HOW IT WORKS:
- When a gas cartridge is ignited, it produces carbon monoxide gas that fills the burrow system. The carbon monoxide induces a loss of consciousness in the animal. Death occurs rapidly with minimal discomfort for the animal.
HOW TO USE IT:
Gas CartridgesLaunch Image Gallery: Gas Cartridges
1. Drag field or
fill in burrows a few days before you fumigate to determine which ones are
active. The label also recommends that you observe the area 24 hours before you
intend to treat it to observe whether or not burrows are being actively used by
2. When you are ready to fumigate, make sure you have sod or soil to cover the burrows before you begin.
3. With a screwdriver, nail or pencil, punch 7 holes in the endcap where indicated and insert the fuse with at least 3 inches exposed.
4. Kneel at the burrow opening, light the fuse, and place the cartridge, fuse end first, into the burrow.
5. Push the cartridge in as far as you can with a shovel handle.
6. Let it burn for a moment to make sure it ignites. Be careful not to breathe smoke.
7. Cover the opening with sod, grass side down, or soil to seal the hole. Be careful not to smother the cartridge. Watch for 3-4 minutes and cover any other burrow opening or crack where you see smoke escaping.
8. Repeat the process in 2-3 days if needed.
9. Treat all active burrows in the area.
- There is relatively low risk of poisoning due to ingestion of charcoal or the sodium nitrate, though of course these are not meant for human consumption.
- Take fire safety precautions when using gas cartridges. The by-products of gas cartridges are sodium nitrate, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen. The sodium carbonate may irritate humans, but it is produced underground so unlikely will disturb the applicators. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen easily dissipate into the environment. The animals killed by carbon monoxide pose no threat to scavengers.
- Do not use near dry grass or in burrows near buildings due to fire hazard and potential to inject smoke into buildings.
WHERE TO GET IT:
- Gas cartridges that are produced by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are generally the cheapest ones available. You can find them at your local agricultural commissioner office. There are also commercial versions available at hardware and gardening stores that are slightly more expensive, but may serve the needs for small-scale home property.
- As with all fumigants, you must be aware of the impact to endangered species that sometimes inhabit squirrel burrows. The website for the Department of Pesticide Regulation Endangered Species Project is a useful source of information.
- You may not treat unoccupied burrows, nor burrows with evidence of a snake or weasel having entered it in prusuit of prey.
- Allow only responsible persons to do the placing of cartridges. The cartridge produces suffocating gas after lighting, so avoid prolonged breathing of smoke.
- Sparks may be ignited so do not use near buildings, haystacks, etc.
- Obtain cartridges for one season’s use. They do not store well unless kept very dry. Unused cartridges must be locked up and stored away from open flame or flammable material.
- Keep out of reach of children. Not to be sold or given to persons under 16 years of age.