Picture of Medha Chandra

Medha Chandra

Say “no thanks” to rodenticides

Earlier this year, EPA banned certain rodenticide products found to be particularly harmful to children, pets and non-target wildlife. As I reported in previous blogs, the company Reckitt-Benckiser — which manufactures d-Con rat control products — filed a legal challenge against EPA’s decision.

While the legal process drags on, the hazardous rodent control products remain on the market. But an exciting new resource highlights alternatives to hazards like d-Con. Launched this week by a California-based coalition, the new website lays out various options available for safe rodent control in homes and businesses.

Following on EPA’s ban, the Safer Rodent Control coalition's new website includes information on the risks of these particular rodent control products, as well as guidelines on maintaining a rodent-free home and ways to treat a rodent infestation. All information provided is based on scientific studies that have appeared in well-regarded journals, along with recommendations from EPA and other agencies.

Information on how rodenticides are regulated at the federal and state levels is also provided, along with a section where you can share your own story. Have you had success controlling rodents without using hazardous chemicals? Visit the site and tell us your story!

Diverse coalition

This great new resource website was created by a coalition that includes practitioners of safe rodent control methods, such as the city of San Francisco. The city has been a leader in reducing use of hazardous rodenticides on public properties, and ensuring that residents of San Francisco are aware of the problems with these rodenticides — and that safe alternatives are available.

Other members of the coalition include groups that work to prevent health impacts of pesticides, from humans to pets to wildlife. Private pest control companies who have successfully managed to control rodents without the use of the banned second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides are also supporting the coalition’s work.

I find it very encouraging that so many different groups are united in this effort to control rodents safely, without relying on a class of rodenticides that poison over 10,000 children in the U.S. every year. These products can also be lethal for pets and non-target wildlife like foxes, bears, eagles, coyotes and others.

Guiding principles for rodent free spaces

The website describes three guiding principles for maintaining a rodent free home:

  • Prevent! Seal entry points to prevent rodents from entering your home or business in the first place. And remove rodent attractions such as food or shelter by ensuring that food is securely stored and that surroundings are clean.
  • Identify! Look for signs of rats and mice such as rodent droppings around food, in kitchen corners, inside cabinets or under sinks. Also, look for nesting material such as shredded paper or fabric.
  • Treat! Remove rodents by using snap or electronic traps. Be cautious with live traps as rodents might urinate, which increases the risk of spreading disease. In addition, some states prohibit releasing rodents into the wild.

Here's hoping all the information on the website can help guide consumers towards safely getting rid of pesky rodents, and remind companies like Reckitt -Benckiser — which refuse to comply with the law — that we can bypass their toxic products and still control rodents.

Picture of Medha Chandra

Medha Chandra

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