Ekocijan Pest Control Warning

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Rat poison and larvicide, with instructions
Rat poison and larvicide, with instructions

Advance notice of pest control measures on Hvar – by Vivian Grisogono. 

Rat poison and larvicide, with instructionsAs required by law, Zagreb firm Ekocijan has issued advance notice of its pest-control measures for the town councils of Hvar, Stari Grad and Jelsa. Unusually, they have issued the warning for all three councils together, and the programme is published on the Stari Grad website, in Croatian.

Rodent control and larvicidal measures will be taken in Hvar Town and its adjacent villages Brusje, Milna and Zaraće from Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st September; in Stari Grad, Vrbanj, Dol, Rudina and Basina on Saturday 22nd and Monday 24th September; and in Jelsa, Vrboska, Svirče, Pitve, Sveta Nedjelja, Ivan Dolac, Zavala, Poljice, Zastražišće and Gdinj from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th September. What happens is that Ekocijan delivers poisons to every household. In their published warning, they identify the rat poison as Ratimor (bromadiolon) and Bromachem (also bromadiolon, in a different form), the antidote to which is vitamin K. The larvicide is Flubex (diflubenzuron) in tablet form, to which there is no antidote.

Rat poison delivered to the letterboxUp to now the poisons have been delivered twice a year in a small transparent plastic bag, with the instructions (in Croatian) buried at the bottom. One English householder thought the larvicidal tablet, which is intended for the sewage system or septic tank, was the antidote to the rat poison! In Europe, vitamins have to be packaged securely, never mind potentially lethal poisons, so perhaps the system of delivery will change if Croatia accession to the EU happens as predicted next year. The manufacturers and distributors claim that dogs and cats will not eat the rat poison, but in practice that is not so: some will, and some die each year as a result. The poison packets used to be left in nooks and crannies if householders were not about: one year I found them on my cellar window-sill, hanging out of my letter-box, and even on top of my car. After that I put notices around saying OTROV NE HVALA (POISON – NO THANKS) so these unwelcome gifts do not appear on my property any more. If you don’t want them, you too have the right to refuse. I prefer my cats to keep the mice under control. Poisons have the undesirable effect of creating resistant rodents who grow bigger and tougher as a result. Natural methods of controlling them are much more effective in the long term.

Poison: no thanksThere will also be poison spraying round the streets against mosquitoes, as during the summer, but only around Hvar Town, Brusje, Milna, Zaraće and Sveta Nedjelja, from 22:00 on Monday 17th to 06:00 on Tuesday 18th September. As usual, people with breathing problems are warned to close their windows, and beekeepers should shut their hives. In this case the poisons used are not identified, but are said to be non-harmful to warm-blooded creatures – which is open to question.

Ekocijan is also tasked with pest-control measures on the rubbish dumps: Hvar’s from 17th – 18th September, Stari Grad’s on 24th and Jelsa’s on 27th September.


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