Secondary Poisoning Risks from Rodenticides

Secondary poisoning occurs when an animal eats another animal that has itself ingested a pesticide.  Rodenticides are the most common and harmful pesticides to Australian wildlife. Many rodenticide baits can be toxic to wildlife if they are eaten, or if an animal eats a rodent that was recently poisoned.

If you choose to use a rodenticide outdoors, always follow label instructions. To reduce risks of secondary poisoning for pets and wildlife, search for, collect, and dispose of poisoned rodents. Use gloves when disposing of dead rodents to avoid contact and secure bin lids to minimise pet or wildlife access to poisoned rodents.

Making better choices for our wildlife (as excerpted from BirdLife Australia’s information booklet, “Bird-friendly rodent control”, presented in full below)

The most commonly-used rodent poisons are anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). These act as blood thinners, so rats and mice can consume a lethal dose but not feel sick until later. Newer ARs, called second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), are powerful enough that a single feed can be lethal. But because of the time lag between taking a bait and feeling the effects, rodents can consume a more-than-lethal dose and still be wandering around. Predators that naturally eat rodents, like owls and birds of prey, can then easily consume multiple poisoned rodents, in turn becoming poisoned themselves. SGARs don’t break down quickly – some can stay in tissues and organs for months, even years. Unfortunately this just makes it easier for these bigger animals to get a lethal dose of toxins.

When we decide to use rodent baits around our homes and workplaces, our choices can have a serious impact on the native wildlife around us.

But we can make better choices.
Find out more in the 2-page BirdLife “Bird-friendly Rodent Control” document provided below: