New rules for mouse and rat pesticides protect children and pets
(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 involve pesticides used to control rats or mice (rodenticides). Since mouse and rat bait can look like cereal or pet food, children and pets may accidentally eat it.
To reduce the risk of accidental poisoning from traps baited with rodenticides, Health Canada introduced new measures that came into effect January 2013. All rodenticides sold to consumers must come with a pre-packaged ready-to-use bait station designed to be tamper-resistant to children and pets. Also, certain high toxicity rodenticides can only be used by licensed pest control professionals.
To reduce the need for rodenticides, the following tips will help prevent rat and mouse problems in your home:
• 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.
• Cover dryer vents, attic vents and soffits with fine mesh, metal screening.
• Avoid providing potential hiding places for rodents by cutting back vegetation and tall grass that is up against the house, placing woodpiles well away from the house, and cleaning up any clutter around the house and in the garage.
• Avoid putting fatty or oily food waste (such as eggs or milk products) in your garden composter.
• Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
• Eliminate water sources like leaky taps, open drains and sweating pipes as some rats are attracted to damp areas.
• Indoors, keep your kitchen clean and store dry food in metal or glass containers.
Important: Consumers should always carefully read all label instructions before purchasing and using rodenticides or any other pesticide product.
More information on this topic is available from Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Consult the pest note on “Rats and Mice” at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca, dial 1-800-267-6315 toll-free, or e-mail email@example.com.
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