Do Gopher Bombs Work?

gopher bombs
When administered with care and caution, gopher bombs effectively deal with a gopher infestation. The smoke bomb works by producing thick, toxic fumes that travel through the gopher tunnels. However, this is a short-term solution as rodents often build new tunnels, avoiding the gasses.

If you’re dealing with a pesky gopher problem, here are some points of insight to help you claim back your yard.

Do Gopher Bombs Work?

Gopher bombs can reduce the population of gophers in your yard by eliminating gophers exposed to the smoke, but they are not a long-term solution to the problem. Gopher bombs work by producing smoke that is filled with potent chemicals. The smoke from the bomb suffocates the gophers and kills them.

However, this is only a temporary solution as gophers, Norway rats, and other rodents can work around the gasses and build new tunnels. This is especially true if there’s an adequate food source within your property, luring a new colony of gophers to inhabit your backyard.

Is Gopher Gasser Toxic to Humans?

Gopher fumigation can be harmful to humans if inhaled in large quantities. It’s not meant to be used indoors and should only be ignited outdoors inside the gopher’s burrow. Once ignited, immediately cover the burrow with topsoil to prevent excessive smoke inhalation.

If you come into contact with the fumes, wash off the affected area and move to an area with fresh air. If you have been exposed to the gas for a prolonged period, seek emergency services immediately.

gopher at the entrance to its burrow

How Long Do Gopher Gassers Burn For?

It takes approximately 5 seconds before the fuse begins to produce smoke, which is enough time to chuck the fuse in the burrow and cover it with topsoil. Once it starts to smoke, a single cartridge of a gopher gas bomb can last for seven to eight minutes.

How Do You Make a Gopher Bomb?

You’ll need four of these ingredients to make a smoke bomb to suffocate gophers:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • Sugar
  • Aluminum foil
  • Potassium Nitrate

To make a smoke bomb, follow these steps for gopher control:

  1. Form a boat structure using aluminum foil. This is where the solution will be housed.
  2. In the cast iron, combine 2 parts sugar with 3 parts potassium nitrate.
  3. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat for 15 minutes until it produces a brown goo.
  4. When the thickness is syrupy, you’re done!
  5. Pour the mixture into the aluminum foil, and wrap it.
  6. Chuck the concoction inside a gopher burrow, covering it with topsoil. They’ll be scurrying for days after that!

What Happens if a Dog Eats Gopher Bait?

Most commercial gopher bait contains zinc phosphide, which turns into toxic phosphide gas when coming into contact with stomach acid.

Even a small dose can cause adverse effects on dogs, including:

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Seizures

In some cases, lung and liver damage may result after lethal ingestion of gopher bait. Contact your veterinarian right away if you do suspect your dog has eaten gopher bait. It can take 36 hours for the poison to take full effect, so getting your dog treated as soon as possible is vital.

gopher poking its head out of a tunnel entrance

What Happens if You Inhale Gopher Gas?

If you inhale gopher gas, you may suffer from respiratory irritation, like coughing and wheezing. Gopher baits are no different, as ingesting large quantities of these pellets can be fatal to humans.

It can even cause death in severe cases. It’s best to minimize your exposure to the fumes by igniting the gas bomb outdoors and quickly covering the burrow with soil.

How Do You Get Rid of Gophers in Your Yard?

Besides gas bombs, there are many alternatives to dealing with a gopher problem. Here are some other ways to get rid of gophers:


Trapping is one of the most effective ways to eliminate or catch gophers around your yard. Simply lure them in with bait stations, prop it in one of their burrow systems, and wait until they trigger the device to kill moles or gophers.

Eliminating food sources

When there’s an adequate supply of food and water, gophers will continue returning. Try to remove potential food sources, like gardens and pet food bowls, to make your yard less appealing for them.

Plant natural deterrents

Thyme, daffodil, Iris, germanium, and sage are all plants that naturally repel gophers. Landscaping with these plants can be an effective gopher repellent.

Fence your yard

Gophers can burrow under fences. So, it’s essential to ensure your fence is at least 2 feet underground. Exclusion fencing can also be viable to keep gophers away from creating a tunnel system in certain areas of your garden.

Use repellents

Mothballs, castor oil, and ultrasonic repellent devices are two popular options for pest control.

gopher standing in a deep cut in the earth, surrounded by grass

What’s the Best Gopher Poison?

Strychnine is the most widely available gopher poison available on the market. It works by causing paralysis and respiratory failure in small mammals like skunks, voles, woodchucks, and ground squirrels, leading to death within hours. If killing gophers is your primary goal, strychnine is your best bet.

The bad news is that strychnine is highly toxic to the environment. While it’s an effective gopher killer, it can kill other animals that come into contact with the dead gopher and pollute groundwater if not used correctly.

For these reasons, one of the safest poisons for dealing with gophers is Chlorophacinone (RoZol). This poison is an anticoagulant, causing severe blood loss in rodents.

That said, the lethal dose of this poison is as much as ten times more than strychnine. But if you want to opt for the environmentally-friendly option, chlorophacinone is the better gopher or mole-killer option.

Joshua Munoz

Most people’s first instinct when they see a wild skunk is to back away, but not Joshua. He holds a near-obsessive fascination with skunks and their behavior. Although Joshua has never been closer than five feet to a skunk, he has spent countless hours researching them. He knows almost everything there is to know about skunks, from their diet and habitat, to how to humanely trap them. Joshua’s interest in skunks is rooted in his love of animal biology. He fondly remembers topping his finals in biology class while in university. Now, as a writer, he fuses passion and expertise into one by sharing his knowledge about the animal kingdom with others.

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