Steve Bender

Q:I don't know if I have Gophers, voles or moles, or all of the above. I need to get them out of my veggie garden. They have pulled several whole heads of red lettuce into the ground, over night. Now they are working on the cabbage. I am missing half of my onions and my fruit trees aren't getting watered correctly because of the holes. I have about a half acre in fruit trees and garden. What can I use for a quick fix? Sincerely, Lacy J

A:Moles eat worms, grubs, and bugs, not plants. Voles eat roots and stems, but since they are mouse-size, the damage is mouse-size too. You almost certainly have gophers, which I am sorry to inform you, are the worst subterranean rodent pests out there. They're the cartoon rodents that gleefully pull whole rows of carrots and cabbages into the ground and consume them. But the cartoon isn't so funny when it takes place in your own garden. The sure sign of gophers are crescent-shaped mounds of soil near the entrances to underground tunnels. What you need to do is use a sturdy rod or stick and push it into the ground about 10 inches from a fresh mound until you locate an active burrow. Once you find it, excavate it until you can insert a gopher trap, then cover up the hole you made. You can order gopher traps from Gempler's (www.gemplers.com). Notice to PETA -- These traps do not attempt to negotiate with gophers. They kill the little slobs. Get over it.

Grumpy

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