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Rodenticide Use in Massachusetts

H. 4931: An Act relative to pesticides

MSPCA Position: Support
Representative Jim Hawkins
Passed by the House to be engrossed on June 29, 2022. Referred to Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

This owl’s family unknowingly fed on rodents who had ingested rat bait that contained second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) and over the course of a week they succumbed to its deadly effects. Photo: New England Wildlife Center

Overview: Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) are a type of poison used for rodent control that work by stopping the blood clotting processes, causing lethal hemorrhage. SGARs have been extensively used for rodent control, allowing secondary exposure and poisonings in non-target wildlife species, such as birds of prey that mainly feed on rodents or small birds. SGARs are prohibited for residential consumer purchase in the Commonwealth, but commercial use is allowed for licensed pesticide companies when hired to deal with rodent problems.

Ask your state senator to support H. 4931 to protect wildlife in Massachusetts!

What would this legislation do?

The legislation requires the increased use of IPM strategies in Massachusetts. It would require public institutions of higher education to adopt IPM strategies, which use multiple methods to prevent and address rodent problems. For example, sealing building holes and cracks and removing nesting materials from problem areas discourage rodents.

This bill also requires digitization of pesticide use forms for better monitoring. Currently, licensed and certified pesticide applicators are required to submit annual reports detailing the quantities of all pesticides used. Pesticide dealers are also required to submit annual sales reports for restricted use products. However these forms are paper, and not regularly monitored, so they can be filled out with little continuity. Digitizing these forms will allow for better tracking of rodenticide use and easier follow up when these records are requested by the public.

Committee Changes to the Bill

The version of the bill that is now in the House had several provisions removed from the original legislation by the Joint Committee before release. We are working to get these provisions returned to the bill. These include requiring pesticide companies to provide customers with written information on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and the effects of SGARs on wildlife and the environment. Many homeowners have stated that if they had known the effects of this poison, they would not have allowed it on their property. Another provision removed was to require managers of public land to adopt IPM strategies, which use multiple methods to prevent and address rodent problems.

Do you have a rodent problem?

In the news:

Additional Resources:

Bill Co-Sponsors

State Senators:

Name District/Address
Joanne M. Comerford Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester
Joan B. Lovely Second Essex
Paul R. Feeney Bristol and Norfolk
Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex
Patrick M. O’Connor Plymouth and Norfolk
Patricia D. Jehlen Second Middlesex
Walter F. Timilty Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth
Sal N. DiDomenico Middlesex and Suffolk
John J. Cronin Worcester and Middlesex

State Representatives:

Name District/Address
James K. Hawkins 2nd Bristol
Patricia A. Haddad 5th Bristol
David F. DeCoste 5th Plymouth
Patricia A. Duffy 5th Hampden
Carol A. Doherty 3rd Bristol
Alan Silvia 7th Bristol
Michelle L. Ciccolo 15th Middlesex
Paul A. Schmid, III 8th Bristol
Carmine Lawrence Gentile 13th Middlesex
Mike Connolly 26th Middlesex
Lindsay N. Sabadosa 1st Hampshire
Adam J. Scanlon 14th Bristol
Thomas M. Stanley 9th Middlesex
Christopher Hendricks 11th Bristol
Steven C. Owens 29th Middlesex
Steven S. Howitt 4th Bristol
Christina A. Minicucci 14th Essex
Natalie M. Higgins 4th Worcester
Tram T. Nguyen 18th Essex
Danillo A. Sena 37th Middlesex
Christine P. Barber 34th Middlesex
Kay Khan 11th Middlesex
Daniel M. Donahue 16th Worcester
Sean Garballey 23rd Middlesex
Tommy Vitolo 15th Norfolk
Marcos A. Devers 16th Essex
Jeffrey N. Roy 10th Norfolk
Jack Patrick Lewis 7th Middlesex
William C. Galvin 6th Norfolk
Ruth B. Balser 12th Middlesex
Tami L. Gouveia 14th Middlesex
Erika Uyterhoeven 27th Middlesex
Steven G. Xiarhos 5th Barnstable
Michelle M. DuBois 10th Plymouth
Patrick Joseph Kearney 4th Plymouth
Adrian C. Madaro 1st Suffolk
Lori A. Ehrlich 8th Essex
David M. Rogers 24th Middlesex
Nika C. Elugardo 15th Suffolk
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf 17th Worcester
Jonathan D. Zlotnik 2nd Worcester
Vanna Howard 17th Middlesex
Meghan Kilcoyne 12th Worcester
Josh S. Cutler 6th Plymouth
Kimberly N. Ferguson 1st Worcester
Jacob R. Oliveira 7th Hampden
Daniel R. Carey 2nd Hampshire
Jessica Ann Giannino 16th Suffolk
Marjorie C. Decker 25th Middlesex
James M. Kelcourse 1st Essex
Natalie M. Blais 1st Franklin
Tricia Farley-Bouvier 3rd Berkshire
Paul W. Mark 2nd Berkshire
Kenneth I. Gordon 21st Middlesex
Edward R. Philips 8th Norfolk
Bradley H. Jones, Jr. 20th Middlesex

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