Rat Poison Kills More Than Rats

Letter
posted by Lisa Ketcham
Sat, March 15, 2014
3 comments
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Beyond the obvious danger to children and pets that gain access to rodent poison bait, any wildlife that eats poisoned rodents will also be poisoned.  Hawks, owls, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes are our allies in keeping rodent populations under control. 
 
An organization known as Raptors Are The Solution (R.A.T.S.) has been working hard to get the word out, including several campaigns to raise awareness. www.raptorsarethesolution.org

The EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulations have started procedures to get rat poisons off the market, but have been challenged in federal court. R.A.T.S. has been successful in getting California cities and counties to pass resolutions to discourage rat poison commerce at their level. So far at least 15 cities in California have passed resolutions, including San Francisco, several East Bay cities, as well as Humboldt County. R.A.T.S. encourages communities that have such rich local wildlife like those in San Mateo County to take on these resolutions as well.

Rat bait may be the only way to mitigate very large infestations, especially indoors. Rats and mice learn quickly to avoid traps when they see the results.  In such infestations the rodent population has established indoor breeding colonies and do not necessarily go back outdoors if they find sustenance indoors, including plastic, wiring, etc.

All bait should be set out in locked bait boxes that children can’t open, in areas where pets do not have access. Bait is harmful to pets and children, so extreme care is needed with its use. Small infestations are sometimes manageable using traps. Rat traps may also injure pets and children, so care is needed with those as well. Electronic traps work for one rodent at a time but frequently do not last very long.

Here’s a how-to video on successful rat control trapping methods by a professional. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c49M78SGu00&app=desktop

Professionals are better able than many homeowners to crawl into hard to reach spaces repeatedly to work with traps and such. Professionals told me how to manage my huge hidden infestation, and their assistance included bait. Traps were not enough to kill them all. We used several methods, with the professionals’ help, to get rid of them before the damage could be repaired. These rodents were indoors, none were found outside. Removing all such options when they are needed opens up a potential disease disaster as well. If you’ve never been where these things happen, you don’t have a clue. I do not propose using bait in all situations, like “a mouse,” and never without appropriate precautions. Banning certain critically needed substances across the board is generally very shortsighted and may create more problems than it solves.

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