Rat Poison Kills Our Wildlife on up the Food Chain

Many people don’t know that when a hawk or owl or other predator eats a poisoned rodent, that animal gets poisoned too. Please STOP using rat poisons (rodenticides)! These poisons are killing the very animals, like the Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Red-Tailed Hawk above, that naturally control rodents. It causes lethargy, dehydration and disorientation in coyotes which also feed on these rodents. 

Shockingly, over 86% of all tested wildlife patients show evidence of exposure to rat poisons! These animals are eating poisoned rodents and carrying varying loads of toxic poison in their systems as a result. Rat poison used by residents of San Francisco is having dangerous and detrimental effects on the wildlife in the area. 
Rat poisons kill by making whatever animal eats them bleed to death internally – slowly and painfully over a period of days. While the poisoned rats or mice are still alive, they (and their deadly load of poison) can be caught more easily and consumed by other predators including cats and dogs. Rodents are the basic food source for a number of different predators all the way up the food chain, including owls, hawks, ravens, raccoons, skunks and coyotes in our area. It is a terrifying prospect; to kill many animals while targeting only one. We need to find better ways to live well with wildlife. Please visit Wildcare’s page on rodenticides for more information.
Here is a short summary of what you can use instead of rat poison:

PREVENTION is the best method of rodent control. Eliminate all food and friendly habitat space for them.

Remove rat habitat, such as yard debris, trash, construction waste, and dense ivy from around your home.

Remove easy access to food: Completely seal your garbage can and compost, and store bulk food, seed, and dry pet food in secure metal cans. Remove fallen fruit and spilled seeds from birdfeeders, and even take in birdfeeders at night.

Seal openings 1/2 inch or larger around the outside of your house with metal, concrete, or Stuf-fit Copper Mesh Wool, found online or at hardware stores.

Allow natural rodent predators to help out! A family of five owls can eat up to 3,000 rodents in a single breeding season! In our area, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, crows and hawks can also be helpful for this! Any use of rodenticide can kill any of these animals for which the poison was not intended.

Alternatives: catch-and-release traps and high frequency sound emitters are safe, sanitary, and humane solutions. 



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. webmaster - SaveSutro
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 04:53:26

    I heard a program today on NPR’s “Market Place” about the attempt to restrict sale of Broadifacoum (“D-Con”) to professionals only. (This chem is one of the worst offenders.) Apparently all the other companies agreed, but Reckitt Benkiser didn’t and have held off legislation for several years now. Maybe someone needs to start a campaign.


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