Regulatory Changes for Rodenticides

Hello Avid Readers! There are going to be regulatory changes for rodenticides to reduce their non-target effects. These include birds of prey and cats like Kiki in the featured image. Kiki might not look happy about it, but that’s probably because she doesn’t understand what’s coming. So let me explain what we know so far!

What are Rodenticides?

Rodenticides are pesticides used to kill rodents. They are used by homeowners for pests such as mice, agricultural establishments for rats and pocket gophers, or structural pest control professionals in a variety of areas inhabited by humans and infested by rodents. Rodenticides are toxic to a wide range of animals due to the modes of action, or the way they kill the rodents. Many other animals including pets like dogs or cats, birds, or even humans can become ill or die if they consume these products. Due to this the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised the regulations surrounding the distribution and use of rodenticides.

Bill Kern addresses the unique concerns of the commercial horticulture and pest control industries, consumer population, agricultural producers, land and water managers , and consumers throughout Florida.

Types of Rodenticides

First-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) are classified as anticoagulants. They were developed before 1970. These compounds are much more toxic when feeding occurs on several successive days rather than on one day only. Chlorpophacinone, diphacinone and warfarin are first-generation anticoagulants.

Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) were developed in the 1970s. There was a need for new chemistries due to the development of resistance. Second-generation anticoagulants are more likely to kill after a single night’s feeding but tend to remain in animal tissues longer than first-generation ones. Thus, second-generation products pose greater risks to nontarget species and are no longer are registered for use in products geared toward consumers. Second-generation include brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone.

Other rodenticides registered to control mice include bromethalin, cholecalciferol and zinc phosphide. These are not anticoagulants. Each has a different Mode of Action (MoA).

Regulatory Changes for Rodenticides

Certified Applicators

The EPA has summarized the changes and made them available to the public through their website. The changes might mean different things to different people.

Certified Applicators
Regulatory Change Adaptation
Additional PPE for loose formulations will be required.


Be sure to read labels carefully before using the product. Make sure you have all the PPE on hand a label requires.
Spot and broadcast application of some rodenticide products in turf, lawns, parks, golf courses, campsites and other recreation areas will be prohibited.


Do not assume products can be used at all sites they were previously approved for. Again, read the label carefully to make certain the product can be applied to the area in question.
Restricting the method, timing and location of spot, broadcast, and below-ground applications of chlorophacinone and diphacinone in cropped areas, rangeland, and pastureland.


If you are managing rodents in cropped areas, rangeland, or pastureland be sure to purchase rodenticides labeled for those areas.
Post-application search, collection and disposal of carcasses of target pests or non-target animals.


As you create your pest management plan, ensure you include the time that will be needed to remove resulting carcasses.
Cleanup of bait moved from its original placement location.


As above ensure you have time incorporated into your management plan to clean up bait moved by rodents or non-targets as needed.
Reporting of dead and dying non-target organisms


Be sure to follow requirements for reporting effects on non-target organisms.
Requiring registrants to develop, implement and maintain rodenticide stewardship plans that include development of education and outreach materials intended for product users and make these plans available on their websites.


When you purchase a product check the label and labeling for additional information. It may be a requirement that you view online materials to be compliant.


General Public
Regulatory Change Adaptation
Rodenticides must be in bait stations. There may not be any loose baits.


Rodenticides cannot be placed in the home or environment without a proper bait station. The EPA has a site for choosing a bait station for household use


Bait stations must be more protective than they previously were.


Again, check the EPA site for choosing a bait station for household use


There may be no more than 1 pound of poison in a container. FGARs bromethalin and cholecalciferol in packages over 1 pound will be classified as RUPs



Your purchasing options may have changed. Without becoming a certified applicator, you will not be able to purchase over 1 pound of rodenticide in a package. Consider using an integrated pest management program and reducing overall rodenticide use.
Consumers will not have access to SGARs. All SGARs, strychnine, and zinc phosphate will be classified as RUPs. Consumer-sized zinc phosphide products will be prohibited.



Fewer types of products may be available for the general public. Again, consider IPM strategies which are detailed further below.


Refillable bait stations for consumer-sized products will be prohibited.


Each bait station purchased will need to be properly discarded after use. They will not be refillable.


Extension professionals and educators must consider how these changes will affect their stakeholders. Preparing for these changes now will give educators time to generate materials to better communicate to stakeholders how to continue to manage rodents while staying in compliance. Consider the following:

  • Informing stakeholders about rodenticide label changes
  • Providing additional training on how to read pesticide labels
  • Determining how label changes affect direct supervision of non-certified applicators
  • Disseminating changes via in-person or virtual training, social media, and outreach events
  • Working with urban pest control specialists to update materials with relevant management suggestions
  • Promoting IPM strategies

Rodent Management

In order to prepare for the upcoming changes consider adopting an integrated pest management approach. Prevention is key in managing rodents. Ensure areas are kept clean. This is often called sanitation in the pest management world. Make certain that pet and livestock food are in sealed containers. Many pests including rodents will enjoy a messy yard with containers they can hide behind. Keep the area tidy to prevent rodents from feeling safe. Exclusion is another important tactic because rodents will climb up anything they can hold on to and can squeeze through a ¼-1/2 inch crack. Ensure that your area is as rodent-proof as possible. Look for signs of rodents and ensure you identify the species before moving on to application methods. Chemical control via rodenticides may be necessary. Anyone using a rodenticide of any sort will benefit from the following safety advice:

  • Read the label
  • Store away from children
  • Place pesticides out of the reach of pets
  • Remove carcasses as soon as possible

For more details read the article on Rat and mouse control. Combing strategies will become more important in rodent management as chemical options become more restricted. Creating and implementing an IPM strategy now can increase efficacy in managing pests and promote safe practices as well as ensuring future compliance.



There are changes coming to the regulation of rodenticides. This will impact professional pest management specialists, homeowners, and educators. Do not wait until the last minute to determine how this may affect you. Consider your options and the possible adaptations suggested above. The best way to get ahead of the changes are to take time to develop an integrated pest management program. Once newly labeled products are released, ensure your IPM plan is compliant and that you have the appropriate PPE for the products of your choice. If you need assistance or clarification reach out to your state enforcement agency, extension professionals, or if you are here in Florida the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office.


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Posted: November 10, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth

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