Latest News from BPCA

10 October 2018

UPDATE: Can you permanent bait with rodenticides?

There’s been a lot of talk about whether pest controllers can legally permanently bait, and in what situations. There’s a lot of confusing information about how this works in practice, so we’ve put together a recap to help technicians stay the right side of the law and protect non-target species.

SPEED READ

  • Rules on the labels for permanent baiting with rodenticide are changing
  • You will not be able to permanent bait in the way traditionally taught historically
  • Some difenacoum and bromadiolone products will be authorised for permanent baiting – others won’t (so check your label!)
  • You need to consider proofing, contacting neighbouring problem sites, non-toxic monitoring and traps before you permanent bait
  • You should document your decisions to permanent bait against the label and review regularly
  • CRRU Guidance Permanent Baiting (September 2018) before choosing to permanent bait.

As we reported back in September, in short, yes you can permanent bait with rodenticides. But not in the way we did pre-stewardship.

Permanent baiting, or long-term baiting, with rodenticides is something that needs to be done with much more advanced assessing and monitoring then we are necessarily used to.

 Permanent baiting is strictly limited to sites with high potential for reinvasion

If you have been in the industry for more than just a few years, it may be the case that your training consisted of “creating a ring of fire” around a building perimeter or foundations. The purpose was not only monitoring a rodent situation, but also dealing with the occasional investigative rodent. This ‘just in case’ approach is in the past.

This ‘ring of fire’ is absolutely not allowed under the CRRU Codes of Best Practice, which is law by way of the product label (authorised by the HSE), unless there are particular risks associated with the rodents! We explain this a little more further down.

In addition to this, 2018 saw new label phrases about rodenticide applications which have been issued by the European Commission and adopted on rodenticide labels by HSE and product manufacturers. These are relevant to the practices of permanent baiting and to situations where baiting is prolonged beyond 35 days (ie long-term-baiting).

What products can you permanent or long-term bait with?

Only products containing bromadiolone and difenacoum have been authorised for use in permanent baiting. Although not all bromadiolone and difenacoum products are authorised for this use.

Products containing brodifacoum, difethialone and flocoumafen are never authorised for permanent baiting.

It’s easy to check which products are authorised. Each specific product label will confirm whether permanent baiting allowed. The following label phrases appear on products that are authorised for use in permanent baiting:


Permanent baiting is strictly limited to sites with a high potential for reinvasion when other methods of control have proven insufficient.

The permanent baiting strategy shall be periodically reviewed in the context of integrated pest management (IPM) and the assessment of the risk for re-infestation.

Sites under a permanent baiting regime should be inspected regularly in accordance with product label directions. The period between visits should be determined by the technician in charge but will not be longer than every four weeks when permanent baiting is conducted outdoors.

For permanent baiting follow any additional instructions provided by the CRRU Guidance on Permanent Baiting


What should a pest controller be doing BEFORE resorting to permanent baiting?

Proofing

Make sure that your client’s building is effectively proofed against rodents.

If you do a good job with the proofing, the presence of a small number of rodents externally will not present a risk of entry, contamination and potential transmission of disease.

Frequent and thorough inspections of all internal areas of buildings will also mean you can identify the presence of rodents in areas where they are not acceptable.

Contact neighbouring, problem sites

Permanent baiting is often used at sites where neighbouring facilities are beyond your control and there is an infestation that may migrate onto your site.

You should offer to extend your control programme to neighbouring infested businesses (and make a record of your offer if it’s unreasonably refused).

You should also consider notifying local authority agencies. These agencies are empowered to require owners and occupiers to take appropriate action against rodent infestations on their property.

Overall you need to make sure you’ve met the label requirements

Use non-toxic monitoring baits

Non-toxic ‘monitoring’ baits are widely available and the use of these products may play a useful role in indicating when and where rodents are active. They also provide the opportunity to determine which rodent species are present and to take the necessary actions. This might be the placement of rodenticides if the signs are of rats.

House mice are only very rarely encountered outside buildings and, therefore, if signs of takes at non-toxic bait points are of mice, the chances are they are wild small rodents and not pest rodents.

Traps

You can use rodent traps set inside bait boxes to take rodents that enter them. Once again, this permits species identification before further action.

It is important that trapping protocols are strictly followed in respect of the frequency of trap checks so that animals taken but not cleanly killed can be humanely despatched.

Always ensure you are confident that no non-target animals are at risk

Check out the BPCA Codes of Best Practice for guidance on traps and the frequency of these checks.

810 Remove rodenticide from a bait point immediately if there’s evidence of wild small mammals, such as field mice and voles

Choosing to permanently bait

There is a place for permanent baiting, particularly indoors, but only after:

  1. All the other alternatives in the previous section have been considered or exhausted
  2. You’ve done an environmental risk assessment and made plans to review it regularly (template available here)
  3. You’ve examined the risks to non-targets and made a conscious decision that those risks are justified by a continuing threat to human or animal health and hygiene
  4. You’ve documented your decision to permanently bait.

Overall, you need to make sure you’ve met the label requirements of the products your using and justified your reasoning in a written report.

Always:

  • Keep the areas of the site that are baited to a minimum
  • Document your decisions to permanent bait
  • Remove rodenticide from a bait point immediately if there’s evidence of wild small mammals, such as field mice and voles
  • Remove rodenticide from a bait point that shows a series of consecutive no-takes by pest rodents.

Never:

  • Let an untrained person carry out a baiting programme

Permanent baiting should never be your go-to treatment option – use it sparingly and appropriately. Remember, if these products are misused then we could all lose them from our toolkit.

FURTHER READING

Every pest controller should read the CRRU Guidance Permanent Baiting (September 2018) before choosing to permanent bait.

Environmental risk assessment form

thinkwildlife.org

CRRU Guidance Permanent Baiting

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