Rodent poisons or “rodenticides” are used widely to help homeowners, businesses and building owners combat rodent infestations, but can lead to unintentional (secondary) poisoning of non-target wildlife. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) were typically the most common type of rodenticide used by pest management professionals. When ingested, the poison causes internal bleeding, and it does not kill the rodent immediately. The dying animal can be taken as prey by raptors (e.g., owls) or predatory mammals, who are then poisoned during consumption.
On October 9, 2020, the City passed a motion to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides on all City-owned properties and has since replaced rodenticide bait boxes with snap trap boxes. As the ability to regulate rodenticide use more widely within communities falls within the jurisdiction of the Province, the City sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in support of a BC-wide anticoagulant rodenticide ban.
On July 21, 2021, the Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy released an order to ban the use and sale of SGARs for an 18-month period (until January 20, 2023). While the order was in place, the ministry conducted a scientific review and reached out to indigenous peoples, local governments and other organizations to develop recommendations for the future use of SGARs in BC. Following consultations, the Province announced a permanent ban on SGARs effective January 21, 2023.
Learn more about the minister's order.
Find tips on how to rodent-proof your property.
How you can help
Eliminate Food Sources
This is the number one rule to prevent unwanted wildlife or rodents from hanging around your home. Do not actively put out feed for wildlife, and also eliminate attractants like pet food/water dishes, fish ponds, spillage from bird feeders, fruit trees, uncovered compost bins, and unsecured garbage or food waste bins.
Prevent Their Entry
It’s much more complicated to deal with wildlife if they’ve taken up residence than it is to stop them from coming inside at all. Carefully look at your home and outbuildings to ensure that there are no holes or gaps for wildlife or rodents to enter when they’re seeking shelter or a nesting place. Also be sure to block potential den areas such as under a deck.
Tidy Up Your Yard & Seal Up Entry Points
Eliminate wildlife hiding places, such as wood piles, brush, and overgrown shrubbery. During the off-season, store patio furniture cushions inside so raccoons do not use them as a cozy bed. For rodents, seal all interior/exterior gaps or holes bigger than the size of a dime in walls, foundations, sheds, crawl spaces and under porches with heavy gauge wire.
Be a Presence
If you see wildlife in your yard and you need to get by them, alert them to your presence by calling out or clapping your hands. Most wildlife will scurry away as they want nothing to do with humans. If they don’t move on, avoid inadvertently cornering them so they don’t feel the need to become defensive. Regularly check for signs of rodents.
To learn more tips on how to rodent-proof your property, please read the BC SPCA's rodent-proofing guide and checklist.and the Province's guidance on managing rat and mouse pests.
If you are dealing with wildlife on your property, such as raccoons in your attic or skunks under your shed, we suggest that you review BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accreditation program for wildlife companies, which helps ensure they are following humane practices.
City of New Westminster Animal Services Officers do not attend to concerns of nuisance or aggressive wild animal issues.
To report wildlife that is aggressive or causing property damage, call the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.