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…]

Go Organic — and plant milkweed — to Save Monarchs

Go Organic — and plant milkweed — to Save Monarchs

Note: A more recent post is available that discusses the milkweed varieties (tropical vs native) in the comments section

An article on page three of today’s Los Angeles Times talked about declining monarch butterfly numbers in Mexico where it winters. But here is an important takeaway that was buried a bit in the article: the use of  genetically modified crops (GMOs)  in the midwest where the monarch breeds contains Roundup (glyphosphate) that is killing the monarch’s vial food source — the milkweed plant . [Read more…]

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

You’ve likely seen the headlines the last few days. In our local paper, the Los Angeles Times “Pesticides suspected in mass die-off of bees” (article no longer available online)  discussed mounting evidence that pesticides negatively impact bees. I’ve written two prior posts on the collateral damage of pesticides on wildlife – this one addresses human health effects. I think my aversion to pesticides started when my father would get out the can of Raid and spray it on the wasps attracted to our plates of food when we ate outside on hot summer days in Chicago. That led to many a battle between us. If he was still alive, I’m sure we would have a lively discussion on the mounting evidence. [Read more…]

Pesticide Use: Consider the Collateral Damage

Pesticide Use: Consider the Collateral Damage

Asian Citrus Psyllid

A couple things have prompted this post. First, we have a potentially devastating disease hitting citrus trees in SoCal with the arrival of an insect Asian Citrus Psyllid. To combat it, a pesticide spray composed of two common insecticides is being applied to local trees. Second, I read a Sierra magazine article called Parkinson’s Alley, on the high rate of Parkinson’s disease in a Central California town surrounded by high agricultural pesticide use. [Read more…]