Double Tap is a unique, cost-effective and fast-acting toxic bait that is highly palatable for rats and possums. It is a combination of Diphacinone, and Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). These toxins are already used individually as a form of pest animal control, however, when used together they work more effectively and so the toxin concentration is lower.

It is metabolised quickly, compared to other products, making it less likely to bioaccumulate and put our non-target species at risk from secondary poisoning. The reduced time to death from Double Tap is not only more humane, but it also means a reduction in bait consumption compared to other baits. Double Tap can also be used without a license or requirement to obtain a medical officer of health approval.

Safe usage

The toxin is only registered for use in bait stations. To ensure Double Tap is being used safely:

  • Stations must be located out of reach of children, pets and stock
  • Warning signs must be erected at all main access points where Double Tap bait stations are placed
  • Store bait in a safe place, away from foodstuffs, children and pets
  • Avoid contact with skin
  • Wear protective clothing when handling baits, bait stations or carcasses
  • Avoid contamination of any water supply with baits or empty containers
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while using bait
  • Wash hands and exposed skin after applying bait

Tips and tricks for bait stations

Risk to humans

In an emergency, contact the National Poisons Centre – 0800 764 766.

Typical symptoms of poisoning include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Increased tendency to bruise
  • Blood in urine and faeces
  • Excessive bleeding from minor cuts
  • Moving with difficulty
  • Shock
  • Coma

Risk to dogs and cats

Although treatment may be possible, prevention is the only sure way of protecting pets from poisoning.

To keep your dog safe around Double Tap:

  • Keep them on a lead, especially around bait station sites
  • Do not allow them to scavenge dead animals or baits
  • Always check for signage in public spaces where the toxin may be used

Dogs and cats are susceptible to poisoning from eating bait directly, but less so when eating poisoned carcasses as the dying animal is already metabolising the poison. The risk remains higher if several carcasses are consumed.

If you suspect poisoning in your pet, seek urgent veterinary advice and/or take it to the nearest veterinary clinic immediately.  

Risk to livestock

Although treatment may be possible, prevention is the only sure way of protecting animals from poisoning.

Secondary poisoning risk from Double Tap is low when compared to other products, nevertheless, it is imperative companion animals and livestock are not allowed to access baits. Anticoagulant toxins can stay in the body for months, which means that poisoning in livestock must be treated very strictly.

Although Cholecalciferol is non-persistent in livestock, Diphacinone can pose a risk. Keep bait stations out of reach of livestock.

It is an offence under the Meat (Residues) Regulations Act to send animals for slaughter that contain chemical residues above prescribed limits. In the case of poisons, any detectable residue is considered a violation.

  • Livestock exposed to Diphacinone should not be sent to slaughter or sold
  • A two-month withholding period applies for livestock and milk production
  • If you decide to send contaminated livestock to the meatworks, you must contact the MPI veterinarian at the processing plant before freighting the animals
  • If dairy cattle are exposed to Diphacinone, immediately notify the dairy supply company
  • If deaths occur in sheep or cattle, the entire flock or herd should be withheld for two months

Please notify us if you suspect livestock have been exposed to poison baits, we may have to notify the Medical Officer of Health.

Environmental effects

Double Tap residues are unlikely to be found in water as bait is placed inside bait stations and clear from streams and waterways. Cholecalciferol does not persist in the environment at all, Diphacinone is a ‘low residue’ compound.

Updated November 23, 2022 at 2:36 PM

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