A lot of us in Serrano Park would like to see us work toward banning rodenticide use in our neighborhood. See the links at the end of this article for related references and literature.
In Serrano Park, we primarily have an issue with mice, rats, and gophers. Contracting services to deal with these at low cost, means that rodenticides will most likely be used because the labor cost is far lower than traps. Servicing traps means lots of on-site visits plus the up-front cost of the traps.
Strychnine baits is still approved for treating for gophers and the primary method still used. This are only allowed in buried tunnels but pets and wildlife still digs it up on occasion.
Some of us decided we need another option and started reading. We looked at all sorts of methods.
This site is the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Integrated Pest Management Program:
Scroll down to “Other Control Methods”
“Gas explosive devices are also available, but they are only somewhat effective at controlling gopher populations. These devices ignite a mixture of propane and oxygen in the burrow system. This concussive force kills the gopher and destroys the burrow system. Be sure to exercise caution when using these devices because of the potential for unintended damage to property, injury to users and bystanders, potential for starting fires in dry environments, and destruction of turf. Be aware that these devices are quite loud, making them unsuitable in residential areas. Other approaches tend to be significantly more effective.” … so traps it is.
To reduce the high cost of hiring trapping services, a group of us volunteers are willing to set and check traps as needed. We tested our trapping concept on gophers in low traffic areas of our green belts such as upper and lower Cipres Channels. Only after we had a technique that we felt was safe and effective, did we start trapping gophers in other areas.
We have found that with a bit of patience and practice, we can usually remove all the gophers from an area in a few days.
- Cinch Trapping
- Pocket Gopher Control – University of California
- Safer Alternatives- Audubon
- Safe Rodent Control
Rodenticide Free Cities: (Partial list)
- Cities Against Rat Poisons
- Poison Free Malibu
- Rodenticide Free British Colombia
- Make B.C. Rodenticide Free
There are many studies on unintentional poisoning of pets and wildlife from eating poisoned rodents. Death from anticoagulants is slow and painful. Most rodent poisons do not degrade or degrade slowly, eventually contaminating water supplies. All are toxic to people and pets.
- Unintentional Poisoning – National Park Service
- Typical Secondary Rat Poisoning Story
- Rodenticide Toxicity – Cornell
- Rodenticides – California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Rodenticides – Oregon State
- Strychnine – Wikipedia
- Restrictions on Rodenticide Products – EPA
- Controlling Rodents and Regulating Rodenticides – EPA