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Tony from 93023 writes

Is there a bait that will not harm non-target animals by second hand poisoning?

It is well known by conservationists and ecologists that using a poisonous-type bait to dispatch rodents will work its way up the food chain, killing non-target animals. When a rodent ingests a strychnine laced bait it may consumed by a beneficial animal (an owl). The owl population now is in danger. What baits will not cause this to occur? (bait-gopher-owl)

Answer:

Anti-coagulant baits, in particular, have been under scrutiny recently because of their widespread use and because of a risk of secondary poisoning, particularly by birds of prey. Baits that use a different mode of action will greatly reduce this risk of secondary poisoning. Bell Labs created a bait called Terad3 Blox with this exact concern in mind. This bait uses Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, to kill the rodents, which is not stored in the tissue the same way that anti-coagulants are. You could also use a neuro-toxin bait such as Fastrac Blox which also carry minimal risk of secondary poisoning. Be sure to use baits exactly as directed on the product label and to store them out of reach of non-target animals and children, as there is no antidote available for these alternative baits.

Fastrac and Terad3 are designed to use for mice and rats only. If you have gophers, then there are minimal bait options available, most of which are anti-coagulants. In registered states, you could use Wilco ZInc Homeowner Bait, which uses Zinc Phosphide, an acute kill. Other treatment options include gassers such as Giant Destroyer, or traps such as the CINCH Traps Deluxe Gopher Trap Kit.

Answer last updated on: 11/21/2015

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