It can be alarming and disheartening to discover that your home or property has been overrun with rodents. Fortunately, you have many options when it comes to controlling rodent populations. One way you can battle a large rodent infestation is to place bait stations in or around your property.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency have adopted strict rules regarding the use of rodenticides and bait stations. In this article, we offer step-by-step instructions for making fully compliant bait stations.
How Bait Stations Work
Tamper-proof bait stations are very effective rodent control systems. However, people often mistake them for traps. Before we show you how to make your own bait station, let’s go over the basics.
Bait stations are containers that are engineered to hold rodenticides. Each container contains a small amount of poison-laced bait. Rodents enter the stations, feed, and die.
A single bait station can kill several rodents. For this reason, most property owners only need to place a few of these black boxes around their property to eliminate an infestation.
What You Need
First, let’s go over what you’ll need to make a compliant bait station:
- ¼-inch x 1 ¼-inch blue masonry screws (three per bait station)
- Impact hammer drill with a ¼-inch bit
- Handheld drill with ¼-inch hex-head concrete screw bit
- Large paving stones
- Bait Station boxes (make sure that you have a size/type that is suitable for your target rodent species)
- Bait station labels
Bait Station Requirements
Bait stations need to be positioned in a way that children under the age of 6, pets, and non-target wildlife cannot access them. This is where the heavy concrete paving stones come in handy.
Constructing a Compliant Bait Station
Step 1. Place a concrete paving stone on a flat surface, such as a table or workbench. Align your bait box with the paving stone. Push the back of the bait box to the rear of the stone.
Step 2. Using your impact hammer and a ¼-inch drill bit, drill three holes through the bait box and paving stone. The holes should be staggered at opposite ends of the bait box so as to securely anchor it in place.
Step 3. Using a 1/4-inch hex-head drill bit and a regular handheld drill, secure your blue masonry screws in the holes that you just drilled. The paving stone and bait box should now be joined together.
Step 4. Place a fully compliant bait box label on the front of your bait box. Check out our article, “How to Legally Label a Rodent Bait Station in California,” for instructions on how to do this correctly.
Filling Bait Stations
For your bait station to be completely compliant, it needs to contain a California-approved first-generation rodenticide. Acceptable consumer-grade ingredients include the following first-generation anticoagulants:
- zinc phosphide
How to Fill/Handle a Bait Station
Now that you’ve built a fully compliant bait station, the only thing you need to do is add bait. Remember, rodenticides are highly toxic. Wear gloves or use tongs when handling any type of rodenticide. What’s more, keep your spare bait in a sealed container that is out of the reach of unsuspecting children, pets, and non-target wildlife.
You will need to use a special tool to release the hinged lid of your bait box. Keep this key on hand so that you can check your bait boxes regularly.
Bait Station Safety Concerns
According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, most rodenticides feature this statement: “Treated baits must be placed in locations not accessible to children, pets, wildlife, and domestic animals, or in tamper-resistant bait boxes.”
When you’re placing bait boxes along building perimeters and man-made landscaping features, there’s always the chance that a child, domestic animal, or non-target wildlife species is going to come across it. That’s why tamper-resistant, weighted boxes are the only suitable containers for rodenticides.
You should also take additional precautions to ensure that the rodenticides cannot be removed from your bait boxes. You do not want an unknowing animal or person to pick up or spread these toxic substances. Secure block rodenticides on rods before placing them in your bait boxes. Use wells to insert pellets and liquid baits. Make sure that the baits and boxes you placed are 100% tamper-proof.
After Bait Boxes
Keep in mind that bait boxes are only a preliminary step in rodent mitigation. Once you’ve successfully eradicated a rodent infestation, you need to take the time to remove potentially harmful rodent droppings and nesting materials. Leave the involved and dangerous process of rodent dropping cleanup to the professionals. Call Eco Bear for an honest, transparent estimate today.