In search of the Holy Grail of Rodent control: Step-by-step implementation of safe and sustainable-by-design principles on the example of rodenticides

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


The field of chemical rodent control has seen no major developments in the last decades, even though anticoagulant rodenticides (AR), the mainly used substances to manage mice and rats, are known environmental pollutants and candidates for substitution under the European Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012. Moreover, recent political developments in Europe and the USA demand more safety and sustainability in the management of chemicals, reinforcing the need for environmentally friendly substances. In this concept study, we present a step-by-step approach to improve the environmental properties of rodenticides. Repurposing of existing pharmaceuticals, the use of enantiomerically pure rodenticides, or the improvement of the formulation by microencapsulation can help to alleviate environmental problems caused by AR in the short term. Modification of the chemical structures or the development of prodrugs as medium-term strategies can further improve environmental properties of existing compounds. Ultimately, the development of new substances from scratch enables the utilisation of so far ignored modes of actions and the application of modern safe and sustainable-by-design principles to improve target specificity and reduce the negative impact on non-target organisms and the environment. Overall, our concept study illustrates the great potential for improvement in the field of chemical rodent control when applying available techniques of green and sustainable chemistry to known or potential rodenticides. Most promising in the medium term is microencapsulation that would allow for the use of acutely acting substances as it could circumvent bait shyness. On a longer timescale the de novo design of new rodenticides, which is the only method that can combine a high target specificity with good environmental properties, is the most promising approach.

ZeitschriftSustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy
Anzahl der Seiten19
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.04.2022

Bibliographische Notiz

This work was supported by the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) project Nr. 3719674060.