Non-biocidal alternatives as substitution options for rodenticide

Rodenticides should only be used as a last resort. Their substitution with non-biocidal alternatives is, amongst preventive measures, key to achieve proper and sustainable use. Existence of non-biocidal alternatives also needs to be considered during comparative assessments. This website gives information on effective and environment-friendly substitutes for rodenticides.

Non-biocidal measures to control rodents like brown rats or house mice can be used to reduce the use of rodenticides and their unintended effects on non-target organisms and the environment to the minimum necessary. In certain areas they can even fully replace their use. This is especially of relevance for products containing active substances which were identified as candidates for substitution under the Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012. According to Article 23 of the Regulation, non-chemical control or prevention methods need to be considered during the comparative assessments. These alternatives need to present a significantly lower overall risk for human health, animal health and the environment, should be sufficiently effective and shall not have other significant economic or practical disadvantages.

The consideration of alternatives in the comparative assessment is strongly impeded by missing compilations of potential substitutes including their evaluation. For this reason, this website provides information on potential non-biocidal substitutes to rodenticides that have been evaluated according to defined criteria. While measures to prevent harmful rodents from posing risks to health or materials are the most important measures to reduce the use of rodenticides to the minimum necessary in practice, this compilation focuses on curative non-biocidal alternatives. This is because the comparative assessments as laid down in the BPR require more or less one-to-one substitutes to rodenticides and does not consider functional substitution of pest management measures yet.

For rodenticides, traps may be considered as the most important one-to-one substitutes to biocidal rodenticides. They are already independently evaluated in two different approaches: according to the eco-label “Blue Angel” of the German Federal Government and the list according to §18 of the German Infectious Disease Act, both including criteria on efficacy and humanness.

Blue Angel
The Blue Angel for “Non-Toxic Pest Control and Prevention” (DE-UZ 34) includes mechanical snap traps. The basic award criteria needing to be fulfilled to be awarded with the eco-label are published in English. The products awarded with the eco-label are published on the website of the Blue Angel.

German Infectious Disease Act
§18 of the German Infectious Disease Act foresees testing of methods to control vectors for infectious diseases. This includes an evaluation of effects on human health, the environment and a proven efficacy. A list of the already evaluated methods for rodent control fulfilling the criteria is published in German, including snap or high-voltage traps (category “Falle”). Traps that have been proven to be efficacious in field tests can be used as sole control instruments even for large infestations. Traps without field testing but having been proven to be efficacious in laboratory tests are classified as potential accompanying methods in case of large infestations or as sole methods for the control of smaller infestations.

Further one-to-one substitutes are rodent traps using other mechanisms. However, no guidance is yet available to test their efficacy and humanness.

If you are aware of any other independent evaluations of non-biocidal alternatives, that should be listed on this website, please contact us via the contact form.