Poisons Used to Kill Rodents Have Safer Alternatives

Poisons Used to Kill Rodents Have Safer Alternatives

A second generation of ultra-potent rodenticides creates a first-class crisis for people, pets, and wildlife.

By Ted Williams
Published: January-February 2013

Learn more Support RATS and the Hungry Owl Project. Log on to their websites to find out what you can do to limit secondary rodenticide poisoning in your area.

Take Action Don't buy baits containing second-generation rodenticides. And if you see them on store shelves, urge managers to remove them. If they resist, give them a photocopy of this article.

Be heard Tell the EPA to cancel general-use registration of second-generation rodenticides. Email: Wasem.Russell@epamail.epa.gov. And cite Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0718.

This story originally ran in the January-February 2013 issue as "Building a Better Mousetrap."

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Ted Williams

Ted Williams is freelance writer.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


i think there are some good

i think there are some good clips on youtube if you do a search.

"Humane" alternatives

I read your caveat about glue traps and I still say SHAME ON YOU! "Dispatch the rodents for humane purposes"-- what are your suggestions for dispatching? Drowning is humane? By whose standards? And I agree that snap traps are not a good choice. I advocate electronic traps if you must kill or live traps and release in a proper location if you prefer not to kill.

Beth, they're RATS and MICE

Enough with the be-kind-to-rats-and-mice stuff. I don’t believe in needless suffering, but, Beth, they’re RATS and MICE! Aliens, at that. Check your glue trap frequently and bop the critters with a cast-iron frying pan! And, as I recommended, add soap to the water to break the surface tension so you speed drowning by a big factor. Electric traps aren’t very efficient in camps like mine when there’s no electricity. And releasing alien rats and mice is sweeping problems under the rug. If you release them near your house, they’ll beat you back inside. If you release them far away, you’re passing your problem to someone else.

So what?

So what if they're rats and mice? That doesn't mean cruelty on the level of a glue trap should be acceptable.


Ben: If you're that concerned about humane treatment of rats and mice, you should just accept them as house guests. How is a carefully tended glue trap crueler than a snap trap that often catches a rodent by a leg or legs? Again, deploy glue traps only indoors; check them often; and when a rodent gets caught bop it with a frying plan.

Glue Boards are inhumane to a

Glue Boards are inhumane to a very high extent. If you have ever heard the cries of a mouse who is stuck or seen a leg only on a glue board because they will eat their own body parts off to get off the board you might wake up to how evil these things are. Also, how many nontarget deaths occur during this use!

Just because I'm against the

Just because I'm against the cruelty of a glue trap doesn't necessarily mean I want them inside. A snap trap might not be foul-proof, but a very high chance of an instant kill is a lot better than 100% suffering a glue trap entails.

what specifically are the safer alternatives

You provide name brands for the poisons we SHOULDN'T use, but only vaguely mention ingredients for the poisons we SHOULD use and only briefly at the end of the article. For those of us trying to do good by the wildlife, please provide specific recommendations for "safer alternatives" to the front of the article where they will be most helpful.

I’m not sure you “should” use

I’m not sure you “should” use first-generation poisons, though I did mention them as an “alternative” and as specifically as possible. They are, again, baits with these active ingredients: chlorophacinone, diphacinone, diphacinone sodium salt, warfarin, and warfarin sodium salt.

Shame on you for advocating

Shame on you for advocating glue traps and drowning. Neither are even remotely humane. Glue traps especially are nothing more than slow torture. Snap traps and electric zappers are the only "humane" options.

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