The manufacturer of various d-CON products used to kill rats and mice has agreed to stop marketing 12 products that have been sold without a protective bait station.
The decision ends a two-year-long fight between the Environmental Protection Agency and Reckitt Benckiser of Slough, England.
Reckitt Benckiser began phasing out the production of 12 d-CON products in June 2014 and stopped all production by December. On March 31 of this year, it stopped the distribution of the products. Several of the d-CON products are still on the shelves of area stores, but the number is dwindling.
The discontinued d-CON items include the popular products Concentrate Kills Rats & Mice and Pellets Kills Rats & Mice.
“We might have four or five packages on the shelf yet, but it’s been going on for a few months now,” said Joe Arogosa of Marty’s Hardware on Van Vranken Ave. in Schenectady. “They allow you to sell what you have, but it’s no longer available. I can’t order it.”
Arogosa says most of his customers are OK with the EPA ruling and have opted for other methods of pest control.
“Some people get used to something that works, but we haven’t got a whole lot of feedback,” he said. “The new product is working and it is safer. It’s a block which goes into a tray where kids and animals can’t get to it.”
Wallace Winston, whose family has owned Woodlawn Hardware on upper State Street in Schenectady for more than 60 years, said he does have some customers who are upset.
“Our distributor can’t sell it anymore so we took it off the shelf,” said Winston. “Some people are fuming. The stuff worked, and they were more like pellets. You could just take them out of the packet and throw them toward the mice. Now, they’re more in a bait station which is safer, but people like what works. I had some people in today looking for the pellets.”
The EPA advises consumers who wish to dispose of any d-CON product to contact their state or local waste disposal program. “Mouse and rat poisons products meeting our safety criteria are now widely available, effective and affordable, and pose significantly less risk to people, pets and wildlife such as mountain lions, eagles and foxes,” the EPA said in a press release.
Retailers are allowed to keep the products on their shelves until their stock is depleted, and those using the product have no restrictions but are urged by the EPA to follow product guidelines.