The nonprofit Santa Monica Mountains Fund will send a free yard sign promoting poison free mountains to anyone who wants one. The signs say: “Protect our Wildlife! Join us and stop using rat poison!” They also include the graphic for the Break the Poison Chain campaign.
Break the Poison Chain is a joint campaign with the National Park Service (NPS) to provide information on how to avoid using rat poison when dealing with pest problems (for more information go to poisonfreemalibu.org/rodents).
The so-called “poison chain,” also called the “chain of death,” is a series of events that occurs in the ecosystem after rat poison is put out. First, the rat poison is eaten by rodents. The poison does not kill them right away, it just slows them down while they are dying an excruciating death, which makes them an easy meal for predators that include owls, hawks, bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions. Then, when those predators eat enough poisoned rats and mice, they also die an excruciating death. This is a well-documented process after 20 years of scientific studies by the NPS in our mountains.
Scientists believe these predators would kill off many more rodents naturally if they were not dying from rat poison.
The California Assembly passed AB 1788 in fall 2020, temporarily banning four poisons used in lethal anticoagulant rodenticide (rat poison) until further studies are completed. The bill went into law on Jan. 1, 2021.
To request a free yard sign, send an email with your mailing address to: firstname.lastname@example.org.