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Rodent traps can be effective at controlling house mice infestations

ECHA/NR/22/19

ECHA’s Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) considers that mechanical traps are suitable alternatives to anticoagulants for controlling indoor mice infestations. However, their effectiveness is uncertain for other uses and target animals like rats. The committee also considered chemical alternatives in its opinion on the comparative assessment of anticoagulant rodenticides.

Helsinki, 29 November 2022 – In its November meeting, the BPC adopted its opinion on the comparative assessment for the second renewal of all anticoagulant or anti-vitamin K (AVK) rodenticides in the EU. This assessment, which looked at chemical and non-chemical alternatives to anticoagulants, was done by ECHA at the request of the European Commission.

In summary, the opinion is the following:

  • Non-chemical alternatives:
    • Mechanical traps used by the general public and (trained) professionals to control house mice indoors are considered effective.
    • Use of these traps in this setting does not present significant practical and economical disadvantages and will result in a significantly lower risk for human and animal health and for the environment compared to anticoagulant rodenticides.
    • It was recommended to obtain more information to confirm the conclusion, as the available test did not consider different infestation situations (for example types of building, types of traps and levels of infestation).
    • The BPC could not conclude on whether mechanical traps are effective for permanent baiting.
  • Chemical alternatives:
    • Cholecalciferol and alphachloralose were considered suitable for controlling house mice and for permanent baiting indoors when done by professional users.
    • The BPC could not conclude that cholecalciferol and alphachloralose have a significantly better hazard profile for human health, animal health and the environment compared to the anticoagulant rodenticides.
    • Carbon dioxide was considered suitable for mice control by trained professionals for permanent baiting indoors. It has a significantly lower overall hazard profile and risk compared to anticoagulant rodenticides.

“For the use and effectiveness of rodent traps for indoor control of mice, we had one test available. This test was carried out according to existing EU guidance. The committee discussed if one test is sufficient, but as it proved that the trap used was effective, we concluded that rodent traps are suitable alternatives,” says Erik van de Plassche, Chair of the BPC in a new episode of the Safer Chemicals podcast.

Next steps

The opinion of the BPC will be sent to the European Commission, which will prepare its decision based on the opinion. The Commission’s decision is expected to give recommendations to the Member States on how to proceed with the product authorisations for anticoagulant rodenticides. The next comparative assessment is expected in five years.

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The BPC also adopted four opinions on active substances and five on Union authorisations. More details about these and other opinions are available in the annex.

The committee met in person from 22 to 24 November 2022. The opinions will be available on the BPC’s web page in the near future. The next meeting will take place in March 2023.

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