Recent EPA-Approval Allows For Use of Dry Ice Against Rats
Big cities and rats go hand-in-hand, causing perpetual concern for the people living there. Rats are intelligent creatures, and many seem to have the uncanny ability to avoid traps and learn from the rats that meet their demise. Because of this, pest control companies are turning to dry ice as a safe, humane, and effective solution to controlling rat populations throughout major cities. While dry ice is proving to be effective, the solid form of carbon-dioxide was not always permitted as a means of pest control.
In 2016, major cities began using dry ice in an attempt to control rat populations. While this pest control method was quickly proven to be effective, the use of dry ice was quickly stopped by the EPA, which oversees enforcement of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA did not recognize dry ice as a rodenticide and the agency demanded the cities halt their usage. However, as temperatures and food waste continued to rise, keeping rat problems at the forefront of city living, the EPA agreed to reexamine.
The EPA recently decided to approve the use dry ice as a means of pest control after Bell Laboratories developed Rat Ice, which the company advertised as "the only approved usage of dry ice for rodents in the U.S.". Pest control companies are now resuming the use of ‘rat ice’ in burrows to combat their exploding populations in parks and other commercial locations. With many found benefits, ‘Rat Ice’ is now considered a more safe, humane solution for controlling rats, and is proving itself as an effective rat control method for cities.
How We Use Dry Ice to Control Rats
Now licensed to treat large rat infestations with dry ice, Catseye has begun using this environmentally-safe method to control rats in parks and other recreational locations.
When treating the burrows with dry ice, our pest professionals start by blocking all burrow entrances, leaving only the burrow being treated exposed. Several pounds of dry ice are then placed into the burrow. Once the burrow has been treated with dry ice, the hole is then filled back in with dirt. As the dry ice slowly melts, it releases carbon dioxide and consumes the oxygen inside the burrow. This slow release of carbon dioxide does not alarm the rats and they are eradicated in their sleep.
This process is repeated if the burrow is reopened or there are signs of continued rat activity.
When asked about the benefits of using dry ice in rat burrows, Catseye Pest Technician Richard Merullo explains, “Dry ice is great because you can easily apply it directly to the burrows”. He goes on to note that, “unlike other rodenticides that leave chemical residuals in the ground, dry ice doesn’t have any residuals and dissipates very quickly, leaving only a natural mix of oxygen”.
In addition to being free of harmful chemicals, by placing the dry ice underground, it keeps the dead rats underground as well, eventually decomposing and becoming part of the soil. It sounds a little gruesome, but it is actually a safe and effective way to control rat populations without harming other animals such as birds of prey, which have been killed by eating poisoned rats in the past.
While strict regulations prohibit the use of dry ice within ten feet of any structure, our dry ice rat service is used for commercial rat infestations, and are now being used in parks and recreational areas within major cities like Boston.
Professional Dry Ice Rat Control
While dry ice is easily accessible, it is not as easy to handle. It can burn human skin, so it is best to hire a professional to manage large rat infestations.
At Catseye, we follow all EPA regulations and have professionally-trained and fully-licensed pest technicians that are ready and qualified to manage any rodent problems you might have.
If you think you’re dealing with a rat infestation, and would like to learn more about our pest control services for rats and other rodents, contact our local pest professionals today for a no-cost inspection.