As a passionate gardener, I have always been curious about the eating habits of various animals that visit my garden. One animal that has caught my attention lately is the gopher.
Gophers, specifically pocket gophers, are known to eat a variety of plants, including the roots and bulbs of many vegetables. While they may not specifically target onions, they can potentially consume them if they come across them while foraging.
To protect your onions and other plants from gophers, consider implementing barriers such as underground fencing or using repellents and traps to manage the gopher population in your garden.
With their burrowing behavior, gophers can cause severe damage to the plants in my garden. I have been wondering if gophers eat onions, a vegetable that I grow in my garden.
In this blog post, I will explore this question in detail.
Do Gophers Eat Onions?
The answer to the question, “Do gophers eat onions?” is not a straightforward one. While gophers are known to eat a wide variety of plants, including vegetables, the extent to which they eat onions is unclear.
Some gardeners have reported that gophers have eaten their onion plants, while others have not had any issues with gophers eating their onions. However, it is essential to note that if a gopher is hungry enough, it will eat almost any plant in its path, including onions.
Onions are a popular vegetable that is used in many cuisines worldwide.
They are a member of the allium family and are known for their pungent flavor and health benefits.
Onions are typically grown from bulbs and require well-drained soil and regular watering.
They are usually harvested when the leaves start to turn yellow and fall over.
When & How Gophers Eat Onions
Gophers are active burrowers and spend most of their time underground. They prefer to eat the roots of plants, which is why they are known for causing significant damage to gardens.
When it comes to onions, gophers can eat the bulbs, leaves, and roots of the plant. They typically eat the roots first, which can cause the plant to wither and die.
If the gopher continues to feed on the plant, it may eventually eat the bulbs and leaves.
Why Gophers Eat Onions
Gophers are herbivores and rely on plants for their food. They eat a wide variety of plants, including vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
The primary reason gophers eat onions is that they are hungry and need food. However, they may also eat onions because they are attracted to the pungent odor of the plant.
Implications for Backyard Owners
If you are a backyard owner and grow onions in your garden, gophers can be a significant problem.
These rodents can cause severe damage to your plants, which can result in a reduced harvest.
If you suspect that gophers are eating your onions, it is essential to take measures to protect your garden.
Some options include using gopher-proof fencing, planting onions in containers, or using natural repellents.
Other Animals That Might Eat Onions
Besides gophers, several other animals might eat onions. These include rabbits, deer, and squirrels.
Rabbits are known to eat the tops of onions, while deer can eat the entire plant. Squirrels may also eat the leaves and bulbs of onions.
It is essential to identify the specific animal that is causing damage to your garden and take appropriate measures to prevent further damage.
How To Keep Gophers Out Of Your Yard!
There are several things that can be done to prevent gophers from digging and eating stuff in your backyard. I will list some of the strategies below.
Also, see my recent post if you want a full list of my favorite methods to keep groundhogs and gophers away!
Also, you might want to check out all the things that attract gophers to your yard in the first place!
1. Using ultrasonic sound (Best option)
Gophers, like other bigger mammals that may invade your garden, tend to have very good hearing. This means that loud or consistent noises will scare them away or at least shorten their visits.
Check out my full buying guide for these ingenious ultrasonic repeller devices here!
One of my favorite technologies to keep gophers away from my backyard is these cool solar-powered ultrasonic sound emitters that you can buy right from Amazon! In my experience, they really work, and the solar panels on top save you the time and money of changing batteries all the time.
They will also work against other rodents groundhogs, mice, and rats!
2. Motion-activated sprinklers (Most efficient)
Like most animals, gophers hate surprises, and they will run away if suddenly sprayed with water. I like this solution because it is humane, simple, effective, and does not require much time to set up.
The Havahart 5277 is a motion-activated sprinkler that is activated by the movement of animals up to 25 feet away and sprays them with a harmless water jet, frightening them off and keeping them at bay.
The included metal stake makes it easy to install in your garden, and the sprinkler can be rotated 180 degrees for maximum coverage.
3. Sprinkling natural repellents
Gophers may be scared off by using natural scents such as coyote urine or predator scents.
They may also cause them to leave if there is a combination of sounds being played from a radio. The sounds include the sound of barking dogs and coyotes.
You can sprinkle dog hair, cayenne pepper or strong enteric oils and other natural repellents around the garden to keep the gophers away.
See my complete list of humane ways to keep gophers away from your yard for more tips and tricks!
4. Fencing around the garden
You can also fence around your garden to keep gophers from entering the garden. It should be at least 3 feet deep and have a double row of fencing.
Gophers are good diggers so it has to go underground or they may find a way into the garden even with the fences in place!
5. Using live traps
You can use a live trap to capture gophers and move them to another area. Live trapping is currently the most humane way of gopher control. Once you have removed all gophers from an area, it is important to ensure that they do not come back by using fencing or other barriers to block access.
You can also just buy a live trap, as the sturdy metal ones shown here:
6. Using natural pesticides
There are pesticides or rodent toxins that can be used to kill gophers on your property. These may also affect other animals in the area so it is important to ensure that they are only sprayed on the targeted plants.
I do not recommend these, as I prefer more humane ways as described here. Also, anything that kills an animal will also harm humans to some degree, so go for a repellant rather than a toxin if you go the chemical route!
7. Using Scarecrows
8. Using Lights
Gophers are not strictly nocturnal animals but they are most active at low light so they do avoid areas with bright lights.
Any blinking light will confuse and scare away gophers from your yard, especially if they are motion activated and sudden!
In conclusion, gophers can eat onions, but the extent to which they do so is unclear.
These animals are primarily attracted to the roots of plants, but if they are hungry enough, they may eat the bulbs and leaves of onions.
If you are a backyard owner, it is crucial to take measures to protect your garden from gophers and other animals that may eat your onions.
With the right precautions, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of onions and other vegetables from your garden.