Laying poison in a way that protects wildlife and pets
Fire Posts: 17,116
edited December 2020 in Wildlife gardening
In our community group we currently have a row going on about laying poison for rats and mice. Some pet-lovers are convinced there is no safe way of doing this without endangering pets and wildlife. We are in London, on the edge of a big, wooded park, and some gardens are over-run with mice or rats. I think this is not so much from bins, so much as local cat and dog faeces, bird feeding, the park and just the fact that there are so many people living so close together, restaurants, cafes etc.
Can they put pellets in narrow tubes that only mice can access? Is there good evidence that animals that eat poisoned vermin become poisoned themselves? I don't think, in this case, it's a matter of the householders cleaning up their act and their garden, so much as facing a forever problem.
Your practical thoughts on this (not your sluttering outrage) are appreciated.
We have a young dog now, so I don't think we would use any kind of poison any more. If we felt rats were a problem in future, we would probably use the spring-loaded traps, but put them in places that the dog/birds could not physically access.
Our immediate neighbours decided to use poison grains (in a proper locked bait box). Only rats and other small rodents could get into the box to eat the grains but - on at least 2 occasions - there was a trail of grains out of the box - presumably dragged out on fur. In the open this could be eaten or picked up by any bird, hedgehog or other animal - including children.
I used bait blocks which are secured inside the locked box with a bar. They can be gnawed in the box (apparently rats & mice prefer to do this anyway) and there was no evidence of any of the poison being dragged outside the box. I checked the boxes every day to clean out small crumbs and nearly finished blocks which could be pulled off the bar.
I firmly believe bait blocks are the safer option.
All poisons (in whatever form) should be secured in locked bait boxes so it cannot be easily accessed by other animals or children (I believe that is now a legal requirement).
I imagine that all poisons have the potential to cause harm to animals further up the food chain if they eat a poisoned creature.