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

The return of Community Policing will be a welcome addition by residents. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Return of Community Policing in the works

Volunteers being sought and coordinators to be announced soon

Sonia Furstenau, MLA
Proposed Health Professions Act would eliminate barriers, guide regulations

Is your doctor a member of good standing with the BC College… Continue reading

These Douglas fir logs were found poached in April on Stoney Hill in North Cowichan’s forest reserve. (Larry Pynn/sixmountains.ca)
Fines in forest reserve could increase significantly after illegal logging

North Cowichan considering fines of up to $50,000

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Letters to the Editor.
Snipes prank not worth celebrating

Is another form of bullying deserving of a bronze statue?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read