When using pesticides there is always a risk to the user and those in the environment around. The establishment of risk assessments and Safe Working Practice aim to ensure this risk is minimised and, in particular, contained. However our policy of minimal use of pesticides and control by environmental means ensures that the environmental impact of our services is as low as practically possible.
Perimeter Bait Boxes were initially developed as a sales tool. They have been widely accepted in the food industry, and most major food manufacturers actively specify the need for perimeter bait boxes. Unfortunately they are not a very effective way of controlling rats in most situations. The the bait incorporates anti-coagulants and takes a long time to work (3-10 days).
Recent research by The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) considers permanent perimeter bait boxes as "environmentally very unfriendly". Their research has shown that while permanent perimeter bait boxes are not very effective at preventing internal rodent infestations, they are responsible for the death of large numbers of non-target animals.
It is our experience that almost all perimeter bait stations are recommended by salesmen and are not set down to meet a specific threat.
Under the Control of Pesticides Regulations as well as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, the 'preventative baiting' for rats outside is not directly approved unless there is a close and specific rat problem to be dealt with. Once this has been dealt with, the perimeter boxes or the bait within them should actually be removed.
Recent research into the poisoning of birds of prey found rat poisons present in the majority of birds tested. The poison has come from the wholesale and indiscriminate use of perimeter bait boxes creating substantial environmental damage to small mammal and small bird populations where the poisons are subsequently passed onto the predators.
We believe that good rat control outside can be achieved with far fewer permanent external bait stations. However, before we proceed to remove any stations, we carry out a Pest and Environmental Risk Assessment. This is now required by current developments in legislation and by guidance provided by the governing bodies - The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and the The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
We fully support the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (Think Wildlife), and have accredited CRRU staff.
It is generally the case that, where there are rat problems, directly baiting the burrows achieves far quicker control than external bait boxes and that there really is no substitute for looking properly rather than a quick run round to fill up large numbers of bait boxes without thinking.
This makes commercial as well as environmental sense as there is then no longer a need to continually purchase additional perimeter bait boxes. There is also no longer a need to service them and the time can be more productively spent inspecting high impact areas such as food production zones.