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What rodent control measure to choose?


In June this year it was announced that legal authorisation to use the last two second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) – bromadiolone and difenacoum – in open areas and waste dumps will be withdrawn from July 2024. The change was instigated voluntarily by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) and enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The ban came about in response to evidence that 80% of barn owls – the HSE-nominated sentinel species – have rodenticide residuals in their systems. 

To quote Dr. Alan Buckle, CRRU Chairman: “this change will enable a single clear message about SGAR use: none of these products can be applied away from buildings.”

As a responsible pest control provider, we 100% support the decision of the CRRU. When Cleankill was set up, it was with a commitment to the environment. Our industry must take a responsible line when it comes to protecting wildlife and the environment. 

Over the years, we’ve received multiple awards for our sustainability efforts – most recently the 2023 British Pest Control Association (BPCA) Sustainability Award. Click here to see a complete list of our awards.

What’s the alternative?
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does the market and sure enough several new and old, but rebranded, systems have recently appeared to fill the gap. Here’s what I think about them.

Avoid pile

  • ‘Just add water’ traps – these work by drowning the rodent, something which often doesn’t seem to get mentioned. 

    My opinion: inhumane and illegal
  • The Rotenator (or similar) – these pump explosive gas into the rodent burrow before igniting it. 

    My opinion: I don’t need one because the HSE has confirmed using them is illegal 
  • Ultrasonic or high frequency deterrent – a few years ago there were lots of stories questioning the human rights implications of sonic anti-loitering devices being used on teenagers, these are supposed to work in a similar way. 

    My opinion: never found one that works; save your money

Give it a go

  • Snap traps – an oldie but a goodie. Quick and highly effective, but always remember to set them up with the trapping end flush to the wall.

    My opinion: this is still the best solution available 
  • Rat flaps/blockers – these work in drains, allowing water to exit but stopping rats from getting in.

    My opinion: excellent and every drain should be fitted with one, providing it is safe and legal to do so

Leave it to the professionals
For many years, myself and other industry experts have been calling for a ban on the sale of DIY rodenticides (click here). DIYers will often either use rodenticides unsafely, putting children and animals at risk, or they put down too little and so the rats and mice just ingest it and become resistant.

When it comes to what you should do about a pest problem, the answer is clear – leave it to the professionals. They have access to stronger rodenticides and, crucially, they know how to lay the bait in a way that is effective without endangering wildlife.

If you have a rodent problem, call us on 0800 056 5477

Image by Alexa from Pixabay