Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) use in British Columbia

To reduce the risk of wildlife poisoning, new requirements for the sale and use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides are in effect on January 21, 2023.

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Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs)

SGARs are formulated as poisonous baits containing any of the following active ingredients:

  • Brodifacoum
  • Bromadiolone
  • Difethialone

These active ingredients are highly toxic, causing death by internal bleeding. Rodents only need one feeding to get a lethal dose.

SGARs can also pose a serious risk to people, pets and wildlife through direct and secondary poisoning. The risk of secondary poisoning for wildlife by SGARs is higher than first-generation products because the active ingredients stay in animal tissue for a long time after feeding.

Rodenticide poisoning

Direct poisoning

  • Pets, children and wildlife can die or be seriously hurt if they eat poisoned rodent bait

Secondary poisoning

  • Natural predators like hawks and owls can die or suffer long-term effects from eating poisoned rodents

A flow diagram showing secondary wildlife poisoning from consumption of rodents poisoned by rodenticides.

SGAR update

In response to concerns over the effects on owls and other wildlife, the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides has been restricted to essential services. If you're not on the essential services list, you're not allowed to use these products.

The best way to manage rodents is with an integrated pest management approach.

For basic information, please review Managing rats and mice pests.

For detailed information, please review the Integrated Pest Management for Rodents: A Guide for Residents (PDF, 3.6MB).

The ministry has developed a series of guidance documents that describe the changes:

Using SGARs

Some services must manage rodents to maintain critical operations.

Rodents can affect these essential services by:

  • Chewing electrical and data cables, which can interrupt function and cause fires
  • Contaminating food storage
  • Spreading diseases

SGARs can be used only by:

Essential services

  • Hospitals
  • Facilities, other than hospitals, where emergency health care services are provided
  • Primary health care facilities, including but not limited to assisted living facilities and facilities where day surgeries are performed
  • Subsidized housing facilities that make available on-site supports for adults, if they're at risk of or are experiencing homelessness
  • Safe use injection sites
  • Department of National Defence facilities
  • Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary facilities
  • Local, regional, provincial and federal emergency response and emergency management facilities
  • Facilities associated with emergency responders, including police, fire, ambulance and 9-11 dispatch
  • Infrastructure and facilities associated with the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity
    • This does not including charging stations
  • Infrastructure and facilities associated with drinking water, including but not limited to water filtration facilities and water distribution facilities
  • Wastewater processing facilities
  • Infrastructure and facilities associated with petroleum, natural gas and propane gas production, processing, transmission, distribution and storage. This does not include gasoline stations
  • Places where land is used for agriculture
  • Aquaculture operations
  • Facilities for food production, processing, storage and transportation
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores, food banks and other places engaged in the provision or retail sale of food
    • This does not include vending machines or stores that primarily sell beverages, pet food, cannabis, liquor or snacks
  • Infrastructure and facilities associated with commercial or industrial shipping, including commercial ports, passenger terminals, commercial terminals and shipyards
  • Airplane hangars
  • Infrastructure and facilities associated with the transportation of passengers and goods by rail
  • Waste (garbage and organics) processing facilities
  • Recycling processing facilities, including but not limited to recycling transfer stations and recycling collection locations
  • Waste disposal facilities, including landfills and waste-to-energy facilities, but not including residential and commercial waste collection areas

Infrastructure and facilities associated with radio, cable television and telecommunications systems and services, including but not limited to:

  • Cellular towers
  • Broadcasting structures
  • Undersea cable landing stations
  • Internet exchange points
    • This does not include offices and call centres
  • Facilities for coroners and facilities where forensic services are performed
  • Facilities where mortuary services are performed, including funeral homes, crematoria and cemeteries
  • Facilities associated with the storage, transportation and certification of human remains

Places where the government of British Columbia or an agent of the government of B.C., the government of Canada, or an agent of the government of Canada, or a First Nation engage in a program that has the purpose of conserving or protecting a species or an ecosystem from the impacts of non-native rodents.

Essential service locations where SGARs can be used are listed in Schedule 6 of the Integrated Pest Management Regulation.


Buying SGARs

A licence is now required to purchase SGARs. Only the licence holder of an essential service or pest control company can buy SGARs.

When purchasing SGARs, the licence holder must present the following:

  • A pesticide applicator certificate
    • Their own pesticide applicator certificate or the name and certificate number of the person employed by the essential service or pest control company who will use the SGAR
  • A pesticide user licence (service or non-service)
  • If the licence is a non-service licence, the purchaser must also provide documentation they are an essential service

To learn about how to obtain a pesticide applicator certificate, please visit the certification training page.

To apply for a pesticide licence, please visit the authorization to sell or use pesticides page.

Please note that a pesticide applicator certificate must be acquired prior to applying for a pesticide licence.

SGAR use requirements

SGARs may only be used on a short-term basis. A baiting cycle cannot exceed 35 consecutive days. If multiple baiting cycles are used, they cannot exceed a total of 120 days per year.

Preventative baiting with SGARs (for example, baiting without recent signs of rodent activity) is prohibited.

Before using SGARs, a site-specific rodent management plan must be documented that outlines operational elements and IPM practices of the rodent management program. Review the Rodent Management Plan Template (PDF, 144KB).

SGARs may not be used in a critical wildlife area, wildlife sanctuary, ecological reserve, or bird sanctuary.

SGARs may only be used while following the principles of IPM:

  • Measures to prevent rodents must be implemented
  • Alternative rodent control methods, such as traps, must be implemented
  • Rodent species have been identified
  • Rodent populations and locations have been monitored
  • Injury thresholds have been determined and applied
  • Effectiveness of any previous control efforts have been evaluated

Record keeping

Pesticide licensees are already required to keep daily pesticide use records.

When using SGARs, licensees must also record new information on their IPM practices and baiting periods.

A new form is available to help with these new record requirements.

SGAR and rodent disposal

Dead rodents can carry disease and attract wildlife and must be disposed of properly.

Unused bait and dead rodents must be properly disposed of to minimizes hazards to human health and the environment in accordance with local bylaws.

To learn more about proper disposal of rodenticides, please review the pesticide label and the guidance document:

Selling SGARs

When selling SGARs, they must be displayed in a manner that restricts customer access.

Where SGARs are displayed for sale, a sign indicating risks to wildlife must be displayed.

An electronic template of this sign for printing is available for use:

Confirming authorized purchasers

Vendors can only sell SGARs after confirming the buyer is authorized. Buyers should bring specific documents so the vendor can complete the sale.

Before selling SGARs, the dispenser or vendor must confirm that the purchaser has presented:

  • A pesticide applicator certificate (their own pesticide applicator certificate or the name and certificate number of the person employed by the essential service or pest control company who will use the SGAR)
  • A valid pesticide user or licence (service or non-service)
  • Documentation that they're an essential service (for purchasers with a non-service licence only)

Dispenser-customer interaction

In addition to the existing customer interaction requirements for pesticide sales, certified pesticide dispensers must also verbally communicate the following information when selling SGARs:

  • SGARs present a risk to non-target wildlife
  • The use of SGARs is subject to new IPM requirements and record-keeping requirements
  • Unused SGARs and dead rodents must be properly disposed of

Daily sales records

In addition to the information already required to be recorded for pesticide sales, certified pesticide dispensers must record new information for SGAR sales.

A new form is available to help with these new record requirements.

Best practices when controlling rodents

Learn how to control rodents using Integrated Pest Management (IPM): 


Please email your questions to