I often hear people tell me that they are afraid to use baits on rodents because of the risks posed to non-target wildlife. I couldn’t agree more that as a society we need to be mindful of wildlife and ensuring that they are not put in harm’s way. Many of the problems with non-target animals getting into rodenticides is the misuse of the product. With rodenticides being readily available on the market it was easy for anyone to use a product meant for indoor use only, outdoors. I have seen gardeners use strychnine above ground to treat a gopher, who will only eat bait below ground. These scenarios are what endanger the non-target animals. The Department of Agriculture, along with the California Department of Fish and Game, has done a great job in discovering what the problem is and how it can be rectified.
It’s important to understand what rodenticide was the main culprit, also why non-target animals were affected and what’s being done about it now. There are three different categories for baits; first generation, second generation, and finally the non-anticoagulant rodenticides. A study completed from 1995 to 2011 showed that many of the pesticide residues were coming from the second generation baits. These baits were available to the public on store shelves everywhere. As a result of this study tighter restrictions have been placed on the second generation pesticides. By limiting its use to a licensed pest control applicator, ensures that the rodenticides are used in a proper manner. Proper use of rodenticides helps to keep our precious wildlife thriving. Please make sure that when controlling pests that a licensed professional is used.
To view the study visit (it’s a pdf file):
Rodent Control and Its Predators by Gopher-B-Gone