[NAFEX] Would CO2 Be Organic to kill ground hogs?

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Thu Feb 5 22:21:31 EST 2004

On Feb 5, 2004, at 1:11 PM, Erdman, Jim wrote:

> . . .

> 		I think tom is thinking of Halon extinguishers, as I see many CO2 
> ones around, and see them listed in catalogs.  Also, I believe that 
> excess CO2 makes you drowsy, so rather than running away or digging 
> away, a groundhog might decide to take a nap, one that he would never 
> wake from.
> 		Sounds like an idea to me, now to figure out how many cubic feet of 
> CO2 are in the big tank that we got at an auction and use for 
> carbonating beer and soda that we make--and then locate the low 
> entrances of the burrows.
> 		Jim Erdman, in Menomine, WI

I think you are confusing carbon dioxide (CO2) with carbon monoxide 
(CO).  Carbon monoxide makes you drowsy, and gives you a nasty headache 
if you recover.  As a way of killing animals, it is pretty humane.  CO2 
suffocation, in contrast, is very very unpleasant.  I once worked in a 
lab where a lot of rodents were killed in the name of science.  Usually 
we decapitated them, which is quick.  But once someone killed a cage of 
hamsters by gassing them with CO2.  The poor things were miserable, and 
gasped and writhed for a long time before they succumbed.  CO2 is the 
product of respiration, and it is mostly the level of CO2 in your blood 
and lungs that triggers the "take a breath" reflex.  Too much CO2 is 
what makes you feel like you are suffocating, and in greater 
quantities, it burns the lungs.  (Forming carbolic acid, I think.)  
This is not a nice way to kill a groundhog.  It also triggers the "I'm 
trapped in a closed cave" feeling, so my guess is that the groundhog 
would look for a way out, and you'd probably make it miserable without 
actually killing it.  After all, a little too much CO2 must build up in 
burrows fairly frequently.

Acute lead poisoning is kinder and more likely to work.


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