Friendly Fridays: Avoiding Rodenticides Saves Our Predators

Rodenticides seem like an easy fix for those plagued by rat and mice infestations, but many people don’t know how devastating such chemicals are to the surrounding environment. Not only are the intended targets affected — anything that consumes the poisoned carcass, like a bobcat, can suffer a similar fate.

Many popular rodenticides like bromadiolone and warfarin are anticoagulants, chemicals that prevent blood from clotting. Anticoagulants work by inhibiting an enzyme made by the liver that recycles Vitamin K, which is essential for synthesizing blood clotting agents that prevent bleeding. With too high of a concentration within the body, rodenticides induces internal bleeding.

By preying upon poisoned rodents, predators like bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, hawks, and owls indirectly ingest anticoagulants and can die if not treated in time. P-41, a mountain lion that resided in the Verdugo Mountains, was found dead last October. Necropsy results showed six different anticoagulant compounds in the cat’s liver. Rodenticides are commonly used around residences, businesses, golf courses, and other human-inhabited areas. A study of bobcat mortality at the edge of an urban county found that almost 80% of the sample population tested positive for anticoagulant poisoning, which continues to be a leading cause of death for mountain lions along the urban areas as well.

Toxin-free alternatives include clearing thick vegetation & rubbish piles, rodent-proofing buildings by sealing all openings, eliminating potential food or water resources, using humane or wooden traps, and keeping pet food inside. We shouldn’t be poisoning our wildlife and making them suffer in agony; spread the word and resist the use of rodenticides!

Aaron Huelsman

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *