A controversial rat poison has been removed from the shelves in the United States and its production has ceased after it had been linked to the death of wildlife and caused inadvertent harm to numerous children and pets.
Rodenticide brand d-CON is the item in question and it raises quite a few topical considerations. Twelve of these rat and mouse poison products have been found to contain second generation coagulants or drugs that prevent the clotting of blood which causes excessive bleeding in the wildlife accidentally exposed to it.
The product has been replaced by a new improved line of rat baits. The banning of the rat poison range is an encouraging step and many alternatives are arriving into the market, ones that are 100% safe to children and animals and contain no poison. This American case study is particularly applicable to South Africa, a country with a vast array of wildlife (both endangered and not) and these animal species are at risk if this dangerous option persists our market. If you are battling with a rodent problem, what are the non-harmful but effective alternatives?
Non-harmful pesticides made from essential oils
Outdoor pest sprays made from essential oils are non-toxic and do not harm kids or pets and wildlife. They are cheaper than the recently-banned rat poison range. They are made from a combination of Cedar, Citronella, Clove, Garlic, Mint, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Geranium, Lemongrass and Rosemary oils. This alternative kills insects and repels rodents and reptiles. Their efficacy against rodent infestation comes into question, however, and might not be the choice of someone tackling a large-scale problem on vast premises.
DIY rodent control
The old-fashioned entails using a rat trap rigged with cheese or some other irresistible bait. The problem with this is that it is more of a domestic, small-scale alternative to rat poison and doesn’t really aid in the mass eradication of rats and rodents in general. Rudimentary rat traps and DIY measures are cost-effective for areas that aren’t in jeopardy of becoming quickly infested with rats. Preferably, more humane means of dealing with rats should always be adopted. Rat traps ought to be handled with great care and only used in areas where children, pets and other wildlife cannot access them.
Professional rodent control
This is the most ideal and effective alternative to rat poison if you aren’t using DIY methods or products. Professional rat control helps to eradicate established rat colonies or areas affected by repeated infestations. Ensure that you enlist the help of certified professionals that will carry out their work without harming your family and pets. Fumigation is highly effective and also safe for the family provided that all guidelines are followed to the letter.
Although rat poison products are effective in reducing rodent infestations, they also have a harmful effect on the wildlife in the area and are not environmentally friendly. Tailor your choice according to your individual needs. A DIY solution is inexpensive and will serve the needs of a small-scale infestation. If your needs are more pressing, professionals in the pest control industry are the way to go.
Image Credit: House of Floors