[NAFEX] Feeding the squirrels

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Tue Sep 26 09:39:03 EDT 2006

At 10:40 PM 9/25/2006, Barry wrote:
>I think I'd much prefer the quick shot than have animals die in agony,
>then get eaten by numerous other animals thus transferring this problem
>through the food web.

That's all well and good, and I, too, would prefer a quick shot to 
dispatch the bushy-tailed tree rat - and that's gratifying, in and of 
itself; but one can't be 'on patrol' 24/7, and in urban/suburban 
settings, you've gotta be able to get relatively close to the 
squirrels to ensure hitting the mark with your air rifle.

I, too have used the peanut butter/Plaster-of-Paris bonbons with good 
success, and don't hesitate to use them - they're vermin.  As far as 
I can ascertain, the PB/POP bonbons pose much less, if any, threat to 
secondary consumers, than would other 'approved' rodenticides, such 
as the anticoagulant and Vitamin D analogue types.

The person who originally put me onto the PB/POP idea indicated that 
the POP 'turned to concrete' in the squirrel's intestine, but I'm 
fairly certain that doesn't occur - and my toxicologist concurs.
Method of action may entail either excessive generation of gas when 
the POP hits the gastric acid(I don't know if squirrels can 'belch'), 
or marked skewing of the animal's blood pH and/or serum 
calcium:phosphorus ratio, inducing neuromuscular dysfunction.

Louis L. "Lucky" Pittman, Jr., DVM
Veterinary Pathologist/ Dept. Chairman
Murray St. Univ.-Breathitt Veterinary Ctr.
Hopkinsville, KY 

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