California to Restrict Certain Rodenticides
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation to Designate Second-Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides as California-Restricted Materials
Sacramento, CA- July 19, 2013– The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA DPR), a state agency charged with protecting human health and the environment by regulating pesticides, announced today that the agency will act to restrict use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGAR) to address the statewide problem of wildlife exposure and poisoning from products containing SGARs. This move comes after a ten-year reevaluation of certain SGARs within DPR and 2008 action from the U.S. EPA to prohibit all consumer-size SGAR products and require secure bait stations to be used for all outdoor aboveground uses.
The Problem with SGARs
Anticoagulant rodenticides, including SGARs, work by disrupting the normal blood clotting or coagulation process so that dosed rodents die from uncontrolled bleeding or hemorrhaging. SGARs are significantly more potent than traditional anticoagulant rodenticides, designed to be lethal after just one feeding instead of multiple doses. As a result, these rodenticides have a higher risk of poisoning for natural predators of rodents and scavengers that feed on poisoned rodents as well as non-target wildlife that consume poisoned baits. Included in this class of rodenticides are the compounds difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone, which are all subject to the proposed DPR restrictions.
What Does this Proposed Restriction Mean?
This action aims to minimize accidental exposures of children, pets, and wildlife. In effect, the proposed restrictions would limit the possession and use of SGARs to only certified pesticide applicators. At the same time this action would expand the definition of private applicator to include livestock producers to mirror the federal definition, opening up the potential for increased agricultural use. Making SGARs unavailable to general consumers may encourage people to use other rodent control strategies, such as integrated pest management and non-chemical measures. However, the effect of these restrictions on wildlife remains uncertain. Use of SGARs under this proposed rule change still leaves wildlife that consume poisoned rodents in a vulnerable position.
Click here to view letters submitted to the California DPR to comment on proposed SGAR restrictions.