Thanks to Tom Sakash for reporting on rat poison killing non-target wildlife, and to Cayce Wallace for sharing her story of the poisoned barn owl (The Davis Enterprise, Nov. 21). Our volunteer group, Friends of West Pond, has found two dead raccoons, one long-eared owl and one Cooper’s hawk along the West Pond Greenbelt in the past few years. Killed by eating rat poison? Very likely.
Davis has a robust rodent population. Consider all the food we provide for them in our yards and landscape. Outdoor pens, coops and pet food bowls are attractive to rodents. Using rat poison is unnecessary and dangerous. Our wildlife, dogs and cats may also become victims if they come upon dying rats or mice.
Most traps are also cruel and inhumane. Rats are not stupid. If a rat is frightened by a trap and not caught, I’m sure that it can communicate fear to other rats.
John McNerney mentions the “Rat Zapper” in the article. I’ve shared with John that between June 2011 and October 2013, our “Rat Zapper Classic” has removed 51 roof rats, (Rattus rattus) on our property on Isle Royale Lane. The trap performs a service for the whole neighborhood. These traps operate on four AA cells and electrocute rats instantly and humanely. Local hardware stores carry some brands, or you can find the Rat Zapper Classic on amazon.com for $35.77.
A few tips: Do not let the Zapper get wet or use fine, granular bait. Bait the trap with nuts or raisins or other dried fruit. Follow the directions, and they work great.
Davis should follow the example of Calabasas and urge businesses not to sell anticoagulant rodenticides. Please don’t use them, and help protect pets and wildlife.
Gene R. Trapp