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The dangers of rat poison to birds of prey

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

This year we’ve had field rats in our very old pantry with an unsealed ceiling and no doubt unknown holes. We caught these rats in a big rat trap baited with peanut butter.

We could have put out rat poison but didn’t. Sadly, second generation rat poisons have replaced the just as effective first generation formulations, due to unproven concerns that rodents would develop immunity. Second generation poisons take longer -- the rodents amass a higher concentration in their bodies; birds of prey that feed on the target animals are dying at unprecedented rates. If you have a rodent problem in your home or business, please go to educational websites and read about these products with a longer half-life and greater potential to kill non target animals and then make your selection. Or try peanut butter and snap traps.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.