermin like it makes it easy for them to build tunnels, especially in the summer when the soil is more aired out.
“Now is the time when they’ll start and they’ll last all the way until late summer,” said Thompson.
But another nuisance is keeping their numbers lower than normal.
“This is a slow year starting out because of all the rain,” said Hill.
But even in smaller numbers, people still want to kick them out and take back their yard.
For the exterminator, it’s quite simple: they bait them with poison grain or a artificial worm, similar to a fishing lure, coated in poison.
When these don’t work they switch to chemical warfare.
“They have a gas, it looks like a big firecracker, you dig down there and find a run you can put it in there and light it and it smokes,” said Hill. “It puts out virtually a deadly gas, it will get up to around 20 to 30 feet around where you put it in.”
However this can be ineffective should there be a wooded area or an overgrown lot next door.
If these fail, you could put your lap dog to work.
“The little dogs tend to be the most active with them like little terrier dogs and so forth, they can be very successful as well,” said Thompson.
So you can claim victory over the pesky forces invading your yard.