Going underground

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Inventor solves burrowing pest problems on small acreages

By Gene Sears

A local inventor is taking a different approach to burrowing pest control, opting for what he says is a more humane method.
    Fort Lupton’s Billy Martin, formerly a stoneworker, came up with the idea in 2009 and spent the next couple of years refining and manufacturing his system. Fully tested and awaiting patents, the system is ready for market, aimed at small-acreage landowners who want a permanent solution.    

    Martin’s method uses carbon monoxide, directly injected into the burrows by means of an engine-driven distribution system consisting of a trailer, two-port manifold and hosing. Capable of treating two burrows at once; the system is compact, readily portable and, according to Martin, 100% percent effective when used properly.
    “Put it down the hole, tamp dirt around it, let it run for about five minutes,” Martin said. “Pull the hose out, tamp it down and you’re done. That’s it.”
    Another plus Martin cites is the absence of toxic materials left after using his system versus poisons.  Once the animals die, there is no risk to predators or other species that may consume the carcasses.
     “It just puts them to sleep gently, that’s all,” Martin said. “That’s part of the reason I developed the frame, to control the heat. There was loud popping noises coming through, and this fixed all that.”
    Not all systems are as environmentally friendly, and some methods could be legitimately damaging to the property, says Martin..
    “There are actually some on the market, or about to be on the market that mix some oil or some pesticides in their elaborate design,” Martin said. “Then you have oil or pesticide in the ground. As you can imagine, just the gas going in to the ground for a few minutes is really no damage.”
    Owning the system outright is a major benefit to the landowner, versus paying a contractor to come out yearly.
    “The big problem, and the reason that this is a good deal, is that those animals don’t stay on their side of the fence,” Martin said. “So you take care of your problems, and pretty soon they dig back in.”
    Not a problem with Martin’s device, ready to go when needed.
    “After you get control of your property, if you have one of these, then every few months you can go out and take care of the two or three that have dug back in,” Martin said. “It just takes a few minutes and you are done.”
    For more information, or to purchase the system, visit www.rascaleradicator.com.