Sunday, June 01, 2014

No More D-Con

The Times- Standard reports that the rodent poison D-Con will be taken off store shelves by July 1. I'd link to the story but won't since the T-S site screws up my browser. I'm assuming it does the same to others?

This is the result of California pesticide regulators trying to ban the poison. The reason being non- target animals being killed. The article says 300 animals killed nationwide(?). I read 400 in a story somewhere else. To be fair, it's likely much more than that. Still, just a few hundred nationwide?  Probably thousands get run over by cars every day.

Funny thing is, I understand D-Con was brought into use as a substitute for more toxic poisons. I was told by a pest control guy years ago they used to have stuff that would kill a rat after one bite. That stuff was deemed too dangerous. Perhaps rightfully so.

At least with D-Con it takes a while for it to kill, so dogs, cats or kids could be treated after accidental ingestion. I guess that's not good enough for some people.

I've been placing D-Con under my house for at least a decade. We've had rat problems here for as long as I can remember, even when we had three cats patrolling the yard. I've never been aware of a non- target animal killed or sickened through my use of D-Con. 

It does seem to keep the rats at bay, though. I'll leave trays out and notice something start feeding, then they stop. I'm sure the rats crawl off and die somewhere. I've only seen one dead rat in all that time and it was a big, black furry Norwegian Rat out near our raised beds. Our cats never touched it.

So what to do now? First, I'll go to Shafer's Hardware and buy a couple cases of D-Con while it's still available. That should last at least a year. After that, I'll try the substitute they're supposedly making available. If that doesn't work, who knows?

There's always the old fashioned rat traps, but that would take a full scale effort to keep rats at bay- when you see one, there's usually a lot more. I was just looking for info on the trick of using chewing gum to kill rats. Supposedly they eat the gum and it plugs up their guts. They can't process food so they die. From what little I've read so far that sounds like it might be one of those old wives' tales.

Be interesting to see if we have any major rat infestations crop up in the state. I won't be surprised if we do.


At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plaster of paris mixed with cornmeal....put a dish of water nearby. Non toxic. Works great.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Hmmm??? Never heard of that one. I'll have to give it a try.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

did a quick search for more info on that. This WikiHow page has three homemade rat poison recipes:

Wonder if the ingredients won't cost more than commercial bait, though?

This other guy mixed plaster of paris with peanut butter. I know rats love peanut butter, but skunks love it even more. Wouldn't want to attract more skunks:


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