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Updated 3 April 2020 10:32am

Why we use Pindone to control pests

Native New Zealand species need protecting from pests. Pindone is an effective pesticide used in New Zealand and Australia to control wallabies, possums and most commonly rabbits.

What is Pindone?

Pindone is an anticoagulant poison that was developed in the early 1940s. Pindone is used worldwide to control rodents, although its use for the control of rats and mice has decreased following the introduction of more potent anticoagulants such as Brodifacoum. 

There are different types of Pindone bait: carrot and pellet bait can be hand-laid on the ground for rabbits with a user certificate. Pellets can also be dispensed in bait stations for possums, rats and rabbits. Both are highly effective, however they achieve results in different ways. Find out more about: 

The results

Pindone is very effective on rabbits. However, you can expect a reinvasion of rabbits over time and the number of rabbits surrounding your property will affect how quickly this happens.

The results will last longer if neighbouring properties undertake control at the same time. Pindone bait is a control method and should be used alongside other pest management solutions such as shooting, fumigating burrows and fencing.

Important points to remember

  • The pellet bait stations and carrot bait must be isolated from children, pets and stock.
  • Warning signs must be erected at all main access points to public areas where Pindone bait stations and carrot bait are placed.
  • Pindone bait are dyed green.

 Danger to humans

Pindone, like any other poison, is dangerous if eaten. However it is less toxic than other commonly used vertebrate pesticides. Humans would need to eat very large amounts of the toxic bait for it to be fatal. There have been no accidental fatalities recorded in New Zealand.

Children should be kept away from all poison areas.

Symptoms of poisoning

The symptoms are similar for both humans and other mammals. Nausea and vomiting may occur soon after ingestion. However, in some cases the effects from exposure to Pindone may be delayed for several days. Typical symptoms of poisoning include:

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


Do not rely on treatment. Prevention is the best method of protection from poisoning.

If poisoning is suspected, seek medical advice immediately or call the National Poison Centre 0800 764 766.

If bait has been swallowed, give a glass or two of water and induce vomiting by putting a finger down the throat. Repeat until the vomit is clear in appearance.

Safety precautions

  • Store bait in a safe place, away from foodstuffs, children and pets
  • Avoid contact with skin
  • Wear overalls and waterproof gloves when handling bait
  • Avoid contamination of any water supply with baits or empty containers
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while using
  • Wash hands and exposed skin after applying bait

Danger to pets

Pindone is less hazardous than other commonly used poisons but you still need to take care to prevent accidental poisoning, either from pets eating toxic bait or carcasses. The secondary poisoning risk from eating poisoned carcasses is very small.

If you see pets eating toxic bait, induce vomiting as soon as possible and take them to a vet.

A vet can administer Vitamin K1, which is an effective treatment, but it must be given in the early stages of poisoning.

Danger to livestock

If you think livestock have been exposed to Pindone, you should contact the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to determine with-holding periods.

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.

If you decide to send contaminated livestock to slaughter, you must contact the MPI veterinarian at the processing plant before freighting the animals.

Refer to Pindone carrot bait and rabbit pellet and possum pellet bait pages to understand their risks to livestock.

Danger to feral game

Any residues are eliminated from the animals in about three weeks. Do not take game from the area for two months after treatment has ceased, refer to MPI for further recommendations.

Effects on drinking water

Pindone is unlikely to be found in water. This is because pellets are contained in bait stations and hand-laid bait is kept clear of streams and waterways. Do not apply where bait could get into water.