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

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Nicky Cook and Kelly Yee set up their stand at Peninsula Country Market. (Black Press Media file photo)
Peninsula farmers markets ready to welcome back patrons

Both the Peninsula Country Market and North Saanich Farm Market plan to expand offerings in the summer

The closure of Government Street to vehicle traffic between Humboldt and Yates streets began June 11. The corridor will be pedestrian-only between noon and 10 p.m. daily until at least this fall. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Downtown Victoria timed closure of Government Street begins

Pedestrian priority times part of city’s Build Back Victoria program

Workers clean off the red paint sprayed on the statue of Queen Victoria at the front of the B.C. legislature Friday. It is unclear when the vandalism took place. A protest rally against old-growth logging was happening on the legislature lawns Friday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
UPDATE: Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue base splattered with what looks to be red paint, old-growth logging protest held in afternoon

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read