The Best Gopher Repellents Guide

gopher repellent
There are several types of gopher deterrents on the market. Some repellents work by emitting a loud, sonic vibration that hurts these rodents' highly sensitive ears, while others release a pungent odor that drives them away.

Are gophers wreaking havoc in your garden and yard? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Gophers are one of the most common pests in the United States.

These rodents burrow underground and create extensive tunnel systems, which can uproot and damage your plants. This type of rodent is also a notorious disease-spreader, eating parasitic grubs that can come into contact with your family and kids.

The good news? There are several effective gopher repellents that can keep these pests away for good.

In this guide, we’ll show you the best gopher repellents and ways you can keep these creatures out of your lawn.

What Is the Best Deterrent for Gophers?

Many people are unaware that some of the best deterrents for gophers are the ones you can find in your own home.

That’s right—the most effective way to keep gophers away is by making use of your everyday household ingredients. Not only do you already have these items on hand, but they’re also easily replenishable and cost-effective.

So, what are some of the best home remedies for gophers? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites below:

gopher standing at the entrance to a burrow

Coffee Grounds

Do you often ground coffee beans in the morning? If you do, don’t throw away this organic waste just yet—they can actually be used as a potent gopher deterrent.

The pungent smell of coffee is highly offensive to these rodents due to its acidity. Simply sprinkle coffee grounds inside the gopher tunnels around your garden or yard.

Once you’ve put in a healthy dose, cover the gopher hole with some soil. You may have to replenish the coffee grounds every few days, but keeping these pests away will be worth it.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is typically an active ingredient in commercial gopher repellents and granules. But you don’t have to go through the hassle (or expense) of buying a store-bought, granular solution – you can actually make your own at home.

To make your own repellent:

  1. Mix two tablespoons of dishwashing soap and a quarter cup of castor oil.
  2. Mix that solution in a gallon of water.
  3. Put it in a spray can, and spray the solution in infested areas.

The actual good news about castor oil is that it’s not poisonous or deadly to these rodents. It creates an unbearable environment for them, driving them away to find a new home.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne peppers are another excellent home remedy for repelling gophers. These peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which is an irritant that’s harmful to gophers.

To use this method, sprinkle cayenne pepper powder around the gopher holes and tunnels within your property. Alternatively, you can mix this substance in a homemade spray solution with castor oil, water, and dishwashing soap.

As with castor oil, cayenne peppers are not poisonous to gophers. They simply create an inhabitable environment for these rodents.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are often used to repel various pests, including gophers. These sheets release a pungent smell that can send gophers away.

The best place to put these sheets is near the gopher holes and tunnels. Once you’ve placed them, cover the area with soil to keep the sheets in place. You’ll likely never have to worry about gophers digging that side of your garden again.


Moth balls contain a toxic chemical known as naphthalene. One quick whiff of this substance is enough to send gophers running in the opposite direction.

Wrap the mothball in a cloth and put it inside the tunnel entrances. Once you’ve placed them, simply cover the area with soil so the mothballs don’t come into contact with people or pets.

gopher standing in a field of green and brown grass

Does Ultrasonic Gopher Repellent Work?

You may have seen ultrasonic gopher repellents like the Sonic Spike while browsing through Amazon. These devices are designed to emit a very high-frequency noise that’s supposed to be unbearable for gophers.

If you’re looking for a chemical-free solution for your gopher and mole problem, then an ultrasonic gopher repellent may be worth trying. That said, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned about these devices’ effectiveness.

According to the FTC, there’s no scientific evidence that ultrasonic gopher repellents work. In 2001, they have stated that “any reaction by rodents to ultrasound would be temporary at best since, at some point, the rodents will become accustomed to the frequencies and therefore return to their nesting grounds.

A better solution in fact would be any of the other above-mentioned home remedies for repelling gophers.

gopher  popping its head out from the ground and showing its large yellow teeth

How to Keep Gophers Away in the First Place?

As many gardeners and homeowners can attest, once gophers have taken up residence in your yard, getting rid of them is really no easy feat. That’s why it’s essential to take preventive measures to keep these burrowing pests away from your lawn & garden.

Here are a few remarkable tips on how to repel moles and gophers:


Set up live traps outside of gopher holes and tunnels. Once you’ve caught the gopher, release it in a wooded area far away from your home. Verify first that your state permits releasing trapped gophers.


Install exclusion fencing. Do so at approximately the same square feet as the area to prevent gophers from accessing food sources.


Contact a local professional pest control company. They can help you get rid of gophers, armadillos, critters, and voles on your property.


Using lethal mole & gopher repellent traps like poison bait and carbon monoxide is generally discouraged. These methods can be inhumane and potentially harmful to other animals.


Prevention is always the absolute best cure when it comes to burrowing animals like gophers. By taking some simple precautions, you can avoid the headache and heartache of dealing with these pesky rodents.


Joseph Wales is a professional SEO content writer specializing in pest control, varmint removal, pets, and everything in nature. When not publishing, he’s busy teaching college and university students how to write admission essays and structure their academic papers. Writing has always been his passion, and he spends most of his time outdoors with his two lovely daughters in his spare time. He is also a skilled farmer, always traveling to his rural home to check on the livestock and corn field when he has the time. Armed with hands-on experience, Joseph uses his SEO writing skills to communicate accurate and engaging information that will also be valuable and educational, adding to the value of his readers.

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