Over 2 million tons of pesticides are used worldwide, with China being the largest user, followed by the USA. This figure is estimated to increase in the coming years. Pesticides are used extensively in agriculture and agricultural facilities to increase crop yield by killing, repelling, and controlling certain forms of plant or animal life that are pests.
The different types of pesticides used include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and of course rodenticides, the last being compounds used to eradicate rodents. Since these pesticides frequently end up in our food supply chain, our bodies are exposed to harmful pesticide residues through our diets. We will be covering more on it later, but in case you are wondering if there are safer alternatives to harmful pesticides and rodenticides: Yes, there are! Let’s find out more about eco-friendly rodent control.
What is Eco-Friendly Rodent Control?
So, what is eco-friendly rodent control? It refers to the means of controlling rodents by avoiding synthetic and harsh chemicals and solvents, and products that affect the people, animals, and the planet in an adverse manner. This type of rodent control uses minimal risk products and incorporates the principles of Integrated Pest Management or IPM.
Eco-friendly rodent control is a sustainable method, where we aim to get rid of the rodents on our farms, agricultural facilities, and grocery stores by practicing safe and humane methods. Eco-friendly pest control companies use treatments that specifically target pests while being safe for people, animals, and the planet.
Why you Should Practice Eco-Friendly Rodent Control
Figures may give you a better picture of the effect of chemicals on the food supply chain. Here is an interesting one – rodenticides used on farms can cause human food to contain poison at levels up to 700 times greater than the allowable amount. The need for environmental pest control is evident but let’s get to a few reasons as to why this should be a priority for farms or agricultural facilities:
- Lower carbon footprint and better for the environment: Eco-friendly rodent control preserves and protects the surrounding environment by maintaining the soil, air and water quality and contributing fewer greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere than the manufacture and transport of chemical rodenticides, thereby contributing to an overall smaller carbon footprint.
- Limiting human exposure to dangerous chemicals: Everyone is in harm’s way by exposure to toxic levels of pesticides, be it children or adults. Rodenticides poison tens of thousands of children annually. Young children, especially those under the age of 6, are at high risk of unintentional poisoning through ingestion. According to the 2017 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there are almost 10,000 ingestions annually in the United States. Anticoagulant rodenticides are the most common cause leading to organ failure and even death in severe cases.
- Minimizing disruptions in the natural food chain: Rodents play an important role in the natural food chain. If natural populations of rodents get interrupted by too much baiting or poisoning, it can put larger predators in danger of starvation. Rodents also play a part in maintaining healthy soil by turning the soil over to create their living spaces. No, they are still not our best buddies, but the point is that eradicating a large population of rodents without careful judgment by poisoning and baiting may not work in our favor over the long run.
- Preventing secondary animal poisoning: Rodenticides baits are made to attract animals, so along with rodents, pets and wildlife are also attracted to them. Secondary poisoning may occur when the animal directly eats the bait or indirectly through eating a poisoned rodent. It is called relay toxicosis and causes high secondary poisoning risks to birds like hawks and owls. Single dose and multiple-dose anticoagulant rodenticides both pose a risk in the case of secondary poisoning, although single dose anticoagulant rodenticides can cause the most extreme cases.
- More humane & cruelty free option: This may be a difficult point to address, but non eco-friendly rodent control methods like snap traps, glue traps and rodenticides can cause pain and distress to rodents. Anticoagulant rodenticides work by interfering with the activation of Vitamin K, a critical component in the production of blood clotting factors in the liver of rodents. By minimizing or eliminating the usage of these methods, not only is your conscience clear but you are building a brand image that will sit well with cruelty free, eco-conscious customers.This will soon be an issue that would have to be addressed and it makes sense to hop on to the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
- Helps your brand reach SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals): The SDGs also known as Global Goals were adopted by the UN in 2015 as a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Among many goals is the call to reduce the use of chemicals. In fact, EcoBloc helps our clients do just that, reducing the use of chemicals, increasing sustainability and reaching 6 of the SDGs.
- Can ensure long lasting results: Did you know that mice can become resistant to rodenticides? Eco-friendly products and solutions can offer an alternative solution to rodenticide resistance and effectively deal with rodents.
Safe and Environmentally Friendly Methods of Rodent Control
Instead of relying on poisonous baits or snap traps, eco-friendly methods of pest control include
- Keeping the facilities and surrounding areas clean: This is the most basic step that you need to follow to prevent a rodent infestation. Cleaning debris, practicing strict sanitation methods, clearing up the bushes around the facility, and training employees are some of the ways that you can control rodents in an eco-friendly manner. These steps are not complicated to practice and create consistent practices within a farm or commercial facility.
- Deploying traps with nonpoisonous baits: When it comes to eco-friendly methods, live traps are the most effective option since it just involves trapping the rodents and transporting them to an alternative location.
- Closing entry points: Rodents just need small holes to enter a building and closing any openings both at ground level and on the roof serve as effective ways to control rodents from entering your facility.
- Using essential oils: Some essential oils, such as peppermint oil with its powerful smell, act as strong repellents for rodents. Cotton balls dabbed with these oils can be placed in areas that show signs of rodent infestation.
- Using smart rodent exclusion devices: Ecobloc devices use ultrasonic waves to deter rodents and are the most effective eco-friendly way to deter rodents with nearly 100% efficacy.
How does EcoBloc work?
Ecobloc units work like an invisible fence around your facility. These units emit high frequency ultrasonic sound waves to create an acoustically hostile environment to repel rodents. Much more humane than traps, safer than poisons, and environmentally sustainable, they are very practical options to use in large commercial settings. The units use a proprietary algorithm to constantly change the ultrasonic sound so that rodents don’t become habituated to the sound. Moreover, the devices use military grade components that provide unparalleled power and range specifically for commercial and industrial facilities. Ecobloc products have been successfully deployed in top dairy farms, bars & breweries, malls and more.
Rodent Control is an essential part of preserving food security, preventing property damage, and protecting the health of workers and consumers. However, we must do everything possible to ensure that the environment is not damaged while doing so. Chemical rodent control is often indiscriminate and can have both immediate and long-term impacts on the fragile ecosystem around us. Eco-friendly rodent control measures, such as the use of devices like EcoBloc, strike an essential balance between minimizing the adverse impact of rodents and protecting the environment and are quickly becoming a critical part of an Integrated Pest Management strategy.