How To Kill Gophers with Bleach and Ammonia: An Expert Guide

Has your gorgeous yard turned into a host and breeding ground for gophers? These small, furry, burrowing rodents can be troublesome when they invade your yard. And the worst part is that eliminating them can be an uphill struggle.

Perhaps you’ve tried various methods, such as trapping, physical barriers, and repellants, but none seems to work. The good news is that you’re not out of options. Read on as I detail the step-by-step process of killing gophers with bleach and ammonia.

Using Bleach and Ammonia To Kill Gophers

Pouring bleach and ammonia into the underground network of tunnels is an effective method of killing gophers. When the two chemicals mix in a gopher hole, they create a chloramine gas that kills gophers instantly. 

Chloramine gas is highly toxic. Taking necessary precautions before putting the mixture into the gopher holes is advisable. You can protect yourself by wearing a face mask, goggles, sleeves, long pants, gloves, and rubber boots.

To get started, you’ll need tools such as:

  • Shovel
  • Two plastic tubes
  • Two liquid funnels

Follow these steps once you’re ready to pour ammonia and bleach into the gopher holes.

  1. Locate the gopher tunnels: It’s impossible to locate all the underground networks of tunnels that gophers have created in your yard. This is especially true if you’ve been hosting these rodents for a while. However, if you can locate a few tunnels, the better. The aim is to look for various entry and exit points and determine how they connect.
  2. Cut the gopher holes: Cutting the gopher holes helps to create access points, especially if you can’t locate an entry or exit point. You can use a shovel to cut the holes into two halves.
  3. Insert the plastic tubes: Insert one plastic tube into the entry or exit point of the tunnel. Then, insert the second plastic tube into the section you cut with a shovel. Ensure both ends of the tubes face each other. Avoid using metallic tubes as they lack flexibility. They can create other tunnels and direct your chemicals the wrong way.
  4. Pour bleach on one side of the hole: Insert the liquid funnel into the plastic tube. The funnel will help channel the gallon of bleach through the tube and into the hole. Once the bleach gets in the hole, it will spread corrosive fumes that will weaken the gophers. These fumes won’t kill the gophers, but they can start to damage gophers’ body tissues.
  5. Pour ammonia on the other side of the hole: Insert the second liquid funnel into the other plastic tube and pour your gallon of ammonia. Ensure the two chemicals combine in the gophers’ holes to create a reaction.
  6. Cover the holes: When killing gophers with bleach and ammonia, it’s necessary to be cautious of the toxic fumes. That’s why you need to cover all the holes with sand after pouring your chemicals. Do this instantly to prevent the fumes and gophers from escaping. Cover the holes for 10-15 minutes to ensure any gopher dies from the toxic chloramine gas.

Sodium hypochlorite is the active component in bleach. It reacts with the ammonia poured into the gopher holes, forming hydrochloric acid. The remaining ammonia reacts with hydrochloric acid to release the toxic chloramine vapor and stench.

This toxic vapor and stench spread through the gophers’ network of tunnels, killing them instantly.

Caution: Avoid mixing your bleach and ammonia and pouring the mixture into the holes. Mixing the ingredients reduces their effectiveness. You might also inhale the toxic vapor circulating in the atmosphere.  

Why Kill Gophers With Bleach and Ammonia

Bleach and ammonia are not the safest ingredients available for killing gophers. However, they’re tried and tested chemicals that eliminate all these burrowing rodents in gardens and yards.

The best thing to do is to act swiftly after spotting crescent-shaped mounds in your yard. If you allow them to stay, they’ll create several underground burrows for roaming around freely.

As they dig, gophers munch on the roots of your grass and plants. You may see your grass and flowers wither and die.

Gophers can also gnaw water pipes, electrical wires, and cable television they encounter on their underground routes.

The network of tunnels around your yard can create sinkholes. If you have grass around, the sinkholes can be unsightly and pose a danger to your family.

Lastly, holes and gophers in your yard can invite other unwanted guests. For example, predators such as snakes, skunks, and weasels can come over looking for prey and habitat.

There are several reasons why killing gophers with bleach and ammonia is a reliable and effective method:

  • Bleach and ammonia are cheaper than purchasing repellants or traps.
  • You can be sure that this method will kill all gophers in your yard.
  • Unlike traps, repellants, and physical barriers, an ammonia and bleach mixture kills gophers instantly.
  • You can pour bleach and ammonia directly into the gopher holes without preparing the solution.

Precautions for Using Bleach and Ammonia To Eliminate Gophers

As mentioned above, ensure you have protective gear before handling these chemicals.

The toxic vapor created from the mixture is highly caustic and unpleasant. Prolonged exposure to the vapor can cause severe irritation in your nose and eyes. Moreover, you can expose yourself to risks such as anosmia (losing the sense of smell), blindness, and lung damage.

Use these ingredients during a windy day to lower the possibility of inhaling the toxic gas. Ensure the wind blows in the opposite direction as you pour the ingredients into the holes.


Below are answers to frequently asked questions about killing gophers with an ammonia-bleach mixture.

How deep do gophers dig?

Gophers can dig 5-6 feet deep, depending on the soil type. This allows them to create safe underground storage and nest chambers. In most cases, their feeding burrows are usually 6-12 inches below the ground.

How do I find gopher tunnels?

To find a gopher tunnel, locate mounds and dig about 4-12 inches. You can also use a gopher probe to find the main burrow.

How many gophers live in a tunnel?

Gophers are territorial and solitary burrowing rodents. A gopher will live alone in a tunnel unless when raising young ones.

Final Thoughts

Gophers can be troublesome when they invade your yard. If you want to eliminate them, pour bleach and ammonia into the gopher tunnels. It’s always advisable to be cautious when killing gophers with bleach and ammonia. You don’t want exposure to a toxic gas that can pose health risks.