Date of this Version
Crop Protection 46 (2013) 7-12; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2012.12.018
Population reduction through trapping is among the most common techniques used to mitigate damage caused by pocket gophers in a variety of crops. A new trap called the Gophinator was recently developed that combined many positive attributes of previous pocket gopher traps. Because efficacy data for this trap was lacking, we compared capture rates of this trap to the Macabee trap, the most commonly used pocket gopher trap in the western U.S. We also addressed factors that may influence the efficacy of traps such as cover status of the trap set, season, gender, and weight of the captured pocket gopher. We found the Gophinator trap was more efficacious than the Macabee, likely due to its superior ability to capture larger pocket gophers, which could increase the efficacy of pocket gopher control programs throughout North America. Covered trap sets resulted in greater capture rates during late spring-early summer but not during autumn. However, covered trap sets required more time to implement and did not result in a greater number of captures for an 8-h workday trapping period. If efficacy is paramount, trap sets should be covered during late spring-early summer, but when time is a constraining factor, trap sets left uncovered will be most efficient. Covering trap sets in autumn provided no tangible benefits.