What are Rodenticides used for?
Many animals across the world are killed with or without intention by anticoagulant poisoning. These products, like for example, rodenticides, are used to manage the number of animals considered as “pests,” and are usually designed to target certain species(1).
What are rodenticides used for? They are an anticoagulant used to manage rodents in domestic, municipal, agricultural, and conservation settings. However, let us take a look at certain unwanted consequences regarding the use of rodenticides and other grievous effects.
Severity and Duration
This poison causes extensive hemorrhagic disruption. Severe internal bleeding occurs during several days for these little animals, giving them a painful and slow undeserved death.
Given the statistics, a large number of animals are affected globally by these products. Many of them aren’t even part of rodent species like dogs or cats, while some of them include rodents such as squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, porcupines, and beavers(2).
Though rodents have many important roles in nature, rats, and mice, for example, they also damage crops, violate housing codes, transmit diseases, and in some cases cause ecological damage.
What about the unintended?
Rodents are mammals like humans, dogs, and cats. Our bodies work in many similar ways. As such, the effects of rodenticides are the same.
This product is used as a bait, which is designed to attract animals. They include many flavors such as fish oil, molasses, meat, peanut butter, and many others(3).
These flavors may attract even children or pets and could lead to serious consequences, and as such, rodenticides should never be stored within their reach.
However, accidents happen and they do happen very often leading to many deaths among the unintended rodents or other types of animals and sometimes even humans.
How many kinds of rodenticides are there?
In the United States, many different active ingredients are registered as rodenticides. They are grouped according to how they work.
Many rodenticides stop normal blood clotting, they are called anticoagulants. Bromadiolone, chlorophacinone, difethialone, brodifacoum, and warfarin are anticoagulants.
Several other rodenticides are not anticoagulants and they work in different ways. Regardless, they are all very toxic even when inhaled or when they come into contact with skin.
Animals can be affected by rodenticides even if they eat the remains of the poisoned cadavers. This affects even birds such as hawks or owls. Some of the signs of rodenticide poisoning include:
– uncontrolled bleeding
– difficulty in breathing
– weakness and lethargy
– coughing and vomiting
– blackened stools
– tarry blood
– paleness, seizures
– shaking and abdominal pain
Reducing the risks of rodenticides
Rodenticides are not the best option to deal with rodents since they are very dangerous to all animals and even humans. Their effectiveness is lessened by their effects upon the unintended victims.
Until we find a better solution, it is best to follow the label instructions and take steps to avoid exposure. These products should be kept away from the reach of children and pets.
If possible, try to evade the use of rodenticides since they are toxic to wildlife, and if not, you should dispose of the poisoned rodents to avoid the risk of secondary poisoning to other animals.
Did you know?
– In 2008, after assessing human health and ecological effects, as well as benefits, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced measures to reduce risks associated with ten rodenticides
– The entire rat populations of many islands have been eradicated by the use of rodenticides. Some notable islands include Campbell Island – New Zealand, Hawadax Island – Alaska (also known as Rat Island), and Canna – Scotland.