On yet another of my forays to the hardware shop – yes, I believe the long-suffering blokes at our local Mitre 10 are sick to death of me; rumour has it they’re clubbing together to buy me a Bunnings gift-card – I was thrilled to discover a can of HopStop.
HopStop is a humane toad-killer in aerosol form, invented by some clever scientists in Canberra:
Despite my deep and abiding hatred of toads, I don’t quite have the bloodlust – or the swing – to club them to death. We’ve tried the freezer method, but I’m uncomfortable turning my kitchen into death row. Having read about the HopStop release I was eager to give it a burl.
The next day the boys tore around the side of the house, whooping with delight. They’d found a pair of toads in the bucket under the tap.
“They were mating.” Magic Man said, a little wistful for the soon-to-be-blighted next generation of toadlets.
“Fabulous.” I replied “With one spray we can effectively eradicate hundreds!”
Over-turning the bucket, we watched the big male hop away at the first sign of trouble. I shook the can and passed it to Magic Man, who’d volunteered as Chief Executioner. He sprayed the toad – a small to medium sized female – for the few seconds recommended on the can. There was no olfactory evidence of the refreshing lemon scent the manufacturers promised – but nor did we reel back choking up our lung linings as you tend to with bathroom cleaner.
The toad took a few hops, then stopped. Could it really be as simple as that? Not quite. Using scientific methods – a few pokes with the end of his home-made bamboo spear – Magic Man determined that our victim was still extant.
A second, five to six second spray did the trick.The toad writhed away, making paddling motions with it’s back legs.
“Poor thing, it thinks it’s swimming in the dirt.” said Elf Boy
Satisfied that our prey was suffering terminal neurological compromise, we turned out attentions elsewhere. The next day I came back with a plastic bag to act as undertaker, lobbing it in the bin.
Verdict: Win for HopStop, but not quite the quick, painless death advertised. I’d recommend an eight to ten second spray for the average adult. Toad, that is – but I’m sure there’s a market for ex-husband spray, scientists, if you’re reading this. HopStop is easier and much less gory than clubbing toads to death. Unlike the freezer method, you don’t have to handle them while they’re live and squirming – or risk forgetting about them, mistaking them for a couple of chops and defrosting at a later date.
Reasonable value at 19.95 a can and it’s always good to support Australian scientists. A few caveats, though: HopStop will kill bees, plants and native frogs, so don’t go carpet bombing the backyard.