The Gopher Snake Bait Applicator
Pocket gophers are a fossorial (i.e. subterranean) rodent that eats plants and their roots. Sometimes pocket gophers gnaw on buried pipes and wires causing substantial financial losses to the owners.
Pocket gophers are usually controlled by traps or toxicants. All toxicants for pocket gophers must be placed below ground with the access hole closed behind it to prevent non-target access to the bait. Typically, you find the hole by probing the mound for the burrow which is usually plugged, but the soil is softer than the undisturbed ground around it. Once you find the hole, you dig it out till you reach the horizontal tunnel up to 15 inches below. Deposit the bait and close the hole. Sounds simple enough. But one of the challenges is to back fill the hole without burying the bait you just deposited. For if the bait becomes buried, the pocket gopher is less likely to eat it.
The Gopher Snake is a bait application device designed to help applicators get the toxicant deep into the tunnel and therefore safe from being covered when the hole is closed. The device has a flexible cable connecting a bait holder to a plunger. The plunger is held by two fore-fingers with the thumb pushing the plunger to open the bait holder. The design is so simple, one wonders why it hasn’t been invented earlier.
It is useful for owners wishing to treat small tracks of land perhaps up to an acre. If you have multiple acres to treat, a professional bait applicator that allows you to create the hole and release bait in one step would be preferable. For those with dozens of acres, you should consider a burrow builder to apply bait.
I am not endorsing the product because I haven’t used it yet. But I find it intriguing. If you wish to learn more about it, visit thegophersnake.com
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. He can be contacted at stephenvantassel at Hotmail dot com.
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