Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) this week led a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting that the Agency reconsider a proposal to restrict the use of rodenticides, which are pesticides designed to kill rodents.

The EPA in November 2022 proposed new measures that would declare 11 major rodenticides to be Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). This designation would require all product users to be licensed, state-certified applicators; prohibit bait station application methods; and require growers to conduct carcass searches for two weeks after applications.

The letter specifies that the Agency should “take [its] time to work with stakeholders to ensure that any new mitigation measures for [rodenticides] do not jeopardize the ability of users to protect the food supply, public health, property, and infrastructure.” It notes that rodents are responsible for millions of dollars in crop and grain damage while being vectors for spreading diseases to humans, animals, and pets. The letter also explains that putting restriction on rodenticide use will hamper growers, consumers, pest control operators, and other related business’s ability to comply with food safety, public health, animal welfare, and infrastructure regulations.

The letter encourages EPA to “work with rodenticide registrants and product users to ensure that any new mitigation measures are practical, science-based, and allow continued access to…essential pest control tools.”

Senator Hyde-Smith was joined by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), John Barrasso (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Ted Budd (R-NC), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Jim Risch (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Katie Britt (R-AL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), James Lankford (R-OK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The full letter can be found here.