Middle School Kids Eat Rodenticide

This news report is so heart wrenching, that I’m just going to let it speak for itself, at least to start with:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Seven students at Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in San Francisco’s Portola District were hospitalized Thursday after accidently eating rat poison they had mistaken for candy or cookies. The school is not commenting on how the students came across the poison, but parents are outraged that it was apparently so easily accessible. More…

Rodenticide found by students in a school

Fortunately, the kids seem to be ok.

I’ve long been an advocate of tighter restrictions on what pesticides consumers have available to them over-the-counter, just because of incidents like this.

Case-in-point: in my twenty years in pest management, I’ve never once poisoned an animal with rodent bait (aside from, of course, the rats and mice that were the intended targets). But, I have had accounts where animals have been poisoned, even died from rodent bait. It wasn’t my bait, though. It was the homeowner’s bait.

There’s many ways in which, working in pest management, you protect the homeowner or consumer. You keep disease bearing pests out and eliminate those that get in. You protect food from being contaminated and ruined. You stop pests from damaging structures and repair damage that lets pest in.

You also protect people by stopping them from misapplying pesticides by doing the application for them.

If this school had rodenticide sitting out where kids could find it and try to eat it, what other foolish – no, not foolish, stupid, utterly stupid – applications, storage practices, and so forth did the applicator do? Is this the first incident like this, or were there other ones that went undiagnosed? Safety experts often say that an accident rarely happens the first time you do something risky, but rather happens after multiple occurrences.

Pest management professionals, be proud of your role in this world, as protectors of public health by keeping the public from poisoning themselves.

2 thoughts on “Middle School Kids Eat Rodenticide

  1. pest control North London

    Never pay for any treatments over the phone unless the company have arrived and they are carrying out the work in your house. Again I have personal experience with a client who called a company from the yellow pages and was charged £2500 and they never turned up – you have been warned. I know much latest news from your blog. Thanks for your sharing. I have kept your site in store so that I can always make forcus on your ongoing articles.

    pest control North London

  2. Ted Snyder Post author

    No matter what you are buying, caveat emptor is a motto to keep in mind. My experience is that an established company with a good track record with the Better Business Bureau (not sure if you have something like that in the UK) or Angie’s List is someone you could trust to come out and perform the work that you paid for in advance.

    Glad you liked the blog! I hope it can help people on both sides of the pond.

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