Pet owners beware

Rat and mice baits are so readily available to consumers that you no longer need a professional exterminator to handle a pesky rodent problems. A trip to the supermarket provides you with all the ammunition necessary to handle the problem at hand. Unfortunately easy accessibility can lead to complacency in the home, as users do not fully acknowledge that the products they are using can be dangerous if handled incorrectly.

Rat and mice baits are a schedule 5 poison, meaning to humans there is a low potential for harm (Safe Work Australia, 2015) as long as you follow the safety instructions. The effect is proportional to the weight of the effected individual, with adults needing to ingest massive quantities to note a significant effect, while smaller quantities are lethal to a cat or mouse. Ingredients such as bittering agents and colouring are added to prevent human ingestion but some of our fury friends, dogs in particular, will eat anything and what cat wouldn’t chase a mouse, who unbeknown to them, has already ingested deadly poison.

 

NOTE: No dogs where harmed in the making of this blog – she was just fed multiple treats laced with harmless food dye to make her tongue blue 🙂

There are ways to minimise risk to your four legged companions:

– Consider bait placement and storage. Make sure your pet is unable to reach the baits and that rodents cant move them to a space they can access.
– Keep well away from pet food or treats and avoid storing in the same location.
– The products can be a skin and eye irritant so wear gloves during placement and make sure to wash your hands prior to petting your animal. Do not store in the same location as spare pet bedding.
– The lethal dose for 50% of cats and dogs is 3mg/kg for most baits. Consider this when placing bates and storage and limit how much you store in a domestic setting. Only purchase what you need.
– Make sure to clean up decided rodents with the same safety precautions you placed the baits.

If you handle the product in accordance to the label your whole house hold will be safe but if you think your pet has been exposed to rodent poison seek professional help immediately.

Posted by Meghan Wood

Bibliography:

 Safe Work Australia. (2015). Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals code of practice. Retrieved from https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1705/mcop-labelling-workplace-hazardous-chemicals-v3.pdf

 Yates. (2012). Safety Data Sheet Ratsak Professional Pellets. Retrieved from http://www.ratsak.com.au/assets/0000/0091/RP_Pellets_MSDS.pdf