How To Get Rid Of Gophers With Castor Oil And Dish Soap

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If you give gophers room, these talented diggers will destroy your garden or yard by digging intricate burrows and destroying your plants. Fortunately, you can get rid of gophers through multiple ways, from trapping and exclusion to natural deterrents.

One more method you should consider is a mixture of castor oil and dish soap. These are easily accessible items, perhaps you have them at home already, and this remedy is also easy to use.

So, do you want to learn how to get rid of gophers with castor oil and dish soap? Let’s go through how to safely and successfully achieve that.

Does Castor Oil And Dish Soap Get Rid Of Gophers?

how to get rid of gophers with castor oil and dish soap

Yes, castor oil and dish soap effectively deter or repels gophers. Castor oil creates an unpleasant taste and odor in the soil, which may discourage gophers from tunneling. Combining castor oil with dish soap and water and applying it to the ground can make the environment less attractive to gophers.

The oil disrupts the gopher’s sense of smell and taste, making the treated area less appealing for foraging or burrowing. The dish soap in this remedy does not kill or deter the gophers, but it helps the solution adhere to the soil more effectively and spread easily.

However, remember that gophers are highly adaptable creatures, and the effectiveness of castor oil and dish soap, so they can become resistant to this remedy. Also, it doesn’t offer a long-term solution.

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How To Get Rid Of Gophers With Castor Oil And Dish Soap

How To Get Rid Of Gophers With Castor Oil And Dish Soap

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply castor oil and dish soap mixture to get rid of gophers.

1. Gather The Necessary Supplies

You will need 100% pure castor oil, dish soap, water, and a spray bottle for this remedy. If you don’t have the cator oil already, get it from a garden supply store or online, making sure it does not contain additives or synthetic ingredients.

Also, choose a biodegradable and environmentally friendly liquid dish soap, ensuring the brand you pick does not contain harmful chemicals or additives. Tap water or filtered water will help you dilute the mixture.

One more thing, get a spray bottle with a fine mist setting to distribute the mixture around the gopher-infested areas evenly.

2. Dilute The Mixture

With everything you need in place, dilute the ingredients. Here is how to do so:

  • Pour warm water into a clean spray bottle but leave some space for the other ingredients.
  • Add one tablespoon of 100% pure castor oil to the spray bottle. This is the primary ingredient to repel the gophers.
  • Add drops of liquid dish soap to the mixture. The purpose of soap is to help the mixture stick to the soil and spread evenly.
  • Screw the cap tightly, then vigorously shake the spray bottle to mix the castor oil, dish soap, and water well.

Diluting the castor oil with water and incorporating dish soap creates a solution that is easier to spray and distribute throughout your yard. Furthermore, the diluted mixture is more effective in penetrating the soil and reaching the gopher tunnels.

3. Locate The Gopher Activity

You cannot spray the remedy randomly if you want it to be effective. In that case, locate gopher activity in your yard. Here’s how to do so:

a) Look For Gopher Mounds

Walk around the yard, scanning for visible mounds or freshly disturbed soil. If they are gophers, the mounds will be crescent-shaped and found near tunnel entrances.

b) Observe Plant Damage

Gophers feed on the roots and underground parts of plants, so damage to your plants will indicate gopher activity beneath the surface. Therefore, keep an eye out for plants, looking for signs of wilting, damage, or suddenly dying.

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c) Use Gopher Probes

Gopher probes are long metal rods you can insert into the ground to locate tunnels. Push the probe into the ground near suspected areas of gopher activity. If you encounter little resistance or feel the probe going into an open space, it may indicate the presence of a tunnel.

Knowing where the gophers are will help you target these areas, improving your chances of entirely dealing with the gophers.

4. Apply The Solution

Spray the diluted solution generously around the gopher activity areas, ensuring the soil is saturated with the solution. Focus on the entrances of the tunnels and the surrounding soil.

For maximum effectiveness, reapply the mixture regularly, especially after rainfall or watering, as it may dilute or wash away the solution. This will help maintain the scent and repelling properties of the mixture.

5. Monitor The Effectiveness

After applying the remedy, monitor the treated areas. Look for signs of reduced gopher activity, such as a decrease in new mounds, less plant damage, or a decline in tunnel openings.

Regularly inspect your yard for new gopher mounds or freshly dug tunnel openings. If you notice new activity in untreated areas, reapply the mixture.

Keep monitoring the progress, and if the mixture alone is ineffective, consider exploring other methods such as traps, physical barriers, or professional pest control services. Gophers can be persistent, so it’s better to be prepared with alternative strategies if needed.

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Reasons To Use Castor Oil And Dish Soap To Eliminate Gophers

Are you contemplating using castor oil and dish soap to eliminate gophers? Here are the benefits of this natural remedy.

i ) Natural And Environmentally Friendly

Since castor oil and dish soap are natural ingredients, they are generally safer for the environment, humans, and pets. They don’t have the potentially toxic chemicals usually found in many synthetic pesticides.

The biodegradability of these ingredients also makes them more appealing as they break down over time and do not persist in the environment. This is in contrast to some chemical pesticides that can remain in the soil or water for an extended period, causing harm to other organisms.

Moreover, beneficial insects, birds, or other wildlife that play important roles in maintaining ecological balance won’t suffer from this gopher remedy.

ii) Non-Toxic To Humans And Pets

Finding safe techniques to eliminate gophers is of utmost importance, especially if you have pets. Castor oil and dilute dish soap mixture are safe for pets and humans. Using this remedy will help you minimize the risk of exposing yourself, your family, and your pets to potentially harmful chemicals.

You will also have peace of mind knowing you’re not introducing harmful chemicals into your environment.

iii) Low Cost

Another benefit of this natural remedy is that it doesn’t cost much. Castor oil and dish soap are typically inexpensive and commonly found in households. You can also easily buy them from local stores.

Moreover, castor oil and dish soap will allow you to create your homemade solution at a fraction of the cost of pre-packaged gopher control products.

iv) Ease of Accessibility

You do not need to make a special trip to a store or check online for the ingredients of this remedy since they are readily available. This accessibility adds to their convenience and cost-effectiveness.

v) Ease Of Application

You don’t need to be an experienced DIYer to prepare castor oil, dish soap, and water gopher recipe because the process is straightforward. The application also requires basic equipment such as a sprayer, watering can, or even a simple bucket and brush. These tools are readily available and easy to use.

You can also focus the application on specific areas where gophers are causing damage instead of randomly, thus boosting its effectiveness.

vi) Versatility

This method is versatile, meaning you can use it in outdoor areas, including lawns, gardens, flower beds, or specific plantings. You can also use it in residential gardens, agricultural fields, or other outdoor spaces where gophers are present.

The Downsides Of Using Castor Oil And Dish To Eliminate Gophers

From the benefits discussed above, you can see that the castor oil and dish gopher recipe has multiple advantages to offer. However, this isn’t a flawless technique, so here are the downsides.

a) Effectiveness Can Vary

How effective castor oil and dish soap solution is against gophers varies depending on the infestation severity, the local environment, and the specific gopher species. For example, it would be best to consider other techniques in cases of large or persistent infestations.

b) Limited Long-Term Control

This method is a deterrent rather than a lethal technique against gophers. Therefore, while it discourages gophers from certain areas, it does not provide a long-term solution for eliminating them from your property.

c) Adaptability Of Gophers

Gophers are naturally persistent and adaptable creatures. For this reason, they can find ways to overcome or bypass repellents like castor oil and dish soap by digging new burrows or finding alternative food sources. This can lower the method’s effectiveness method over time.


Getting rid of gophers with castor oil and dish soap is a natural, effective, easy-to-use, affordable, non-toxic gopher deterrent method. Remember, this remedy offers a short-term solution against gophers.

So, for a more permanent solution, consider using exclusion, trapping, sonic devices, encouraging natural predators, and planting gopher-resistant plants.

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