New rules for mouse and rat pesticides will protect families
(NC)—Every year poison control centres across Canada receive calls from parents concerned about the possible poisoning of their children. While most calls relate to medication and household cleaners, some are about pesticides to control rats or mice (rodenticides). Loose mouse and rat bait such as meal, treated whole grain, or pellets can look like cereal or pet food, and children and pets may accidentally eat it. Health Canada has put new safety measures in place to reduce the risk of children and pets coming into contact with these products.
Rodenticides sold to individual consumers must be packaged together with a ready-to-use bait station designed to be tamper-resistant to children and pets, and the bait will only be available in block or solid form. As of January 1, 2013, loose bait forms of domestic class rodenticides used by individual consumers have been discontinued by manufacturers. In addition, certain high toxicity rodenticides are not available for use by individual consumers. However, they are still available for use in residential settings by licensed pest control professionals.
Existing products may continue to be sold by retailers until December 31, 2013; consumers in possession of these products may use them until December 31, 2016. Health Canada advises consumers to always carefully read and follow all of the use instructions on the product label before using rodenticides or any other pest control product.
To reduce the need for rodenticides, follow these tips to prevent rodents from getting inside your home in the first place:
• Repair any exterior cracks or holes that could provide access. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as a dime, rats, the size of a quarter.
• Apply metal weather-stripping under exterior access doors and weather-strip windows.
• Ensure that dampers on appliance vents function properly and return to the closed position when not in use.
• Check that any screening on appliance, soffit and roof vents is in good condition and replace them if necessary.
• Avoid having tall grass or vegetation up against the house. These provide hiding places for rodents.
• Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
• Place woodpiles well away from the house and about 30 cm off the ground.
Health Canada regulates pesticides and employs over 300 scientists to evaluate potential health and environmental risks before a product can be marketed, and as new scientific information becomes available.
More information is available online at www.health.gc.ca/pmra, or toll-free at 1-800-267-6315.
Word count: 409
Articles are provided free of charge. Articles appearing on web sites, must credit www.newscanada.com. Articles appearing in Print, must credit News Canada with (NC) at beginning of an article or – News Canada at the end. Any source/sponsor of the information quoted in the text must also be identified as presented. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada articles constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.