Impressive Pest Control

Sheep, rugby and kiwi were what the director of Canada’s McGill University’s Office for Science and Society Joe Schwarcz associated with New Zealand, not possum, weasel, ferret or rabbit. “I certainly did not connect ‘sodium fluoroacetate’ with the country,” Schwarcz writes for The Montreal Gazette. “But as I was to learn, New Zealand uses more than 80 per cent of the world’s production of this chemical. What we are talking about is a biodegradable pesticide used to control the population of the Common Brushtail Possum. It is added to carrot or cereal bait usually dropped from helicopters, capable of achieving an impressive kill rate of 98 per cent in a targeted area.” Not without its problems, ‘1080’, “its original chemical catalogue number,” “is degraded by soil microbes and fungi into non-toxic substances.”

Tags: 1080  Biodegradable  Canada  Joe Schwarcz  McGill University  Montreal Gazette  Pesticide  Possum