Rodents and Rodenticide Use:
One of the most common calls I receive is,
“I have mice but do not want rodenticides used”.
One of the most common calls I receive is, “I have mice but do not want rodenticides used”. This is a fair statement. As an IPM company (integrated pest management), we do our very best to minimize off target animals and treat our environment with the respect it deserves. I enjoy these calls because I love discussing this topic. It is something I am very passionate about, not just rodenticides, all pesticides. We can’t be like Frankenstein, “FIRE BAD”! There are pros and cons with everything, “never this” and “always that” are rarely the answer.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Not all rodenticides are created equal. Saying I don’t like rodenticides is like saying you do not like household cleaners because you do not like bleach.
- I wish we lived more like the Costa Rica people. Feeding wildlife is not only illegal, but also considered animal cruelty. They do not need your help, lose the bird feeders!
- There are degrees on a scale of secondary poisoning and even some that have no antidote.
- It is my strong belief that allowing a rodent population to increase in or around your home only invites animals of prey. Thus, increasing the likelihood of secondary poisoning, from birds to four legged mammals. The wise approach is to let the population grow in the woods, not your back yard. Increased rodent population plus a quick reactive measure (poison) increases concerns for all off target animals including birds of prey.
- There are products that minimize secondary poisoning while lowering populations.
- When you read in the news about birds of prey dying from rodenticide use, more than not, it is a homeowner or DYI using over the counter products incorrectly.
It is my best advice to have an ongoing exterior, secured, locked and anchored rodenticide program to keep off target, secondary poisoning issues from happening. It then comes down to what product and how much to use. Here at profishant, we use products that all have an antidote as well as score very low on the secondary poisoning scale. By keeping the rodent population low, we can stop infestations before they happen. This keeps prey less likely to visit this area for a food source. By limiting these populations, we are limiting the likelihood of such mishaps.
The most common issue I run across is when we rid the home of the population, some customers will cancel. They say, “We do not have an issue anymore and we do not like rodenticides”. This usually turns into a call months later, a year later. “They are back, what can you do for us”? We then must start over. Increased populations with bait consumption. This is not the best practice and is counterproductive. Keeping an ongoing program is the best practice.
Rodenticides are not the end all be all. They are just another tool in our large toolbox. A tool that can be useful when implemented with respect, thought and care. This is how we handle rodenticides here at profishant.
Article Written By:
Andrew Sievers, ACE
Associate Certied Entomologist