Rodenticides and Raptors 

By Dylan Till - 
Environmental Manager 

When choosing control methods for rodents in or around your home you might want to consider alternatives to rodenticides or rat poison. 

What is the problem with rodenticides or rat poison? The issue with rodenticides, especially the second-generation rodenticides, is that the poison is slow acting, and rodents can ingest many more times the dose than is needed to be lethal. 

How does this effect raptors? Raptors (owls, hawks, falcons and eagles) are birds that hunt other animals for food. Rodents that have ingested rodenticides can be killed by a raptor before they succumb to the poison. When the raptor ingests the poisoned rodent, it might receive a large enough dose of the rodenticide to be lethal to the bird. 

What can you do to prevent rodenticide poisoning in raptors? When dealing with a rodent infestation, first do prevention work. Eliminate or protect sources of food by securing trash cans, using tree guards for fruit trees, and covering vegetable gardens with netting. Eliminate or limit access to shelter by sealing holes in attics, crawl spaces, sheds, and remove limbs that are in close proximity to your roof. If your rodent infestation goes beyond preventive work and requires lethal removal, consider alternatives to rodenticides like glue traps or conventional snap traps. 

Rodenticide poisoning in raptors is an issue in many cases that can be avoided. It is not to say that rodenticides or rat poison is inappropriate in every situation, but it might be overkill in a lot of residential circumstances. 

If you would like to learn more about rodenticide poisoning of raptors, please click here

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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