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Rodent Control & the Environment
barn owl
Throughout California, the use of poison baits to control rodents has injured and killed hundreds or thousands of wild animals and pets. Predatory and scavenging birds and mammals like owls, hawks, raccoons, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, skunks and coyotes that eat dead or dying rodents that have consumed these baits will also be poisoned. Pets will also eat dead or dying rodents and unprotected bait.

The best way to control rodents and protect wildlife and pets is to use non-chemical means of rodent control, such as exclusion and sanitation, when possible. Because of documented hazards to wildlife, pets and children, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has restricted public access to some of these materials in California. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency additionally implemented a nationwide ban on consumer use of products that do not comply with safety requirements ( in January 2015.

What You Can Do to Protect Pets and Local Wildlife
The truth is that no poison is a good poison- in other words, no poison available on the market in the United States poses no risk to wildlife.

  • Use barn owl nesting boxes
  • Use mechanical traps such as capture, snap or electronic
  • Keep trash and recycling areas clean
  • Secure trash cans and dumpsters from birds and rodents
  • Seal all cracks and crevices that may lead into your home, garage, attic, and crawl space
  • Use 1/4 inch metal mesh (not chicken wire) to seal off entry points, and steel wool for smaller holes
  • Pick backyard fruit as soon as it ripens and keep rotten fruit off the ground
  • Maintain landscaping– keep a 2 foot space between bushes; remove tree limbs within 3 feet of structures; keep grass under 2 inches
  • Properly dispose of poisons as Household Hazardous Waste


  • Don't use anticoagulant rodent poisons
  • Don't leave pet food outside, particularly at night
  • Don't leave water in birdbaths or bird seed outdoors for songbirds
  • Don't overfill trash and recycling containers
  • Don't leave garbage containers open
  • Don't ignore signs of a rodent infestation- stale smells from hidden places, droppings, nesting material such as shredded paper, chewing on food packaging, chewed holes in walls and floors that create entry points into the home

mountain lion
Malibu's Commitment
The City adopted a resolution urging businesses in Malibu to no longer use or sell anticoagulant rodenticides, and urged all local property owners to cease purchasing or using these chemicals on their properties. In 2016, the City discontinued the use of all rodenticides and removed traps from city-owned parks, roads, and facilities.

Additional Information
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
California Wildlife Center
Earth Island Project
Household Hazardous Waste
Poison Free Malibu
Safe Rodent Control
Urban Carnivores

City of Malibu