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Spokane to detonate squirrels

The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way, the agency said.

"You're kidding," Humane Society Director Gail Mackie said when she learned the news.


26 Responses:

  1. baconmonkey says:

    there is only one possible response to this

  2. luserspaz says:

    I am all for killing rodents in whatever manner necessary. However, whoever decided that this was "humane" is clearly insane.

    • bifrosty2k says:

      However, whoever decided that this was "humane" is clearly insane.

      You have obviously never had to kill a squirrel...
      Killing it with a giant mallet would also be humane.

  3. k3ninho says:

    The squirrels where I am don't live in tunnels. They live in trees. Does Spokane have a weird underground resistance movement composed of squirrels fighting The Man?

  4. spike says:

    Pour pelletized dry ice into the tunnels. Gravity will pull the (heavier-than-air) CO2 down into tunnels, displacing the air and suffocating the vermin. Reported to work against burrowing insects as well as mammals.

    • lionsphil says:

      Arguably more cruel to suffocate them than to kill them hopefully instantly with a shockwave, though.

      • spike says:

        Perhaps true, perhaps not.

        But unlike the nice people suggesting the use of a thermobaric fuel-air weapon against cute fuzzy baby animals, I never claimed my way was 'humane'.

        Don't miss the fourth paragraph of the above-linked page for the Department of Defense's description of how a fuel-air blast in an enclosed space kills. When the fricken' DoD describes a 'kill mechanism' as 'unique -- and unpleasant', I tend to take them at their word.

      • mooflyfoof says:

        What about carbon monoxide poisoning? It does suffocate you but I've heard you basically just fall asleep and don't wake up. I wonder why they don't investigate that option.

        • lionsphil says:

          Er, they probably have. But I believe that CO is less dense than air, thus doesn't have the lovely pours-self-into-burrows property of CO2. Else the people who designed ceiling-mount CO alarms are some damn sick pranksters.

          (WP has it classified as toxic, too, so you'd probably have the rabid environmental types all over you as well, not to mention the "exterminators pump park full of toxic gas" headlines.)

          • Well, it is toxic. And if I understand correctly, it binds irreversibly to hemoglobin, meaning that there are long-lasting negative effects even if you let it diffuse into, say, a park, where it's not going to be concentrated enough to kill anyone.

            • lionsphil says:

              AIUI, the effects do clear up due to the natural destruction and replenishment of red blood cells in a healthy body (Wikipedia gives CO-bonded haemoglobin a half-life of 4 to 6 hours, but I may be misinterpreting something there). CO kills people because it can overwhelm their ability to stop being exposed to it (sometimes without them even noticing, e.g. in their sleep). Naturally this is still not desirable, but it's tolerable—we allow cars in our cities, after all.

              (All said, I'm not a biologist or any kind of medic, and it's quite possible that it'd be a terrible and unsafe idea even if it did flow nicely down into squirrel holes and hardly spill at all.)

              • Hmm, I thought the turnover rate for red blood cells was on the order of weeks, not hours. I should check that out. And yes, cars produce CO, but it's considered an atmospheric pollutant and we try to limit it (although I think that's also to improve efficiency, so I don't really know what the deal is).

  5. justmealex says:

    I'm studying in Spokane.

    This hell hole is also famous for tens of thousands of tire busting potholes (very common for neighbors to fill their own as the City will not), plus smuggling soap in from Idaho [la times]

  6. carnivillain says:

    It seems more humane than the alternatives. If you shoot them, you risk missing and only maiming them. Poison of course can be horribly cruel and painful. Natural things like hawks probably aren't very nice, either.

    Regardless, I'm all for the destruction of disease-vector varmints.


  7. shandrew says:

    They sell lower-tech versions of the same thing at Lowe's. it looks like a mini stick of TNT. Put it in the squirrel hole, light fuse, run away.