Introduction: GOPHER BAIT TOOL
Gophers are vegetarians and mostly just to like messing up my yard. I made this simple tool to get bait (maize with Strychnine) down in their tunnels for them to eat. It really works good when used per my instructions. Let's get started making one.
Step 1: TOOLS & SUPPLIES NEEDED
To make this tool you need two pieces of pipe; one fitting inside of the other, really snug, but not so tight that the inner one will not move in the outer one.
I used 5 feet of 3/4" steel electrical conduit
2 feet of an aluminum pipe that just happened to slide freely over the 3/4" conduit
A welder of some kind; an arc welder, a TIG welder, or a MIG welder. I used a MIG
Gopher poison containing maize and Strychnine. A friend bought 30 pounds and we split it. It cost about $20.00 for each of us and I have been using it at the rate of about 1 pound per year controlling all the gophers in the neighborhood. KEEP THIS BAIT OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND LABEL IT "POISON"
You will also need a small funnel that will fit into the outside pipe. This will have Strychnine on it after use. Even though gopher bait is very weak, it is still poison and cannot be used for anything else. I tied a short piece of stiff solid core electrical wire on mine and hold the funnel with that, so I actually never touch the funnel.
Step 2: CONSTRUCTION & USE
The 3/4 conduit needs a 3 foot shaft, sealed & pointed on the bottom and have a 2 foot handle on top. It also has a screw to hold the two pipes together.
The outer pipe is made with an L shaped slot for the screw in the T handle to lock them together.
Step 3: APPLYING THE BAIT
The handle is used to push the pointed end into the ground about 6 to 8" to find the gopher's tunnel. Once you find his tunnel, you turn the handle, releasing it from the outer pipe. The outer pipe stays in the ground and you pull the inner pipe out. When you pull the "T" Handled pipe out of the outer pipe, you can inset the funnel into the outer pipe. Next step is to pour in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the bait. Try not to spill any on top of the ground. If you do, cover it up or bury it so the birds will not get it.
Step 4: COVERING THE HOLE
Usually there is enough moisture in a new gopher mound to take some and make a solid ball to plug up the hole after you remove the outer pipe. Plugging the hole doesn't disturb things and makes the gopher eat the bait. He doesn't like sunlight entering his burrow. Pick up some damp dirt from his newest pile and mold it into a plug for the hole where you removed the pipe.
Wash your hands before and after applying the bait. "Before" to keep your scent off of the tools. "After" to get the Strychnine off of your hands.
Although many farmers and gardeners use this method all the time, I am not responsible for it's use.