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Product Review: Sweeney Gopher Sonic Spike

Sweeney's Sonic Spike for Gophers and Moles

Gophers and moles can be very destructive to a yard and they are difficult to get rid of. Gopher control is difficult because the rodents can range across a large area, including your neighbor's yard. Various options exist to deal with these rodents including traps, poison and flooding. However, if you are looking for a non-lethal method, you might be curious about the sonic repellant products on the market.

We tested the Sweeney Sonic Spike for Moles and Gophers (Retail Price $30.99) . The products are sold as a pair; two spikes about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. We tested the battery operated model, although a solar model is also available. Each spike takes 3 "D" size batteries. We tested the product for six months, from fall to late spring, in an area inhabited by a gopher.

The instructions call for making a hole near the rodent's active area and inserting the spike into the hole, leaving only the top cap exposed. The spike is not strong enough to be driven into the ground without first making a pilot hole. Place the second spike in another part of the yard for a broader area of control.

The spike makes a periodic buzzing sound, about every 30 seconds. The sound can be heard above ground at least 15 feet away. So you may not want to locate it near a window, as it can be heard indoors.

After installing the spikes, we waited and observed the gopher's activities. There was no immediately obvious change in activity. The gopher continued creating new mounds, in the same general area as before. No apparent movement away from the sound was observed.

One afternoon while working in the yard, my neighbor walked by, then stopped and asked about the buzzing sound. I showed him the sonic spike. He became visibly annoyed, and said "so you're just going to chase him into my yard?" After three months, activity continued unabated. On one particular day the gopher created a mound just inches away from the spike. After six months, gopher activity was still unchanged. The same number of mounds were being created, in the same general area.

In our opinion, the sonic spike was completely ineffective at gopher control, as well being a potential source of contention with neighbors. We did not test the sonic spike with moles, therefore, the possibility exists that moles will react differently than gophers. However, based upon our results, we cannot recommend the Sweeney Sonic Spike.

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