Sale of rodent pellets banned

Rodents in Alaska have a few less things to worry about — 12 to be exact.

 

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has prohibited the sale of 12 variations of d-CON brand rodenticide pellets.

The products do not meet the safety standards set by the EPA, according to the agency’s website. As a result of an agreement between the EPA and the product’s manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser, production of the pellets stopped by Dec. 31 of last year, and distribution to stores was to stop by May 31, according to the website.

Some stores in other states can continue selling the products left in stock, according to the site. However, Alaska has decided to be proactive and stop the sales.

“We made the decision that we don’t want that stuff up here,” said Karin Hendrickson, DEC pesticide program coordinator.

Alaska stores that stock the product can return them to the registrant, according to the DEC.

Hendrickson said that households in possession of any of the products can continue to use them legally.

The 12 products in question contain loose pellets that can be easily consumed by children and animals, Hendrickson said. She said that people are still permitted to use bait stations and bait blocks, which are safer.

The move to ban the products will result in fewer accidents involving children, according to a 2013 press release from the EPA.

“Approximately 10,000 children a year are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits; EPA has worked cooperatively with companies to ensure that products are both safe to use around children and effective for consumers,” the release stated.

Hendrickson said that if it is believed that someone has been exposed to a poison, it’s imperative to get help.

“Always call 911 or the poison control center,” Hendrickson said. “It’s nothing to mess around with.”

The ban has already affected stores around the peninsula. At Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware, shelves where the products used to be displayed were bare on Thursday.

Scott Miller, the store’s owner, said the products were extremely popular, because people could use them in confined places where other traps or bait stations don’t fit.

“It’s a huge deal and a huge business for us,” Miller said. “Obviously we’re going to sell more mousetraps now.”

He said that last year, the store sold more than 5,000 boxes of the products.

“If someone has a mouse problem, they buy a lot,” Miller said.

Miller said that returning products back to the manufacturer isn’t so easy. He said it’s expensive to ship the bulky products back, and the wait time for a credit can take years.

“It’s difficult to work with the manufacturers, because they’re overwhelmed with the amount of money it’s costing them,” Miller said.

Despite the difficulty, Miller said he understood the reason for prohibiting the sale of the d-CON pellets.

“Safety is important and we get it,” he said. “Nobody wants kids to get hurt. Period.”

Miller is currently waiting for an effective replacement for the pellets.

“There’s going to be a significant void, and the mice are going to be happy for a while,” Miller said.

For more information about the specific products, go to: http://www2.epa.gov/rodenticides/canceling-some-d-con-mouse-and-rat-control-products

Reach Ian Foley at ian.foley@peninsulaclarion.com.

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