North Cowichan has banned the use of anticoagulant rodenticides in all properties owned by the municipality. (File photo)

North Cowichan has banned the use of anticoagulant rodenticides in all properties owned by the municipality. (File photo)

Vancouver Island community bans use of rat poisons in municipal properties

Report indicates rodenticides can be consumed by non-target species

North Cowichan has decided to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides to deal with rodents in all properties owned by the municipality.

But council made it clear at its meeting on May 19 that North Cowichan does not have the jurisdiction to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides broadly across the municipality, and can only do so on properties owned by North Cowichan.

Residents in North Cowichan can expect to hear more about the harmful impacts of anticoagulant rodenticides (which work by interfering with the activation of vitamin K, a critical component in the production of blood clotting factors in the liver) through upcoming communications from the municipality, and the sharing of educational materials.

RELATED STORY: DIAMOND DISTRICT WOMAN WARNS AGAINST THE USE OF RAT POISON

A report by Dave Preikshot, North Cowichan’s senior environmental specialist, said there is a body of evidence suggesting that ACRs can be consumed by non-target species.

In particular, raptor species like eagles, owls, and hawks are highly susceptible to ACR poisoning when rodents are a primary diet item.

“Several local media reports have described an increasing incidence of ACR poisoned owls arriving at animal rehabilitation facilities,” Preikshot said.

“The absolute effect of any concentration of ACR in a given raptor species is very difficult to assess. Still, the opinion of [studies on the issue] is that ACRs have a significant and negative effect on raptor populations.”

Preikshot said there is also a potential risk posed to other wildlife, domestic animals, and human health through the continued use of ACRs.

He said most reputable sources recommend that as the first line of defence, all buildings and storage infrastructure should be modified to discourage entrance by rats and other rodents, including blocking all openings with durable materials, or using heavy wire mesh to cover openings that cannot be blocked, and removing or securely isolating any sources of food and water.

RELATED STORY: PEST CONTROL COMPANY RELEASES 2020 LIST OF B.C.’S ‘RATTIEST’ CITIES

But Preikshot said that, despite these measures, rats and rodents continue to access a number of municipal buildings and property in North Cowichan.

He said other available methods of rodent control include blunt-force traps and euthanizing live captures.

“‘Snap’ traps are not regarded as effective for institutional use by pest-control operators,” Preikshot said.

“Because rats live communally, they will quickly learn to avoid snap traps when observing other rodents caught by these traps. Multiple-kill repeater traps are regarded as more effective but are also significantly more expensive to purchase and maintain than snap traps or rodenticide.”

Preikshot said live traps are also an option for managing rodent populations on municipal property.

“However, the most significant consideration in the use of live traps is that they require either euthanizing the rodent by hand or releasing it,” he said.

“It’s not permissible to freeze, drown, electrocute, or asphyxiate any mammal pests. Because many rodents are invasive, releasing them to the wild would likely have a negative effect on the environment through competition with native rodents. A likelier outcome of releasing rodents to the wild is that they will simply locate a new home on nearby residential, commercial or agricultural property.”

Preikshot said an estimate for changes to costs for rodent control was prepared by the contractor currently engaged in managing rats and other pests at a number of North Cowichan properties.

“The current labour and maintenance cost for rodent control at these sites is approximately $7,000 per year,” he said.

“It’s anticipated that the added expenses of maintaining blunt-force or live traps would increase the annual cost of rodent control to about $14,000 per year.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

vancouverisland

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read