Nobody wants rodents in their house or yard, but
commonly used poisons to control them do significant damage to the environment
and your family’s health.
Starting July 1, California has banned consumer
use of these poisons, which are spreading throughout the ecosystem causing
massive exposure, disease, and death beyond the intended rodent targets.
Scientific studies tell us that rodent poisons are a leading cause of death
among carnivores, and also endanger our children and pets. Ninety percent of
coyotes, bobcats, hawks, owls, and mountain lions are affected, and the ban
represents a huge advance in safety in the environment and around the home.
The banned products can be identified by their
active ingredients: Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Difenacoum, and Difethialone.
Exterminators and pest control companies will still be allowed to use these
poisons. For more information about the ban, please visit
www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/legbills/rulepkgs/13-002/13-002.htm. To learn more
about the damage these poisons do to wildlife, please visit
Information on the Effects of
Rodenticides on Wildlife
The Calabasas City Council adopted Resolution No.
2013-1379 urging businesses in Calabasas to no longer sell or use anticoagulant
rodenticides, urging all property owners to cease purchasing or using
anticoagulant rodenticides on their properties in Calabasas and committing the
City of Calabasas to not use anticoagulant rodenticides as part of its
maintenance program for city-owned parks and facilities.
Rodenticides can harm wildlife;
please use carefully
Throughout California, the use of poison baits, or
anticoagulant rodenticides, to control rodents has injured and killed numerous
wild animals and pets. This is because predatory and scavenging birds and
mammals like owls, hawks, raccoons, foxes, skunks and coyotes eat dead or dying
rodents that have consumed these baits and will, therefor, also be poisoned.
Pets may also eat infected dead or dying rodents and unprotected bait and become
You can protect both pets and wildlife by reading
– and following – the label directions of any rodent baits you purchase and only
purchasing those that are legal for the pest you are trying to control.
Non-chemical means of rodent control, such as exclusion and sanitation, should
be used when possible to prevent rodenticide exposure to non-target wildlife and
pets. Because of documented hazards to wildlife, pets, and children, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of canceling products that do
not comply with safety requirements (see
Protect your wild neighbors and pets from
accidental poisoning. Use all pesticides very carefully and follow all label
directions, or instead, choose non-chemical pest control methods.
Q. How do
rodent baits harm wildlife and pets?
possible for wildlife and pets to consume the poison directly. However, it's
more common for some animals to be affected by a secondary exposure. A secondary
exposure occurs when wildlife or pets consume dead or dying rodents that have
eaten the poisons. Wildlife that can be affected by secondary poisoning include
owls, hawks, eagles and mammals such as raccoons, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions
Q. How can I
protect wildlife and pets, but still control rodent pests?
A. The most
effective and safest ways to address rodent issues are through exclusion and
sanitation. For example, seal off entrances to your home, remove debris from
your yard, and make pet food inaccessible to rodents. Traps can also be
effective in removing rodent pests. If you use rodent bait, it is important to
follow label directions carefully. Rodent baits with the active ingredients
brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum are very toxic and
persistent and have been found widely in non-target wildlife due to secondary
Read product labels carefully
before using any pesticide, and follow directions exactly. Check
for the harmful active ingredients mentioned above.
Check daily for dead rodents.
Wearing gloves, collect the carcasses as soon as possible, place
in plastic bags and dispose in garbage cans with tight lids that
other animals can't open. Always wear protective gloves when
handling any dead animal.
Q. What kind
of rodenticides should I NOT use in the yard, away from buildings?
A. You should
not use over-the-counter rodenticides, such as d-Con®, that contain the active
ingredients brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum or difethialone. These can
only be legally used to control rats and house mice in and around structures. It
is illegal to use these products in open areas such as pastures or fields.
Products containing bromethalin and cholecalciferol may also not be used for
field rodent control.
Q. Why is
brodifacoum so dangerous for wildlife and pets?
bromodialone, difenacoum and difethialone are toxic to rodents in a single
feeding. However, the rodent will not die until several days after feeding and
may continue to ingest more poison. The poison is then available to a predator
or scavenger that eats the rodent within those several days of intoxication. If
the exposed rodent does not die, the poison can persist in its body for several
months and can therefor be exposed to wildlife and pets for those several
Q. How do
these rodent baits work?
bromodialone, difenacoum and difethialone are second-generation anticoagulants.
Warfarin, chlorophacinone, and diphacinone are first generation anticoagulant
rodenticides. Both types of anticoagulant rodenticides work by disrupting blood
clotting. Animals that ingest them die from internal hemorrhaging (bleeding)
several days after ingesting the material. While the mechanism of all
anticoagulants is similar, second-generation products (brodifacoum, bromadiolone,
difenacoum and difethialone) are much more toxic and persistent and pose a much
bigger threat to non-target wildlife. Cholecalciferol is an acute rodenticide
which causes hypercalcemia. Bromethalin is an acute neural toxicant.
Q. How do you
know rodent baits are poisoning wildlife?
A. Since 1994,
CDFW's Wildlife Investigation Laboratory has confirmed at least 300 cases of
wildlife poisoning from anticoagulant rodent baits. Brodifacoum was the poison
most frequently detected. Animals harmed include the coyote, gray fox, San
Joaquin kit fox, raccoon, fox squirrel, bobcat, red fox, gray fox, mountain
lion, black bear, Hermann's kangaroo rat, bald eagle, golden eagle, Canada
goose, great-horned owl, barn owl, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk,
Cooper's hawk, turkey vulture and wild turkey.
Since animals typically retreat to their dens,
burrows or other hiding places in the final stages of anticoagulant rodenticide
poisoning, the number of non-target wildlife killed by these compounds is likely
to be much greater than we know. Field monitoring of wild populations of
bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, San Joaquin kit foxes, fishers, and raptors
confirm widespread poison exposure to predatory and scavenging wildlife.
Q. Can I
control rodent pests without using poison baits?
A. The most
effective rodent control program uses exclusion techniques (such as sealing
entrances to your home) and sanitation (removing rodent habitat such as ivy or
wood piles); animal removal is used only when necessary. More information on
controlling mice, rats, and field rodents is provided on the
University of California Integrated Pest Management Website.
Q. If I think
my pet has been poisoned, what should I do?
A. If your pet
is having seizures, is unconscious or losing consciousness, or is having
difficulty breathing, phone ahead and take your pet immediately to your local
veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. In addition, if you see your pet
consuming rodenticides, call your veterinarian immediately – do not wait for
symptoms. If you are aware of any rodenticide that your pet has had access to,
bring this information with you as it will help the veterinarian effectively
treat your pet.
City of Calabasas Brochure
Anticoagulant Rodenticides: Secondary Poisoning of
Wildlife in California, a PowerPoint Presentation by Stella McMillin California
Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Investigations Laboratory:
Use of Anticoagulant Rodenticides in Single-Family
Neighborhoods Along an Urban-Wildland Interface in California: