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Gopher Getter Zaps Rodents With Gas
A California company says its new high-tech method of killing gophers, moles, prairie dogs and ground squirrels dead in their dens works better than any other method ever developed. It's been proven 95 percent effective on both ground squirrels and gophers and although it hasn't been tried yet, will likely work just as well on prairie dogs and other burrowing animals, say the developers.
The new gopher getter consists of a slender hand-held 36-in. long stainless steel probe that pumps a fumigant called acrolein down into the underground dens. Acrolein has been registered since 1959 as an aquatic herbicide. It's marketed under the name Magnacide H by Baker Crop Protection Chemicals (BCPC) of Bakersfield, Calif.
"It's more effective than anything else we know of for immediate population knock-down," says BCPC's Dave Blodget.
Here's how it works. The wand is inserted into a tunnel, then the opening is covered with soil around the wand, and the fumigant injected. The material injects in liquid form, then turns into a gas that's heavier than air so it moves quickly down the tunnels and dens, suffocating the animals as it spreads. It then quickly breaks down.
Rate, pressure and duration of application are electronically controlled by a 12 volt control box. A horn on the box blows when chemical is flowing. The box also counts each treatment. The fumigant comes in a tank and nitrogen gas is used to pressurize the tank and force the substance out through hoses to the probe.
The system itself sells for $1,200. A 53-gal. tank of fumigant sells for $1,776 and treats 9,500 holes (18 cents apiece). An 8.2-gal. tank sells for $371 and treats 1,500 holes (25 cents apiece). (Prices FOB Taft, Calif.).
The fumigant is a restricted use pesticide, meaning training is required for its use.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Baker Performance Chemicals Inc., Baker Crop Protection Chemicals Division, P.O. Box 11192, Bakersfield, Calif. 93389 (ph 805 763-5137, fax 765-6046).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3