October 21, 2020

Last month, California officially passed into law Bill AB 1788, aimed at eliminating the use of most lethal rodenticides. Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1788, “The California Ecosystems Protection Act” on September 29, banning the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) statewide, with a few key exceptions.

What will this mean for pest control and anyone who is concerned about rats on their residential or commercial property?

Let’s take a look…

Before we dive into the specifics of “The California Ecosystems Protection Act,” it helps to understand a little of the backstory which led to this legislation. Bill AB 1788 was brought to Governor Newsom’s attention after research showed detectable levels of SGARs were found in non-target wildlife species.

The Finer Points of Law AB 1788

When AB 1788 goes into effect on January 1, 2021, the use of rodenticides containing the active ingredients brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone will be prohibited in an attempt to stop the poisoning incidences of California’s wildlife. However, there are exceptions to this rule, which allow the following types of facilities to continue using SGARs:

  • Agricultural facilities
  • Breweries
  • Factories
  • Medical facilities, including drug and medical equipment facilities
  • Warehouses used to store foods for human or animal consumption.

If you live and work in California and your location is not one of the above exemptions, you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to stay on top of your rat infestations.

IPM Strategies for Successful Rat Control

Rats and many pests are commonly controlled using a variety of methods integrated into a single program. IPM (Integrated Pest Management) for rats includes the use of sanitation practices, exclusion, other lethal methods, and contraception baits. snap traps will help control rats in the absence of SGARs.

Experts advise practicing the following:

  • Inspect and identify areas of your home or business that might provide food or harborage for rats. Hotspots include overgrown vegetation and yard clutter.
  • Repair any cracks or crevices to prevent rats from entering your home or business. Make it difficult for rats to gain entry by sealing up cracks or crevices larger than ¼ inch in the physical foundation or structure of the building. Don’t forget drains and sewer pipes.
  • Remove temptation by practicing good sanitation. Store trash in sealed plastic bags and cover both trash and recycling bins with fitted lids. Keep pet food off the ground and in sealed plastic containers to make it harder for rats to detect and access. Prune back trees and shrubs to remove potential hiding or nesting places.

You could also consider deploying a contraceptive rat bait that reduces the rat population naturally through fertility control. ContraPest is an EPA registered rodenticide that is not lethal to rats or other animals, but it works in both male and female rats to reduce the number and size of litters. Integral to an IPM machine or as a strong standalone rat control solution, ContraPest can help address the need for reliable IPM highlighted by this new law.

You can learn more about effective non-lethal rat control strategies, including some helpful tips on how to deploy ContraPest, by visiting our website.