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…]

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…]

Our Experience with Rodent Poison Use

Our Experience with Rodent Poison Use

Originally posted Jan 2012, Updated August, 2013

As you can see in the above photo and from my entry Wildlife Cam Shots: While You’re Sleeping, we had a rat problem. The year-round availability of fruit from our orchard, our compost bin and feeding the birds all made a happy habitat for them. Their squeaks outside our home at night got so loud we closed our screen doors, even during hot summer nites.

We had to do something and reluctantly contacted a local pest company that recommended the anticoagulant rat poison (called AR – anticoagulat rodenticides). My husband was aware that wildlife was getting poisoned (called secondary poisoning) from eating rodents that are dead or dying from the latest generation of ARs — so we wanted to avoid those.  We opted for a nerve toxin, bromethalin, found in Tomcat pellets and other products at hardware stores. At the time there was little research available, so we kept our fingers crossed that it was a safer alternative. It really worked. Now we discover that bromethalin is very toxic to birds. I remember feeling dread when I saw a cooper’s hawk leaving our yard with a rodent in its talons.we have rats that like to bed down in our attic at night.

Nearly two years later, we still have rats that like to bed down in our attic at nite. After two months now, we think (hope?) a different pest company has sealed all potential entry holes in our tile roof. For nearly $2000 they have promised to seal all entry points on our roof and eavesv, and guarantee it for one year. The fact it’s taken two months (again, we hope), shows it’s not an easy thing to do.

[Read more…]