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 continued)

Using IPM to Control Rodents- (Part 1 continued)

This is the second part of my article about rodent control options that avoid the use of rat poisons. (Click here for part one.) Research is showing wildlife, pets and sometimes humans are suffering negative effects in particular from the stronger second-generation rodenticides. Gerry Miller, who worked years in pest control for both the state of California and Tulare County, provides some answers from his experience. [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…]

Bugs! and Other Photos from Our Yard

Bugs! and Other Photos from Our Yard

Our yard is alive with wildlife this spring, so thought I would post some photos of the critters and a few native plants they’re especially attracted to. The insects attract a host of larger insects and in the chain of life, they in turn attract a rich bird and lizard population that feeds on them all. The last photo I took was of a Cooper’s hawk hoping to feed on one of those birds. [Read more…]

Don’t Buy d-CON (and a campaign to reduce rat poison use)

Don’t Buy d-CON (and a campaign to reduce rat poison use)

Kudos to the Los Angeles Times. Last Friday they pushed another important subject into the public arena in their editorial “Ban super rat poisons.”

I’ve been gathering info to write another post on the dangers of the stronger second-generation rodent poisons (see earlier post here).  Briefly, here’s the latest news on this problem: One manufacturer — Reckitt Benckiser — of the second generation of poisons, refuses to withdraw its d-CON products despite the EPA asking manufacturers to restrict their availability. [Read more…]

Native Bees and Other Wildlife Find Our Home

Native Bees and Other Wildlife Find Our Home

What a joy this spring to walk around our yard here in Southern California – a former lawn now full of native and other wildlife-attracting plants. The native bees have arrived in higher numbers, challenging the busy honeybees on our blooming ceanothus and lavender. Our resident Anna’s hummingbird seemed to survive the cold spell this winter and is perching on his usual tree branch  [Read more…]