Wildlife-Safe Rodent Control
Do Rodents Pose Dangers for Other Animals and Wildlife?
As wild animals themselves, rodents may seem to most people like part of the natural ecosystem and thus not a problem that needs to be treated outside of the home. However, many rodent pests in North America are actually invasive species and are considered threats to natural ecosystems in the region. Invasive rodent species include the common house mouse (mus musculus), brown rat (rattus norvegicus), and black rat (rattus rattus). Not only does the presence of these rodents in an ecosystem cause indirect damage for other wild animals — it can also lead to the spread of a number of diseases. Both invasive and indigenous rodent species carry several communicable diseases, including: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite fever, Plague, and others. Rodents can also indirectly transmit a number of diseases through ticks and fleas. These diseases include Babeosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and others.
Common Rodenticides and Their Risks for Wildlife
Although common rodenticides can be effective at controlling various rodent infestations, they also come with a number of associated risks. One of the main issues with rodenticides are the health risks they pose to other, non-target wildlife. Common rodenticides often contain ingredients such as anticoagulants, With common rodenticides designed to be alluring and appetizing, other unsuspecting animals are often attracted to these poisons.
With rodent bait out in the open, the risk of non-target poisoning is at its highest. Loose bait, whether in the form of pellets or poison grain, present the highest risk to outside exposure and is particularly attractive to seed-eating birds as well as various small mammal species. This type of exposure can be greatly reduced with more careful placement of rodenticides, particularly with the use of tamper-proof bait stations. While the establishment of a secure bait station limits exposure, unfortunately it cannot stop all routes of exposure. There has been evidence that non-targeted wildlife species may disturb or attempt to break into bait stations, and invertebrate species such as cockroaches may use the bait to feed and consequently scatter bait material to other environments, raising the risk of secondary poisoning also known as secondary exposure.
In addition to the risk of non-targeted wildlife coming into direct contact with rat poisons, there is also a considerable risk of secondary exposure where wildlife can receive a lethal dose when they feed on the poisoned rats and mice. The primary reason for this is because the extreme popularity with rodenticides of the so-called ‘second-generation’. This group include compounds such as difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone that are designed to kill rodents after a single feeding on bait. Although they are much more persistent than the first-generation compounds (warfarin, chlorophaninone, diphacinone), they take an exceptional amount of time to clear from the body, thus creating poisoned prey for non-target wildlife. As a result, rodenticides are causing innumerable casualties among owls and hawks, bobcats, fishers and other predators, and entire food chains are contaminated.
Safely Controlling Rat & Mice Infestations Outdoors
Before any other measures are taken, establishing an environment designed for long-term pest deterrence is one of the most efficient and least toxic ways to keep your property rodent free. The first step for effective rodent removal is to eliminate sources of food, water, and shelter outside of your property. Whether this means storing food in air tight containers, fixing leaky plumbing, or caulking cracks and using steel wool to fill places around pipes, these measures will make a drastic difference in pest numbers.
Encourage natural predators with Barn Owl and Tawny Owl nest boxes to take a toxic-free, natural approach, or set-up a poison-free traps such as live-traps, instant kill traps, or electrocution devices.
Using EcoClear Products for Outdoor Rat, Mouse & Garden Pest Control
For mouse infestations, we recommend our MouseX® products — available to buy in both pellets and MouseX® Ready Trays. For rats, we recommend our RatX® and RatRid® product lines. RatRid® is available is pellets that can be used both indoors and outdoors. RatX® is available in pellets, RatX® Ready Trays and RatX® Bait Discs. Our RatX® Rat and Mouse Attractant spray can be used to increase the odor and attractive potency of MouseX®, RatX®, and RatRid® rodenticides. For moles and voles in lawns and gardens, we recommend our newly-developed MoleX™ and VoleX™ control products.
The Safest Rodent Control for Protecting Animals and Wildlife
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