Gophers cause a lot of damage in backyards. When they aren’t burrowing up into your lawns, they can be digging holes in planters, chewing shrubs, and damaging grass.
With that in mind, some people will turn to various methods with which to stop gophers. Using plastic barriers to stop gophers getting at plants is one such idea, but just how effective is it?
Well, the truth is, not very.
I’ve seen evidence that pocket gophers can chew through plastic and PVC. But not because gophers want to eat plastic, but instead to get to a water or food source.
Can gophers chew through PVC?
Gophers can chew through PVC, whether it’s a pipe carrying water, or in more extreme cases, a PVC fascia or soffit on a house.
Here’s a video where a gopher has chewed through PVC piping to get to water. Gophers might also chew through plastic if it’s underground and in their way.
Can gophers chew through plastic pots?
Gophers can also chew through plastic pots. The reason they might do this is because some gardeners will dig plastic pots into the ground, with plants in. The idea is that this will be a barrier to gophers tunnelling under the plants to get to roots and bulbs.
It doesn’t work.
Thin plastic planters do not absorb moisture. This means they dry out very fast and can start to crack. They can also expand then crack in very cold weather. When this happens, it makes the plastic pots weaker and easier for pocket gophers to chew and bite through.
Can gophers chew through plastic mesh?
Similarly, plastic mesh does not prove to be a barrier to a determined gopher. If you are considering using plastic mesh under your lawn, or beneath raised planters, don’t bother.
If a gopher knows there is a food source behind or above the plastic mesh, they will chew through it.
Instead of plastic mesh, consider a very strong chicken wire, or better still, gopher wire.
Handy Hint: Here’s a list of all the favorite foods gophers like to eat in yards.
Wrapping things up
To conclude, if you have PVC sprinkler system hoses or plastic water lines underground, then there are at a potential risk of being chewed by gophers. But not for something to eat, but more to access obstructed food or water.
More backyard guides…
- What to about gopher holes in your yard
- Pictures of what gopher damage looks like
- The damage gophers can do to artificial lawns
Gopher photo from Wikipedia.