The Rodenator: Propane-Powered Pest Control or Animal Cruelty?

Your standard Rodenator explosion rumbles up the earth a little. (image: warmingglow.uproxx.com)

Meet the Rodenator. It’s a wand-shaped device that sends a mix of propane and air down the hole of any troublesome rodents on your farm, then detonates it with an earth-rumbling explosion that “eliminates the targeted pest.” The Montana Department of Agriculture tested it out on a community of prairie dogs and found the Rodenator to be 85-percent effective.

Judging by a company video, a standard Rodenating explosion comes with a boom, and shoots up dirt along the underground burrow. “You’re going to see a beautiful long trail going out into the distance, sometimes as far as 300 feet,” says Ed Meyer, of Meyer Industries, which makes the thing. “It really gives you that sense of ‘I got this guy.’”

One model retails for $1690, which includes shipping.

But not everyone has been pleased with the machine, according to a recent Associated Press story. Residents around Boulder, Colorado, raised concerns that the Rodenator is cruel and noisy, after a nearby ranch Rodenated a group of prairie dogs. Reportedly, some neighboring children even saw prairie dogs on fire. In addition, the local sheriff’s office suspects the explosions may exceed the 55-decibel sound limit.

The surrounding debate has the signs of a small-town brouhaha. Is the Rodenator a crucial tool for farmers and ranchers or a stone-cold squirrel killer?

Here’s one of the company’s videos:

And here’s a video posted by a Rodenator user. (What’s going on here? Did he Rodenate his pants? LOL!)