All Creatures Great and Small


I just got an email from someone about a lot of rodenticide bait boxes in an area in Santa Fe. The company that put them there is totally unqualified in common sense. In New Mexico, we have approximately 107 species of fleas (I counted them). Of that number, about a third are known or possible vectors of the plague. Most rodents, including deer mice and pack rats have fleas on them. There are about two dozen species of fleas that like feeding on rodents and about a third of them are vectors of the plague. What happens is that when a rodent eats the rodenticide in the bait station, they eventually die. When the dead rodent’s body cools down, any ectoparasites on it, including fleas and mites, will leave the dead rodent and look for a meal. If there are pets around, they will get on them and they can get on any humans in the area. When I was IPM Manager for Santa Fe, I wouldn’t allow any rodenticides to be used on city property. The same thing when I was the IPM Tech at UNM. No rodenticides on campus.

Anyone in the pest business should know this info and not use rodenticides. In fact, they should be illegal to use wherever plague fleas live. Anybody can control rodents with traps if necessary. Rodenticides are never necessary. I would bet most of the plague cases in NM came from fleas that left dead rodents and got on people. If you have an exterminator and they want to use rodenticides, tell them no. If they insist, fire them. If you live in a city, town, county, HOA or anywhere that rodenticides are used, have them removed and not replaced. Protecting people from the plague is more important than putting out those black boxes which just makes it look like the exterminator is doing something. This is very relevant if you live in any state where plague is possible or even other states. What if a rodent has hantavirus and dies in a house where it can’t be found? That could be problematic.

Also, birds and other animals that feed on dead animals can be seriously affected if they eat a rodent that was poisoned. Some people even put rodenticides in remote areas hoping to kill coyotes.

Don’t allow rodenticides to be used anywhere

About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


2 thoughts on “Rodenticides

  1. Amen, NO rodenticides!
    I’m a permitted wild bird rehabilitator. Already in 2020, I have had several large raptors that were killed by eating poisoned mice or rats. Those Great-horned Owls and Red-tailed Hawks should be on the job, keeping the rodent population down. They are our free, organic, non-toxic rodent control. Instead they died. Please, never use poison baits! Never!

    Posted by Mikal Deese- ON A WING AND A PRAYER | April 23, 2020, 1:24 pm
  2. They are doing this in New Orleans now. I wish you could talk to our mayor.

    Posted by Jano brindisi | April 30, 2020, 8:51 am

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