Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thorsson's Patent Method of Gopher Elimination

'Tis the season for little rodents to burrow their way under your much-looked-after lawn and/or garden. There they will gnaw away at the tender roots of tomorrow's dinner greens, summer blooms, and verdant turf; undermining every bit of labor you put into growing them.

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to combatting these nasty little biters. Some of them may be more exotic, or exciting, or humane, but when you've got as many boats to take care of as my father does, nothing seems to work quite so well as last year's expired marine distress flares. How does he do it? Read on...

DISCLAIMER: Do not try this at home! I will not be held responsible if you singe off your eyebrows, burn down your house, or kill your cat with poisonous gasses.

STEP ONE: Choose Your Weapon
In this case, the plan is to use a floating orange smoke flare:
Dad Smoke
These flares are designed to be visible in daylight from miles away to alert rescuers to your position. But they can also have a darker, deeper purpose...

STEP TWO: Identify the Target
It's important not to waste a flare on a hole that is no longer in use by gophers. Here's an easy way to tell the difference:
STEP THREE: Activate the Flare
Pop Smoke

STEP FOUR: Attack!
Insert the flare firmly into the hole, jamming it in far enough to ensure an adequate seal to trap the smoke inside the gopher's tunnel network without snuffing out the flame in the dirt:
Gopher Choke

STEP FIVE: Triumph!
Now's the time to sit back, relax, and revel in the fact that the nasty little critter who's been wreaking havoc in your landscaping is choking to death somewhere in the deep, dark underground from whence he came. Take this opportunity to reflect on your rightful place at the top of the food chain. Know that you will remian the master of your domain for as long as you have opposable thumbs and access to tools and noxious chemicals.

Isn't that nice?

Pro Tip:
I'd recommend you only gas one hole at a time. You will find that many of them are interconnected and there's no sense wasting flares by dumping more than one into each tunnel network. Instead, once you've dumped a flare into one hole, step back and watch for a few minutes to see if the smoke comes out anywhere else:
Bain Gas
It's also worth pointing out that you don't necessarily have to use a smoke flare. Day/night illuminating flares work just as well. I do not recommend rocket flares as they may result in a deadly, flaming ricochet.


  1. Please report back that Bain is okay! AHHH!

  2. Bain is fine. I couldn't get a good picture of the orange smoke coming up out of the ground. Instead I photoshopped orange smoke into an old picture of Bain taking a break while gopher hunting. I think it had just the right comedic/dramatic effect.

  3. okay, it was kind of late when I viewed this photo and I was worried. You're good with photoshop.