How To Catch A Gopher With A Milk Jug?

Gophers can be the source of major headaches for both homeowners and gardeners. The burrowing rodents often enter the lawns and gardens, digging the ground to create tunnels for shelter. It can significantly ruin the appearance and health of the lawn or garden, and dealing with the issue is quite expensive. 

There are quite a few ways of removing gophers from lawns. However, these methods often include poisons or harmful chemicals, resulting in environmental damage and wildlife impact. Capturing the gopher burrowing the lawn with a milk jug is an efficient yet humane method. 

The gophers can be removed easily from the lawn or garden. And the method does not cause any sort of damage to the environment or wildlife. Not only that, but you only need a handful of materials for the job. 

In this guide, we will discuss the method on how to catch a gopher with a milk jug in detail. We will also talk about key pieces of information related to the topic. Continue reading till the end of the guide. 

Materials Needed 

Making a milk jug trap to catch and exclusion of gophers is a simple and easy process. You only need a few materials for the work. Let us take a look at the materials of DIY gopher traps and where you can find them easily. 

Catch A Gopher With A Milk Jug

Milk Jug

The most important material required to set up a milk jug catching method for pest prevention for the gophers is a milk jug itself. Make sure to use a jug with a capacity of at least 1 gallon. These jugs have a decent amount of space inside, allowing the rodent to move freely inside them. Typically, you will get the jug when you purchase milk from the store. 

Milk Jug


The next material you will need is a thin wire or a coat hanger hook. This wire is used to set up the bait inside the milk jug. You will find the wires readily available in hardware stores. 


Providing bait comes in handy when catching backyard pests, such as gophers. Bait such as cheese, bread, peanut butter, and so on can help to attract gophers to the trap. You can use food as bait or purchase specific ones from your local pet supply store. 

Digging Tool 

A soil-digging tool is needed to dig a small hole in the ground. The milk jug will be placed in this dug hole to lure the gophers in. Digging tools are typically available in gardens or lawns, or you can purchase them from nearby hardware stores. 

Building The Trap With Milk Jug

Gopher trapping with a milk jug is one of the easiest home remedies. All you have to do is follow a few easy steps. Take a look at these steps, along with gopher-trapping tips for beginners

Building The Trap With Milk Jug
  • Step 1: Take the milk jug and cut a small hole on one side of the can with the help of a knife or cutter. 
  • Step 2: Rely on a small piece of wire and shape it like a hook. 
  • Step 3: Poke the wire through the plastic jug and twist the end to attach it to the bottle. 
  • Step 4: Apply bait to the end of the wire inside the jug. 
  • Step 5: Make sure that the bait is properly visible from the outside. 
  • Step 6: Dig a small hole in the ground with the digging tool. 
  • Step 7: Place the milk jug trap in the hole and make sure that the opening is facing upwards. 
  • Step 8: Cover the area with dirt and keep a close eye on the trap. 


  • Use a small amount of food for baiting on the hook or wire to attract the gopher. 
  • Find an area on the ground where the gophers frequent. 
  • Look for gopher tunnels, piles of soil, gopher droppings, and so on on the lawn to find the hideout of the gopher species. 

Checking and Maintaining The Trap

Checking the trap on a regular basis and maintaining it properly is essential to ensure its effectiveness in catching gophers. Here are a few tips and tricks for checking and maintaining a homemade gopher trap. 

Checking and Maintaining The Gopher Trap
  • Check The Trap: 

After setting the trap into the ground, make sure to check it at least once every day. Regular checks are important as the trapped gopher will be stressed in the trap. This is important as the caught gopher must be released into its habitat soon to reduce stress and prevent harm. 

  • Wear Gloves 

Wearing gloves when removing gophers from the milk jug trap is a must. This is because gophers have a strong sense of smell. And the animals can return back to the lawn by identifying their smell. 

Ensure Proper Trap Condition

On a regular basis, make sure that you check the condition of the milk jug trap. This will help to replace the jug when it cracks or breaks. Not only that, but make sure to replace the bait regularly to increase the chance of wildlife removal. 

Relocate The Trap

Take the milk jug trap out of the ground and change its position once every few days. This will help to increase the chances of catching the gopher. Not only that, but it will also reduce the risk of odors that deter the animal from entering the trap. 

How To Release A Trapped Gopher Safely

Releasing a trapper gopher in a safe manner is important to prevent damage to the animal. Once the gopher is trapped in the milk jug, lift the trap from the ground. Make sure that you do not shake the milk jug when taking it out. 

How To Release A Trapped Gopher Safely

Choose a suitable location, such as a forest or wooded area, away from the garden or lawn. Take the jug to the location and release it into the wilds. 

Alternatives To The Milk Jug Trap 

The milk jug trap is undoubtedly one of the most humane methods of capturing gophers. Even though it is a simple way of catching the animal, there are quite a few alternatives to the milk jug trap. Check out some of the top alternatives to this method. 

Alternatives To The Milk Jug Trap For Gopher

1. Live Trapping:

Live trapping is quite similar to a milk jug trap. In this method, the gophers are caught with the help of a cage or box. There is bait placed inside the box, and the door closes once the animal enters the cage. 

It is an effective method of catching gophers but requires regular checking to prevent damage. Not only that, but frequent maintenance of the trap is a must. 

2. Fencing 

Another great alternative to keeping gophers away from your property is to rely on barriers and wire fencing. It helps to keep the animals away while ensuring the safety of the garden. While it is a great method of keeping rodents away, it ruins the appearance of the lawn and can be quite expensive. 

3. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the most effective ways to catch a gopher and prevent gopher infestation from escalating further. Even though the chemical compounds successfully remove the gophers from the soil by killing them, it causes significant damage to the wildlife. 

Not only that, but it also causes damage to the plants in the garden. We suggest taking help from pest control companies if you want to use this type of harsh method. 

If you’re interested in learning how to catch a gopher with a milk jug, you might also find our articles on when gophers come out of hiding and gopher habitat (where do gophers live) informative. Our article on when gophers come out of hiding provides insights into their activity patterns and the best times to catch them. Additionally, if you want to know more about gopher habitats and their natural dwellings, our article on gopher habitat (where do gophers live) offers information on their preferred environments. By exploring these articles, you’ll gain a better understanding of gopher behavior, their hiding habits, and the habitats they inhabit.


Looking for answers regarding the topic? Read these commonly asked questions about gopher milk jug traps. 

Is It Legal To Trap Gophers Using A Milk Jug Trap?

Trapping gophers and removing them from the lawn is important to ensure proper lawn health. Using a milk jug trap is legal as it does not harm the gopher in any manner. In this method, the animal is simply located in a new location. 

Can I Reuse The Milk Jug Trap?

Yes, reusing the milk jug trap is possible. However, you have to make sure that the jug is not broken or damaged in any manner. Make sure to clean the jug once every few days and change the bait to ensure proper pest management. 


Keeping gophers and other rodents away from your garden or lawn can be quite difficult. The milk jug trap is one of the most humane initiatives for removing animals from the property. It is a simple and affordable method of catching gophers. 

Gophers are an essential part of the world’s ecosystem. These animals aerate the soil through their digging, which often helps in promoting plant growth. Humane trapping regulations and methods help to prevent harm and damage to the animals and allow people to relocate them for a healthy life.

Further research and continued study of the gopher trappings and removal methods is a must. This helps to identify and find new methods of catching gophers and pest control. Not only that, but it also helps to raise awareness about the humane gopher trapping methods and the importance of wildlife in nature.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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