After several years of wrangling with the EPA Reckitt Benckiser agreed to lessen the potency of its d-Con rat poison to address safety concerns raised by the EPA. The state of California this year also banned d-Con sales to consumers starting in July. "Millions of households use mouse and rat poison products each year. Canceling these products will help prevent risks to children, pets and wildlife," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator at the EPA in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
The article also noted that "D-Con pellets, which are often placed in open trays, have been involved in tens of thousands of accidental ingestions by babies and young children over the years." In seeking to restrict the kinds of rodenticides used by consumers, the EPA had also pointed to risks of secondary poisoning to eagles, foxes and other wildlife that ate the poisoned mice or rats. This can be particularly problematic as, once poisoned, the mouse or rat will not die for several days during which time it will continue to eat the bait increasing the level of poison in its body. Fortunately for consumers there are more effective ways to get rid of a mouse or rat problem that don't use poison and are just as easy to implement...
How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats Without Poison
Step One: Clean up Remove any food sources from around the house. Seal pet food and bird food in tightly closed containers and make sure that garbage cans are tightly sealed. Next, take a walk around the outside of your house looking for inviting mouse habitat. Remove any weeds, brush, or other debris from the perimeter of the building. Step Two: Get rid of the Mice or Rats that are already inside To do this you are going to have to trap the mice as repellents are not effective. Regular snap type traps have been around forever and are very effective or if you prefer a no-kill approach there are also a variety of live capture mousetraps readily available on the market.
Step Three: Prevent their return Find an seal all potential rodent entry points. This step is essential if you are to solve your mouse problem permanently. Thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom looking for gaps 1/4″ or larger. If a pencil eraser can fit through it so can a mouse. Look high and low. Mice can jump 12″ vertically and can climb straight up any rough surface such as bricks and siding. Pay attention to the following areas:
- Sill – the area where the walls meet the foundation.
- Pipes – gaps often exist around pipes (air conditioning, gas, water, etc.) which enter the building.
- Eaves – gaps occur at the soffit level. Remember, mice can climb!
- Doors – be sure that that exterior doors are fitted with a good quality rodent proof door sweep.
Fill gaps and openings with a rodent proof material. Naturally, our preferred product is Xcluder Fill Fabric it's easy to install permanent and has been USDA tested and proven effective against mice and rats. Alternative solutions include steel wool and copper mesh. If you use steel wool in outdoor areas, be sure get stainless steel wool as the regular stuff will rust and deteriorate quickly. Follow these three steps and you'll have a mouse free and poison free house.