Last Updated: October 5, 2022

a banana plant lying on the ground

Banana tree thought to be downed by a gopher

The western pocket gopher may be small, but it is also very destructive. Over the years I’ve lost more plants to them than I can count. Usually it’s leafy vegetables like lettuces, broccoli and the like, but they’ve also chewed up root crops such as onions and potatoes.

More recently they’ve started going after plants that I once thought were safe. I lost a whole colony of aloe vera this past summer when one particularly inventive gopher started burrowing up into the center of the plants, hollowing them out and killing them.

Now they’ve moved up to a whole new level going after my bananas. This morning I came out to find a 20 foot banana stalk that would have bloomed in spring, toppled over like a fallen tree. Seems a gopher had burrowed up under the plant’s corm and hollowed it out causing the banana to fall. Check out the video.

Grrr. Looks like I’m going to war. Time to pull out the black hole gopher traps.

Update: turns out it wasn’t a gopher at all, but ground squirrels! I’ve been at war with them ever since this episode. So far they’re winning.