Ask the Bugman Graphic

This is very important if you have mice or other rodents and you need to control them.

First, never use rodenticides and that means never hire an exterminator that uses rodenticides. The reason they use rodenticide is that they can check the bait boxes once a month. If they set out snap traps, like they should, they would have to check them every couple of days and they don’t want to do that. They would have to charge more money and would probably not get the job because of the cost.

Coyotes and other predators including some birds primarily feed on rodents, squirrels and other small animals. If they eat rodents that are poisoned, their immune system could get compromised and they could develop serious health issues, including mange in coyotes.

And there is the plague. In NM, we have approximately 107 species of fleas and about a third of them are known possible vectors of the plague.

A large number of flea species feed on rodents and many of them are possible vectors of the plague. When the rodents die, any fleas on their body will leave as it cools down and look for another food source, which can be a family pet or even a person and plague could become a serious issue.

Some rodenticides are very toxic. One toxic rodenticide contains Bromadiolone, which is a second-generation rodenticide.

That means it is more toxic than first-generation rodenticides. Bromaliodone is classified as an Extremely Hazardous Substance in the United States as defined in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C 11002) and is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store or use it in significant quantities. However, there are many rodenticides with Bromaliodone in it and many of them are sold in stores or online, so anyone can buy it even though the EPA clearly states it should only be used by professionals. Some of the baits are in chunk form and people buy them and then throw them out in the woods or desert to kill coyotes or other “pest” animals.

It will kill any animals that eat it and dogs have been killed by it. Rodent baits are designed to be attractive to animals. Bromadiolone can be highly toxic to most mammals and birds. Wildlife may eat these baits directly or they may eat a poisoned animal. Because it can take them several days to die, animals that consume a lethal dose may continue to eat the bait before they die.

They also may be more susceptible to capture by predators. Wild mammals, birds and other wildlife that eat poisoned rodents may receive a lethal dose.

Accumulation of bromadiolone in the tissues of owls, buzzards, and other raptors in the wild has been well documented. It is not permitted to be thrown out like that. The label clearly states that the bait has to be put in bait stations so only rodents can get it and when you violate the label, you violate the law.

Government agencies should not allow any second-generation rodenticides to be sold to the general public.

I am going to contact our governor and legislators about this and see if they can eliminate the use of this toxic rodenticide.

California does not allow second-generation rodenticides to be used by anyone except professionals.

All states should do that. In reality, rodenticides of any kind should never be used.

There are ways to control rodents without endangering other animals.

If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at