Most rat and mouse poison kills more than rats and mice. Poison kills birds of prey like bald eagles, red-tail hawks, cooper hawks, kestrels and owls — all of which call Ashtabula County home. These poisons also could kill the family pet cat or dog.

Without birds of prey, urban and rural areas would be overrun with mice and rats. When birds of prey eat a mouse or rat killed by poison, they often die of secondary poisoning, having ingested a toxic amount of poison from their meal. If a family cat or dog eats a poisoned rat or mouse, they too, could get very sick or die.

With winter around the corner, what is the solution if mice and rats want to take refuge in a garage, basement or home?

1. Remove access to any food (bird seed, cat and dog food) outdoors and around the home. Store all food in airtight containers indoors and outdoors.

2. Block entry holes with stone, cement or steel wool.

3. Buy all-natural deterrents like Mouse Magic, available at Saybrook Feed.

4. Use live traps and release rodents several miles away in a wooded area. Live traps must be checkd twice daily. Make sure traps have plenty of air holes.

5. Use instant-kill traps like snap-traps.

6. Call a professional and ask for the most non-toxic, humane method to control rodents. 

Note: Do not use glue traps as they are highly inhumane. 

Birds of prey need to be strong, healthy and thrive to do what they do best, which is control the rodent population. Choosing alternatives to rat and mouse poisons protects birds and family pets.

Camille Licate



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