As mice move into houses to seek food and shelter as the weather gets colder and farmers continue to try to manage mice numbers, Agriculture Victoria is reminding farmers to follow the guidelines when using mice bait.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority recently issued a permit allowing double strength zinc phosphide baits to be used.
The permit includes additional instructions that bait users are legally required to follow to reduce the risk to non-target species.
Instructions for using the double strength zinc phosphide baits include:
- Only applying the bait at night or early evening, not during the day
- Applying the bait only once pre-baiting monitoring by bait cards has indicated that a high population of mice are present. Do not apply the bait in a trail or in piles.
- Not applying the bait to the outer 50 m of crop or within 50 m of native vegetation.
- Not using the bait on sites where non-target animals are feeding or known to occur/frequent.
These additional instructions compliment those already placed on the product label such as:
- DO NOT use this product in the home and home garden
- DO NOT graze harvest any crops or allow livestock to graze baited areas for 14 days after application
- DO NOT contaminate dams, rivers, streams and waterways with the baits or used containers
- Excess, unused or spilt bait must be buried below one metre
- Use a full face respirator with combined dust and gas cartridge and elbow length PVS gloves when opening and using the baits.
Agriculture Victoria Statewide Chemical Specialist Steven Field said it was important bait users followed these statements.
“There is a degree of concern in the public about the risk of baiting to non-target species. By using baits correctly, farmers can demonstrate to the public and regulators that they are abiding by their legal responsibilities as landowners.
“To ensure continued access to baits, it is important that farmers follow all the instructions on the permit and label.
“As all zinc phosphide baits are Schedule 7 Poisons, in Victoria users are legally required to hold an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit (ACUP) and strictly follow all label directions”.
A person who uses baits illegally may face prosecution, fines or cancellation of their ACUP which would remove their ability to legally use a wide range of chemicals.