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Do sonic gopher repellents work?

The answer to this question is yes–and no. A simple internet search will give you divided opinions on the efficacy of sonic pest control.

March 15, 2022

11 min read time

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Gophers, moles, and voles – while arguably pretty cute for pests, these subterranean creatures are still pests. They are quite destructive pests at that, able to do a considerable amount of damage to your yard overnight.

Maybe you are here because you’ve just discovered you have gophers or moles, or maybe you’ve tried to get rid of these pests already; either way, this article will give you the knowledge you need to make an informed choice on using a sonic repellent for gophers.

Do sonic gopher spikes/mole repellents really work?

The answer to this question is yes–and no.

A simple internet search will give you divided opinions on the efficacy of sonic pest control. That being said, if you adjust your search question to find the most effective repellent for gophers or moles, the results will overwhelmingly come up with a sonic or ultrasonic option.

Break it down

Those who say yea

There is a consensus among verified purchasers of sonic deterrents to repel gophers and moles across multiple platforms that have given 3 or more stars, and that is: they work.

You can find multiple videos of users demonstrating how they distributed them around their properties and gardens and the before and after results.

Positive points that satisfied users have noted include: sonic repellers are affordable and cost-effective as they use solar power; there is minimal effort needed for installation and maintenance; and, a noticeable decrease in gopher/mole/rodent activity in the yard after a period of time.

So, while pest control experts and research may not have conclusive evidence that a sonic or ultrasonic pest repellent is effective, users seem to be a little more confident that they do work.

Those who say nay

So why do some people say the sonic spikes don’t work, when so many say they do?

Well, there could be mitigating factors at play.

Maybe there were more gophers and moles than the user initially thought; maybe there are adjoining properties with a pest problem also; maybe they didn’t have enough spikes installed for the size of the property; maybe the food source for the rodents/moles is particularly abundant and worth it to them to suffer through the noise; or maybe, they just didn’t work for them.

In our quest to discover if sonic gopher repellents are effective in general, let’s break down the facts about sonic gopher spikes.

How do sonic gopher and mole repellents work?

The basics:

A sonic repellent is solar-powered and when driven into the ground and activated, every 30 seconds it will emit sound waves for about 2 seconds.

These sounds, or sonic pulses, are emitted above and below ground, usually covering a circular pattern space around 40 feet in diameter. The sound emitted is highly irritating to burrowing animals and you will find gophers and moles will turn around and go in the opposite direction of the sound.


Sonic stakes are solar-powered.

In fact, they almost look like those little solar light spikes that people use in their garden paths, but without the light.

The spike itself is around 8 or 9 inches with encased solar panels at the top measuring about 2 to 2 ½ inches square. The on/off switch is usually underneath the panel for easy access.

For most sonic stake repellents, the solar battery takes about 4-5 hours to charge, and will last for several days – helpful in those winter months when there is less direct sunlight.

Spread them out:

‘Location, location, location’ is a key phrase in real estate, and this is a good mantra to remember when placing the stakes.

The location of your gopher repellent(s) depends, of course, on the size of the area you want to get rid of the moles, gophers, and voles.

For a small ‘postage stamp’ yard or garden, one centrally placed sonic spike may be all that is needed.

For a larger property, quite a few more would be needed; for example, for an acre of property, you would need at least 12 stakes for them to be effective.

Are sonic spikes easy to install and maintain?

Set up:

Sonic spikes are incredibly simple to install and maintain.

All you have to do is figure out where you want the stake installed for optimum results, then stick it in the ground and turn it on.

After that, your sonic spike will emit a 2-3 second sound wave every thirty seconds, repelling those pesky subterranean pests.


The solar panels are also fully encased in plastic, making them weatherproof so you don’t have to worry about them during adverse weather conditions.

Using solar energy is incredibly efficient and the batteries are long-lasting. Once charged, which can take up to five hours, the battery will last for several days. You may have to spend a little more time in the winter months checking the spikes are charged.

Are sonic repellents harmful to other animals and humans?

If you are looking at repellents, chances are you are not keen to use products that will harm the pests. This is where sonic stakes are ideal – the noise emitted is highly irritating to gophers, moles, and the like, and can even cause confusion, but they won’t die from the noise.

Basically, the constant noise being emitted is irritating enough that they will just leave the area.

Humans can indeed hear the sound, but it is not at a pitch that is particularly annoying, nor is it damaging.

Unlike chemical-based poisons or traps, sonic deterrents are not harmful to other animals or humans making sonic stakes an ideal pest control option.

What are the cons of using sonic spikes?

While there are many positives to using sonic spikes for pest control, there are a couple of ‘cons’ to note, including:

·         There are no immediate results in repelling the pests. It may take up to 3 weeks, or more, for the underground pests to leave the area completely so there is no ‘instant’ satisfaction that consumers so often want.

One way of helping boost the repelling along may be to use a granular or liquid-repellent (more on these below) as well during the first few weeks of using the sonic spikes.

·         Weather conditions can affect the solar charge, especially when several days go by with little sun to charge the internal battery.

Do gopher deterrents work?

It is important to note here that we are discussing deterrents for gophers and moles, not products that will poison or trap them. We want to get rid of moles and gophers and other burrowing pests from the garden and yard, but we don’t want to kill them.

A deterrent or repellent will simply encourage the critters to disperse and leave your yard or garden to go on their merry way to a different location.

Ultimately, the desired end result is to have a pest-free area. Now, completely pest-free seems a bit of a reach if we are honest with ourselves.

But that doesn’t mean that deterrents or repellents are ineffective if there are a few stragglers here and there.

Frankly, pests are still part of the ecosystem, so we don’t want to irradicate them, simply lead them to somewhere that isn’t your garden or yard.

What are some other products that repel gophers and moles?

Ultrasonic repellents for gophers and moles

We have up to now discussed sonic spike repellers, but there are also ultrasonic repellents for moles and gophers that are similar in structure and makeup as the sonic spikes but differ in that they emit an ultrasonic sound beneath the ground.

Gophers and moles hate this highly irritating sound and, as with a sonic repellent, the critters are encouraged to make their homes in a different location.

Sonic mole chasers

Sonic mole chasers simply work as ultrasonic mole repellents. Like gopher sonic spikes, ultrasonic waves are emitted underground that not only confuse moles but the moles hate them and are ‘chased’ away.

Granular, pellet, or liquid repellent

There are other deterrents and repellents for gophers and moles to consider. The most popular non-sonic options are castor oil-based.

Granular repellents, pellets, or liquid castor oil products are easily spread or sprayed around the area needing attention. These often require soil saturation when treating as well as for a few days after treatment. This type of deterrent is natural but can be somewhat labour-intensive to distribute, as well as requiring using additional resources (water).

Gophers and other rodents and pests find the smell of castor oil to be repulsive and, since it doesn’t harm plants or soil, it is an excellent natural repellent. Keep in mind though, the scent of castor oil isn’t just unpleasant to the critters, it’s unpleasant to us humans too.

As noted by users and advertising claims, using a sonic or ultrasonic repellent will not yield immediate results.

So, using a castor oil-based repellent in conjunction with the sonic spikes upon initial installation will give a boost to the beginning stages of trying to get rid of the pests from your yard.

Are there other natural repellents to use to deter gophers, moles and rodents?

We have all had someone in our lives that has told us ‘Back in the day….’ Well, we can’t mention natural repellents without talking about some ‘old fashioned’ remedies.

As we have already determined, gophers, moles and the like have very sensitive noses and are easily deterred by strong scents.

Natural mole repellent:

A few things you may find around your house with strong scents that can also act as natural repellents are coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, and moth balls!

Sprinkle the coffee grounds and/or cayenne pepper around the entrances to the tunnels and job done. Same with the moth balls, drop a few down each hole and the smell will have those little guys turning tail.

So, to answer our question – do gopher deterrents work? – mostly, yes!

The two best options for repelling gophers or moles or voles or any other subterranean pests are sonic or ultrasonic stakes and castor oil-based deterrents.

Both of these deterrents are chemical-free and non-harmful to humans and animals and safe to use in your yard and ornamental or vegetable garden.

What is the best gopher repellent or deterrent?

Ultimately, to achieve a pest-free environment for your yard or garden, you don’t want to disrupt the balance of nature too much.

Gophers, moles, rodents, and other burrowing animals all contribute to the environment–and you have got to admit that some of them are just downright adorable.

So, you don’t want to have to kill moles or gophers or any other critters burrowing around your garden, you just need to chase them out.

We have looked at several options for getting rid of garden pests in an environmentally friendly way – but which is the best option? We recommend Thanos Sonic gopher repellent.


Sonic deterrents:

These will have minimal installation (digging a pilot hole and inserting the spike).

Pellet/granular repellents:

Also light work for spreading the pellets and granules, though there is extra time needed for watering over the first few days.

Castor oil:

Easy to distribute using a pressure sprayer.

Maintenance and extra costs

With the sonic and ultrasonic spikes, the use of solar energy means the batteries won’t need replacing so the only maintenance is checking on them now and then to ensure they receive enough direct sunlight to charge and to make sure they haven’t been accidentally turned off.

Pellets and granules require a little more maintenance. When first distributed, they will need several days of regular watering and will need to be regularly spread.

Liquid castor oil will also require additional and regular spraying.

Picking the best option

So, which is the best option? You may just find it is a combination of solutions.

Sonic and ultrasonic spikes are definitely popular with users; they are affordable, easy to install, and minimal maintenance required.

But, they are slow to work initially. By combining the spikes with either pellets/granules or castor oil, you will increase the devices’ effectiveness from the beginning.


Keeping a yard or garden beautiful and healthy requires a lot of work, especially if you have some burrowing animals wreaking havoc and damaging your crops.

This article provided you with a lot of information on how to repel pests, moles, gophers, and other animals in an inexpensive, natural, and humane manner. So, Go’pher it and get gardening!

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