Don't Take the Bait (rodenticides)
What is the “Don’t Take the Bait” campaign?
The San Francisco Department of the Environment is asking City retailers and consumers to avoid buying or selling certain kinds of common rat and mouse baits, which the US Environmental Protection Agency has determined pose an “unreasonable risk” to children, pets, and the environment.
What is the problem with these rat and mouse baits?
- The baits in question are high-volume products sold widely to consumers. When predators like hawks or owls eat a poisoned rat, the predator may be poisoned.
- They are also highly toxic to any mammals – including children and pets. The American Association of Poison Control Centers annually receives between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to these types of products.
- The US EPA determined that these products pose an “unreasonable risk” in 2008, after years of evaluation and scientific review. Under federal law, pesticides that pose an “unreasonable risk” should not be legal for sale. At that time, US EPA gave manufacturers three years to remove them from the market. The deadline for removal was June 4, 2011.
- The baits’ manufacturers have challenged the way the US EPA planned to cancel these products. The EPA must now follow a very lengthy procedure called a formal cancellation process. This could keep the products on the shelves for years.
Which manufacturers have not complied with the US EPA’s safety requirements?
- Reckitt Benckiser Inc. (makers of D-Con, Fleeject, and Mimas brand products)
- Spectrum Group (makers of Hot Shot brand products)
- Liphatech Inc. (makers of Generation, Maki, and Rozol brand products)
What is City government doing about it?
- San Francisco’s Department of the Environment has followed the issue closely for 8 years, submitting comment letters to the US EPA and other regulators. The City’s Integrated Pest Management Program severely restricted the use of these active ingredients on City properties in 2007.
- The Department sent letters in September to 130 local retailers asking them to voluntarily stop selling the products. Cooperating businesses will be issued a thank-you letter or poster to acknowledge that they care about their customers’ health.
- The Department is now beginning outreach directly to consumers urging them to use safer methods of managing rodents, and not to purchase the “unreasonable risk” products.
What are other governments doing?
- So far, the Marin Municipal Water District, Contra Costa County, City of Santa Monica, and City of Boulder, CO are taking action on this issue. New York City has indicated they may conduct outreach on the products, and the states of Kansas and New York plan to discontinue the products this year.
What are local retailers doing about it?
- As of November 10 2011, 87 retailers in San Francisco have pledged to discontinue the rat bait products in question. For an up-to-date list, see
Are there safer, effective ways to control rats and mice?
Yes! Visit www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PDF/QT/qtrats.pdf for more details:
- Seal holes inside and outside buildings to prevent entry by rats and mice.
- Keep areas clean and free of crumbs and water. Seal food in rodent-proof containers.
- Use snap-traps instead of baits whenever possible – a lot of them, and set at night.
- In extreme cases, call a qualified professional. We recommend companies that are certified by EcoWise (www.ecowisecertified.org) or GreenShield (www.greenshieldcertified.org ).
- There are also safer bait products available, listed on the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/mice-and-rats/rodent-bait-station.html
- If your property is in San Francisco, visit SF Department of Public Health or call 415-252-3805 to learn what you can do or report complaints of rodents or overgrown vegetation (which creates a habitat for rodents).
Does this remove an essential tool for public health?
No. This issue was considered by the EPA in its mitigation decision. Similar baits will still be available to professional pest control operators, who are better trained in using the products carefully.
Which products should be avoided?
EPA # 3282-3 D-CON CONCENTRATE KILLS RATS & MICE
EPA # 3282-4 D-CON READY MIXED KILLS RATS & MICE
EPA # 3282-9 D-CON MOUSE PRUFE KILLS MICE
EPA # 3282-15 D-CON PELLETS KILLS RATS & MICE
EPA # 3282-65 D-CON MOUSE PRUFE II
EPA # 3282-66 D-CON PELLETS GENERATION II
EPA # 3282-74 D-CON BAIT PELLETS II
EPA # 3282-81 D-CON READY MIXED GENERATION II
EPA # 3282-85 D-CON MOUSE-PRUFE III
EPA # 3282-86 D-CON BAIT PELLETS III
EPA # 3282-87 D-CON II READY MIX BAITBITS III
EPA # 3282-88 D-CON BAIT PACKS III
EPA # 7173-247 GENERATION MEAL BAIT PACKS
EPA # 7173-283 DIFETHIALONE BAIT STATION
EPA # 7173-285 DIFETHIALONE 6G PASTE PL PKS
EPA # 8845-39 RID-A-RAT RAT & MOUSE KILLER
EPA # 8845-125 HOT SHOT SUDDEN DEATH BRAND MOUSE KILLER
EPA # 8845-126 HOT SHOT SUDDEN DEATH BRAND RAT KILLER 1
EPA # 8845-127 HOT SHOT SUDDEN DEATH BRAND RAT & MOUSE KILLER
EPA # 8845-128 HOT SHOT SUDDEN DEATH BRAND MOUSE KILLER BAIT STATION
How can I help?
- Vendors who would plan to discontinue the above products can get credit for their action by signing the pledge at:
Where can I get more information?
- The details on this whole issue can be found on the EPA’s website at:
- The Department of the Environment will post periodic updates on the campaign at www.sfenvironment.org/ipm
- Download San Francisco's "Don't Take the Bait" flyer
- For other questions, contact the Department at (415) 355-3700