A SMALL Canberra bio-tech company has developed a household aerosol that will kill cane toads in less than a minute.
''It's completely humane, there's no twitching, writhing, foaming at the mouth, turning blue or anything at all traumatic,'' the spray's inventor David Dall said.
''It's not toxic to people or family pets, and won't contaminate the garden with chemical residue. You spray the toads, they hop a bit slower, stop hopping and become unconscious. It kills them in their sleep.''
Dr Dall's company Pestat, developed the spray to help prevent family pets being killed by toads in suburban yards.
Cane toads have poison glands on their shoulders, which can kill dogs and cats that pick up toads in their mouths. The toad venom causes rapid heartbeat, convulsions and death within minutes.
''We're hoping people will use this spray rather than golf clubs and cricket bats to kill cane toads,'' Mr Dall said.
The lemon-scented spray, called Hop Stop, sells for just under $20 and has taken almost two years of chemical testing to reach the retail market. It went on sale in Queensland yesterday.
''Its active ingredient, chloro-xylene, is is already in use in personal care products,'' Dr Dall said.