Continuing Rat Poison Concerns (and Update)

Continuing Rat Poison Concerns (and Update)

We’ve encountered two dead mature rats in our yard the last month. Neither had marks, indicating they were not killed by a critter or injury. So we conjecture they succumbed to rat poison put out by neighbors or more likely, the pest companies they have employed. I’ve written a series on the rodent issues, including problems with secondary poisoning (see Our Ailing Wildlife) but it seems a reminder is warranted. [Read more…]

The Consequences of Pesticides in Citrus Pest Treatment – and references

The Consequences of Pesticides in Citrus Pest Treatment – and references

An op-ed article I wrote for the Redlands Daily Facts, entitled “Understanding the Consequences of Asian Psyllid Treatment,” is being published tomorrow. It was prompted when I noted that articles were not mentioning the negative effects of the recommended pesticide treatments for an alarming pest that is attacking citrus trees. Some important background first: our area is resuming treatments for the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the bug responsible for devastating Florida citrus, which has made its way to Southern California. Most commercial groves have been treated. Now residents have the option to have their backyard citrus trees treated. Many of these points apply these common pesticides being used of other uses also.

Here are my main points after doing research on this subject, plus references are listed below: [Read more…]

Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

I’ve been besieged with a lot of email petitions recently about  a pesticide called neonicotinoids (neonics for short), found in some plants sold by nurseries, which has been shown to kill bees, butterflies and other pollinators – so the word is definitely out. When pollinators visit the flowers or caterpillars eat the leaves of the pre-treated plant, they die. There’s a concern to humans too, as herbs also are being sprayed (see example below).  So what can we do? I received info from the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Seattle WA, regarding questions people should ask their nurseries.

[Read more…]

Positive News for Wildlife

Positive News for Wildlife

I admit to not reading some environmental news because it can get so depressing. So, here’s some recent positive news, including two in California. One thing I do appreciate about living in California is the state is a leader in environmental thinking.

[Read more…]

Rodent Poisons: What Communities are Doing (Part 3)

Rodent Poisons: What Communities are Doing (Part 3)

I heard some coyotes howling the other night and what a comforting sound. I hadn’t heard them for many months and with my last article on this subject opening with a sick coyote, it was nice to hear them sound healthy. I tried not to think about the rabbit or rodent they were probably about to eat. We’ve also seen some rats but thank goodness they’re all outside.

This is third in a series on rodent control, this one focusing on what communities, organizations and businesses are doing – and not doing [Read more…]

Rodent Poisons and our Ailing Wildlife – Part 2

Rodent Poisons and our Ailing Wildlife – Part 2

Note: this is my 100th blog article since I launched in December 2011! (and my 2nd in a series on rodenticide issues)

My husband saw a panting, lethargic coyote on the streets of our city a couple days ago and we called Redlands (California) Animal Control. A city official who didn’t want to be identified said they caught it, and said they’re continuing to see a higher number of sick coyotes this year. When I brought up the possible link to rodent poison, he said he had heard it could be affecting the coyotes, adding, “Every business has those black [bait] boxes around.”

While we don’t know if rodent poisons (rodenticides) played a role in this latest coyote’s illness and likely euthanization, research does show the stronger rodenticides used today — and found in common products such as d-Con and pest company formulations — can sicken and kill humans, pets and particularly our wildlife. The purpose of this article is to give a rundown on the research, with some input from the researchers themselves. [Read more…]

Using IPM to Control Rodents – Part 1

Using IPM to Control Rodents – Part 1

You may wonder how to best get rid of rodents on your property, or heaven forbid, in your house. Unfortunately, that’s our situation – we’ve recently hired a company to seal our roof to prevent rats from entering our attic. (One month later, I think they’re finally sealed out.) You may also have heard some concern about rat poisons such as D-Con, which the EPA has determined pose a risk to children, pets and wildlife.

The following interview is with Gerry Miller, who worked 28 years with the California Department of Food and Agriculture   [Read more…]