Landscapers working to eradicate burrowing rodents without poisons or other harmful chemicals are instead finding success with a poison-free, non-chemical, pest control method that delivers a precision underground shockwave to the targeted animals while also collapsing their tunnel systems to prevent re-infestation.


As delivered by the Rodenator pest elimination system, developed by Meyer Industries, for instance, a wand is inserted into a burrow hole, and a mixture of oxygen and propane gas is shot into the hole for sixty to ninety seconds, depending on the type of animal. Then another button on the wand is pressed, igniting a spark into the mixture, creating a precision underground shockwave.


The shockwave instantly kills the burrowing rodent while also destroying the tunnel. Although it has drawn some complaints by PETA, the American Veterinary Medical Association considers death by concussion with sufficient force to be “a humane method of euthanasia.”


“The Rodenator concept is not only effective but also an easy sell as an add-on service,” said Mark Lynch, president of Legendary Landscapes, a full-service landscape contractor based in Salisbury, Md. “There’s no waiting for results, and minimal return visits. By avoiding the repair and replacement of landscaping including plants, flowers, turf, and trees, we could save tens of thousands of dollars a year. Since the process takes just minutes with no residual dangers, homeowners love it. We can work around their schedules, and they can get back to their cookouts and outdoor family gatherings right away.”


Because the mixture is consumed immediately and completely, it leaves no chemical residue behind. In one fell swoop, the animals are extinguished and the tunnel system local to the hole is collapsed. This eliminates handling and disposal of the carcass, and prevents re-infestation of the tunnels by neighboring rodents.


“Since the mixture is completely consumed on ignition with no chemical residue, we often bundle it with our organic products and services,” said Lynch. “It’s a good fit for a public that’s increasingly concerned about reducing chemical exposure.”


To further increase operator productivity and comfort, a new R3 Pest Elimination System adds wired detonation up to 25 feet from the source, and 20% more power to the industry leading Rodenator line, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has over 20,000 units in the field domestically and internationally. “Though we’re dealing primarily with moles and voles now, adding more power to the system while increasing operator comfort should boost productivity and help to eliminate bigger pests from gophers and ground squirrels to groundhogs,” said Lynch.


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