One of the biggest ongoing concerns for California PCOs is possible future rodenticide regulation. Many anti pest control advocates do not realize that pest control is one of the three largest contributors to increased life spans in the 20th and 21st centuries: 1) Improvements in the medical field; 2) Indoor plumbing and civil engineering; 3) Control of vector disease carrying insects and animals, especially rodents.
In Medieval England, the Black Death or Bubonic Plague killed 1.5 million out of an estimated 4 million people between 1348 and 1350. After 1350, it was to strike England another six times by the end of the century. These numbers do not even include the rest of Europe. Mainly because of infected rodents traveling on trade ships and caravans from other geographical areas, the plague was introduced to Europe, and no one understood the source. Now the disease is virtually wiped out from the western world with only an occasional recorded case usually coming from an infected animal or rodent.
Worldwide, rats and mice spread more than 35 diseases, including:
These diseases can be spread to humans directly through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine or saliva or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.
Last year in Nevada, an animal rights advocacy group – TrailSafe – pushed to place restrictions on trapping, including body-gripping devices such as snap traps and glue boards. Instead of reaching out to the industries affected, they went directly to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. NDOW proposed that TrailSafe should meet with industries involved.
TrailSafe instead found a Senator who would sponsor a bill in legislation – SB226. After members of our industry began to respond to the bill, the founder of TrailSafe reached out to the pest control industry in an attempt to be sure we were exempt from the restrictions of SB226. The senate committee put the bill back to NDOW to develop some regulation guidelines for trapping in Nevada.
During subsequent meetings, TrailSafe stated they never intended to impact the trapping of mice and rats. Members of other animal activist groups voiced concerns about the cruelty of glue boards and traps to rodents, wanting to push further than TrailSafe with extreme bans on all trapping devices.
As an industry we do our best to educate the general public and local and State agencies about the impact of these types of regulations. One of my last blogs I mentioned some of the reasons nuisance animals are on the rise, could you imagine the impact of rats and mice would have on the homeowner if we could no longer control them.
I can't stress the importance of having your home inspected for rodent activity and structural deficiencies that would allow access. We can provide a complete inspection of your home and evaluate your specific needs.