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. Anticoagulant rodenticides are typically the most common type of rodenticide used. When ingested the poison causes internal bleeding and because it does not kill the rodent immediately the dying animal can be easily taken as prey by raptors (e.g., owls) or predatory mammals, which then ingest the poison during consumption.
On October 9, 2020, the City passed a motion to ban the use of rodenticides on all City-owned properties and have 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 for a BC-wide anticoagulant rodenticide ban.
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.
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.