Holes in my backyard and garden

Hello all.. I have found 3 holes in my backyard/garden within the past week. I'm guessing it's probably some animal. At first I wasn't concerned but the other night the varmit attacked my garden with the biggest hole yet. I think my tomato plant is gone for good. (i'm in AZ) Anyways, anyone have any idea what animal could be doing this? And more important, how do i get rid of it??
The hole is 2 or 2 1/2" round, and the dirt pile is about a 14" diameter around the hole and maybe 6" high. I can't say how deep the hole is, at the risk of getting bitten I haven't put my fingers in it. There's loose dirt in it, so it goes down further than you can see into it. If I was forced to guess or face a gruesome death I'd say it was 6" to 8" deep.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christine -- Have you noticed any tunnels near the surface? What types of damage is the varmint causing (veges, trees, shrubs, etc)? A hole that size could easily be a mole, a vole, a prairie dog, or any number of small critters.
James
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

size
Personally I'd be adding rat poison or Mole-nots to the holes and maybe set my Hav-a-hart to catch the critter. Is Arizona one of those western areas with chronic bubonic plague? That might be my main concern. Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I haven't noticed any tunnels near the surface. The first 2 holes the varmit dug were in the dirt/rocks in my backyard. There isn't any tress or shrubs near those. The 3rd hole was right next to my biggest tomato plant. It seems like everytime i cover up the hole a new one appears. I filled the first 2 holes and then the 3rd one appeared in the garden. I haven't filled up the 3rd one and since then, no more holes?? How do i get rid of the varmit?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Christine Lipfert) wrote in message

Are there gophers in Arizona?
J. Del Col
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@mail.ab.edu (J. Del Col) wrote:

Arizona is Gopher Central.
You can recognize a pocket-gopher hole by the fan-shaped expelled soil which has a small plug of loose soil in the middle. Gophers rarely use the door for any purpose but expelling soil, then replug it. If there is no such fan-mound, it is not likely a gopher, but could be a rock-squirrel or a vole.
Arizona's commonest of three gopher species is the Valley Pocket Gopher. It rarely comes above ground, so you can have them a great long while & never see them. They tunnel aggressively eating any taproots they encounter, & pulling grass &amp green leafy herbs into the holes by pulling on them from below. Unfortunately the only sure way to get rid of them is with lethal scissor traps that get them in their tunnels. However, although moles rarely leave a garden because of repellants & harrassment or poisons, pocket gophers do sometimes abandon areas where their tunnels are repeatedly smashed, cayenne peppered, flooded, & otherwise harrassed until the gopher(s) decide this garden just ain't worth it, & they can be poisoned or gassed or smoked. But smarter ones will barrier themselves safely into one part of their tunnels until the danger passes, & ultimately a lethal trap must be resorted to. They do particularly dislike flooding & some farms keep them at bay by using ditch irrigation to water everything.
Their favorite food is dandylion roots & similar weed taproots, so unless you grow carrots, which they adore, they might not be harming anything important, & might be marginally tolerable garden residents. Mostly they can't be tolerated even by bleedingheart nature-lovers like myself, as they will also gnaw through PVC pipes, & chew up undergound electrical lines, & mess up even the bedding plants they don't eat. It is not difficult to arrange one's gardening techniques to allow for happy interactions with chipmunks, squirrels or a groundhog, but less easily done with gophers.
The best Arizona natural control method is to encourage & never harrass bullsnakes, which are harmless to people & often specialize in eating gophers.
Here's a complete guide to controlling gophers from the Arizona point of view: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/gopher/gophercontrol.html
Arizonans seem to have been at the vanguard of spreading the false rumor that planting Euphorbia lathyris repells gophers, calling it the Gopher Purge Plant. This gardening myth was so widely held to be true that field studies were done in Arizona, showing what should've been too obvious for such a gardening myth to have gotten started in the first place, Euphorbia lathyris has no effect on gophers at all.
If its a rock squirrel they spend time hunting above ground & will be seen, & are cute, & in many cases perfectly tolerable in gardens, though that'll vary & depend on what exists to harvest & how annoying it is when a squirrel beats you to the harvest. People don't generally shit bricks over these squirrels & may even put corn & nuts out for them. They don't look any different than tree squirrels. If they do become burdons, they can be live trapped for release elsewhere -- if there's anywhere to reasonably release them.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@netscapeSPAM-ME-NOT.net (paghat) wrote: ,

Well, I've never experienced a gopher eating one. (They will eat just about anything else in a vegetable garden and, although experienced gardeners know of plants that seem to be avoided by gophers, others will cite exceptions from their experiences. The bottom line seems to be if you want a garden, especially a veggie garden, you're likely to be killing gophers or building garden structures that exclude them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree, 25 cent solution to the gopher problem..... Here we have ground hogs, and indeed they make hogs of themselves (if they can get away with it...) Spot em, pop em....no more problem....! Cheeky little bugger was eating my peas this year....but after that, he ate nothing! Jenny
(paghat) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.