WildCare -- DPR Regulation
A Victory for Wildlife
This is fantastic news for wildlife, if for no other reason than it will make consumers think twice about the wisdom of deliberately introducing deadly toxins into their own homes and yards.
But the fight against rodenticides isn't over yet. In a recent article featuring WildCare on the front-page of the Marin Independent Journal (click here to read the article), reporter Megan Hansen writes that
WildCare disagrees with this assessment! Despite what the manufacturers of rat poisons want you to believe, it is rarely necessary to resort to poison to control a rodent problem!
Rodents are an integral part of the environment, and they are the primary food source for most of the predatory animals in our area. It is not possible, nor is it desirable, to eradicate rodents outside.
However, most people do not want rodents inside their homes or damaging their property. The following information will help you effectively eliminate rodent problems without resorting to the use of rat poisons.
The best method of rodent control is prevention. Rodents tend to set up camp in our homes and businesses when food and space are made available to them.
Remove potential rodent homes like yard debris, trash, construction waste, etc. Remove ivy from on and near structures. Consider removing dense ground-covering plants too. Rats and mice are prey animals, and they much prefer to cross open spaces with the protection of covering vegetation. Removing hiding places deters rodents or makes them more visible to their natural predators.
Eliminate food sources. Keep your garbage completely sealed with lids closed and secured. Keep bulk food, seed, and dry pet food in metal cans with secure lids. Pick up fallen fruit. Take birdfeeders inside at night. A significant percentage of nuisance rodent calls to WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline (415-456-SAVE) relate back to the presence of spilled seed from bird feeders. Place a tray to capture seed under your feeder and empty it nightly, and/or sweep up spilled seed every evening.
Exclude rodents from your home. Seal openings 1/2 inch or larger around the outside of your house with metal, concrete, or Stuf-fit Copper Mesh Wool, which can be found online or at hardware stores.
Include natural rodent predators in your solution. A family of five Barn Owls can consume up to 3,000 rodents in breeding season. Placing a nest box to encourage a family of owls to make your property home can be a great alternative to commercial pest control methods. DO NOT erect an owl box if you or anyone in your neighborhood is using poison, however. Please visit www.hungryowl.org for more information.
Use catch-and-release traps as a safe, sanitary, and humane solution. Catch-and-release traps will allow you to remove rodents from inside your home, but you must prevent their return by sealing entrance and exit holes and removing attractants (see above). Remember it is illegal in the state of California and cruel to relocate animals (click to learn why), so trapped rodents should be deposited outside once entry points have been sealed.
Need advice? Call WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline415-456-SAVE (7283)