COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- WINK News is investigating if pest control is putting your family at risk. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida said rat poison is to blame for wildlife animals being killed.
"When you're talking about different situations, keep your kids safe, keep your pets safe."
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has a warning - "It's just making people are aware there are consequences to a lot of these chemicals that we use," said Joanna Fitzgerald.
Chemicals like the kinds being used at your home. Joanna Fitzgerald, the Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital said they're seeing wildlife becoming victims of the traps and chemicals being used, including these owls.
"Knowing that owls eat rodents and all of it coming together our first thought was gosh, I wonder if they had gotten into some rodenticide, poisoning. If these things are not contained properly, keeping cats and dogs from coming up across those, and possibly ingesting them as well, theyre going to feel the effects of that poison also."
But Phil Hadley, owner of Collier Pest Control said if it's done correctly by using a secured rodent bait station, everyone will be safe.
"It's secured and lock proof so it does have a key on it that not just any screw driver can open, it has a special key that would open this thing, so it is safe for children that are curious" said Hadley.
And Hadley tells WINK News, he suspects these owls died because they were able to get to the poison.
"A lot of operators are still using the older style bait stations that are not weighted and not locked secured and they need to be updated to the new standards."
The owls are protected animals and the Conservancy fears other protected animals could become victims. Hadley said the amount of rat bait is typically based on the weight of the animal. For the average dog or cat, they would have to eaet a few pounds before it could kill them, but it would still make them very sick.