The Napa County Agriculture Commissioner’s Office found no egregious wrongdoing involving dozens of rodent traps located outside various office complexes in Napa.
Napa County Agriculture Commissioner Tracy Cleveland said the biggest problem was the more than 50 idle bait boxes around office buildings. State law does not require pest control companies to remove empty boxes. They have since been eliminated.
“While the high number of rodent boxes in the business park is notable, it appears to be the result of pest control companies leaving behind empty bait boxes when park companies cut service. or hired another pest control company to take over,” Cleveland said. . “Overall, the many rodenticide bait boxes were abandoned and contained no bait. Some of these boxes were actually closed spring traps without bait; (they) are very similar in appearance.
The commissioner said the active cans met the two main rules of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation, namely:
• Rodenticide should not be placed in a location accessible to children, pets, wildlife or domestic animals.
• If placed in an accessible location, a tamper-resistant bait box should be used to house the rodenticide.
“We found no exposed rodenticide bait,” Cleveland said.
The Business Journal in March first reported on the trap complaint filed with the county.
On June 10, Cleveland described the investigation as “nearly complete,” adding that it should be over soon. She said outreach and education would continue.
Below are highlights of the investigation that Cleveland shared with The Business Journal:
• An email discussing laws and regulations regarding the use of rodenticide bait boxes was sent to over 100 structural pest control companies registered to work in Napa County.
• At the South Napa County Business Park location, over 50% of the 75 properties surveyed had some sort of rodent control device. She said this indicates that rodents are a problem around these businesses in this area.
• Bait boxes were from several registered structural pest control products.
• The county office is in the process of contacting pest control companies that have not properly labeled boxes.
The Cleveland agency has not received any reports from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife of predator deaths related to secondary exposure to rodenticides.
Animals eating poisoned rodents was a major concern that was raised by the local chapter of the Sierra Club.
“The reason no poisonings are discovered is because people don’t find dead animals, pick them up, and take them to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for an autopsy,” Yvonne Baginski said. , executive committee member of the Napa Chapter of the Sierra Club. “You need an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Additionally, a dead animal is often eaten by vultures and other animals within a day or two.
Baginski is awaiting the final report to determine how thorough the county’s investigation was. Additionally, she said she wanted to know how many buildings and/or bait stations were actually examined.