Pest Management

Municipal Ban of Anticoagulant Rodenticides

The Municipality of North Cowichan has established a ban on the use of anticoagulant rodenticides on all municipal properties; including the Municipal operations yard, Chemainus safety building and Duncan RCMP detachment.

What are Anticoagulant Rodenticides?

Anticoagulant rodenticides (ACRs) are used to control rat and mice infestations in human populated areas. It is important to control these rodent populations because of the threat they can create to human health, pets, livestock and property. ACRs are a cheap and effective, however, use of these pesticides can also have indirect and undesirable effects on non-target species.

Why ban Anticoagulant Rodenticides on Municipal Property?

ACRs threaten non-target species like owls, hawks and eagles, through indirect consumption of the rodenticide when they consume poisoned rodents. Also, secondary poisoning could harm non-target species that directly consume ACRs at poorly bait stations that do not conform to usage guidelines. ACRs are also not recommended for indoor use because rodents may perish in an inaccessible location, causing a health hazard.

The Provincial Government of BC has amended the Integrated Pest Management Regulation (IPMR) to restrict sale and use of ACRs that contain the active ingredients brodifacoum, bromadiolone or difethialone. The new requirements will come into force on January 21, 2023. The Municipality of North Cowichan has banned rodenticides on municipal property to help protect non-target species and control rodent populations in more humane ways.

Alternative Rodent Control Options

We strongly urge North Cowichan residents and businesses to use more humane control methods and not ACRs on their properties.

Available methods of extermination other than rodenticides are blunt force traps and euthanizing live captures. According to the BC SPCA it is not humane to freeze, drown, electrocute, or asphyxiate any mammal pests.

Control Method



Snap trap

Humane way to kill rodents indoors if trap deploys correctly

Need to reset after each use, indoor use only, effective short term, different size traps for mice and rats

Repeater trap

Humane, exterminate multiple rat/mice without needing to reset, indoor or outdoor use, only works for target species


Live trap

Not injuring or killing target/non-target species

Ecologically harmful, potential re-infestation, risk of illness or being bit upon release

Glue trap

Eventually kills rodents

Inhumane, high risk for non-target species


How to Control Rodents on Your Property?

The most important step to controlling rodent populations is prevention of rodents gaining access to food and shelter on your property. Remove rodent attractants, locate and close off all access points and maintain these measures. We encourage you to follow BC SPCA rodent-proofing steps to help prevent a rat or mice infestation on your property.

Selecting an effective rodent control method is situationally dependent:

  • Residential property: if infestation is inside using repeater traps or snap traps is permissible, while repeater traps can also be used outside.
  • Private business: The size of business and number of employees will determine which method is sustainable overtime. Smaller businesses can follow the same guidelines as residential properties. Larger businesses would benefit from the use of repeater traps for inside or outside rodent populations.
  • Agricultural property: Hardening buildings and access to food combined with the use of alternative controls (i.e. Snap traps or repeater traps) is preferred. If rodenticides must be used, consider the use of non-ACR rodenticides and please be sure to follow the instructions on the label and provincial/federal guidelines to ensure proper use.

To learn more about alternatives to anticoagulant rodenticides please visit the Government of British Columbia’s website on Managing Rodent Pests.

For more information, contact the Environment department:

Phone: 250-746-3275


 Last Edited: December 16, 2022.