Kiawah Island Digest August 2020 - Page 3

We are going to need community-wide participation to mitigate the issue and save our bobcat population. Take the pledge today and help us spread the word. KICA made the pledge to be a Bobcat Guardian, ensuring that these pesticides are not used at any KICA facility or property. RETHINK YOUR CONTROL STRATEGY Use Integrated Pest Management to address rodent problems: • Identify specific rodent problems and locations by doing a thorough survey of the property. Only take action if a problem exists. Seeing a rodent in your yard is not a rodent problem. • Use non-chemical methods of rodent control (eliminate food/water sources, exclude rodents from structures by sealing exterior holes and cracks, use traps). • Pesticides should only be used as a last resort for large infestations inside structures. The pesticide should only be applied for a short time (typically 10 days) and then stopped once the problem is resolved. KNOW PESTICIDES - IT’S ALL ABOUT INGREDIENTS If pesticides are necessary, first-generation anticoagulants (warfarin, chlorophacinone, and diphacinone) are better than second-generation anticoagulants but still have secondary effects on wildlife. A better option would be a product that uses bromethalin or cholecalciferol. While these products have significantly lower secondary effects on bobcats and other predators, they are potentially toxic if consumed directly by pets and can only be used inside of a tamper-resistant bait station. Brand names of products containing these rodenticides are listed below: • Cholecalciferol – Terad3 Blox, d-Con Pro Bait Station Blocks • Bromethalin – Tomcat Bait Station Blocks, Victor Fast Kill Refillable Rat Bait Station Federal law requires that all rodenticide packaging clearly display the active ingredient and instructions for use. Failure to follow the instructions on the label is a violation of state and federal law. Always check the label before using any rodenticide product. The following four active ingredients are secondgeneration anticoagulants and should never be used: Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Difenacoum, and Difethialone. PESTICIDE REGULATION The town cannot regulate or prohibit the use of SGAs. In April, town council was prepared to pass an ordinance that would have done this. That action was challenged and legal opinions since have confirmed that South Carolina law broadly prohibits municipalities from enacting local regulations to control pesticide use. WHAT’S BEING DONE The town and the Kiawah Conservancy have requested a temporary, one-year prohibition on SGA use on Kiawah Island to the SC Department of Pesticide Regulation. This request is currently being evaluated and, if granted and enforced, would immediately remove these products from our ecosystem and mitigate any further damage to our bobcat population as well as other wildlife while our community works on a permanent solution to this issue. On July 20, the town held a virtual meeting with pest control companies that have a current business license with the town, in order to educate these companies on this issue and seek their input and future cooperation to eliminate the use of SGAs on Kiawah. The town is also working closely with the Department of Pesticide Regulation to increase education and training for local pest control companies. For questions about this bobcat population decline, feel free to contact town wildlife biologist Jim Jordan at [email protected] KIAWAH ISLAND DIGEST | 3