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PestiBytes Episode 13: Cover the Holes When Baiting for Moles (or Gophers)!

headphones Introduction/Conclusion: Dr. Dave Stone, Director of the National Pesticide Information Center
Host: Sandra Uesugi, EHSC Outreach Program Coordinator
Guest: Dixie, NPIC Pesticide Specialist

DR. STONE: Welcome to PestiBytes, a podcast series from the National Pesticide Information Center. These are based on common pesticide questions from people just like you.


SANDRA: This is Sandra and I am here again with Dixie to talk about dogs and gopher bait. Why do dogs sometimes dig up gopher bait and eat it?

DIXIE: Gopher baits are prepared with food ingredients to attract gophers. So these baits also seem like food to dogs. Therefore, after applying gopher bait be sure to cover the treated burrows with a heavy material, or keep your dog away from the treated areas to stop him from getting to the bait. Also, make sure to store the product container where your dog is unable to get to it.

SANDRA: Can a dog get sick from eating gopher bait?

DIXIE: Yes. Gopher baits often contain zinc phosphide. When eaten, zinc phosphide reacts with water and acid in the stomach to produce a toxic gas. Signs of poisoning may be vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, deep or wheezy breathing and weakness. More serious effects may include incoordination, convulsions, and possibly death. These signs typically begin within 15 minutes to 4 hours after eating the bait. However, if the dog ate the bait on an empty stomach, signs may not appear for as long as 12 to 18 hours.

SANDRA: What should someone do if their dog ate gopher bait with zinc phosphide?

DIXIE: If this happens, contact your veterinarian for treatment-related advice, or call the 24-hour National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

SANDRA: Thanks, Dixie!

DIXIE: You're welcome!


DR. STONE: If you have questions about pesticides, please call us at 1-800-858-7378 or visit us on the web at http://npic.orst.edu. PestiBytes is brought to you by the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are produced in collaboration with OSU's Environmental Health Sciences Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated May 10, 2011

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