baking soda has been promoted to control coqui frogs. While
some concentrations of baking soda may be effective, the only
legal and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved agent
for controlling coqui frogs is citric acid.
of baking soda as a frog control agent has not been approved
by the EPA; therefore it would be a violation of EPA regulations
to use it for that purpose.
acid is on a list of substances that are exempt from EPA regulations
because it is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS),
whereas baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is not
exempt even though it is commonly found in food.
there are a series of steps necessary to acquire EPA approval
before baking soda can be legally
used to kill coqui frogs in Hawai‘i.
baking soda in the laboratory for its ability to kill the
coqui frog quickly and humanely and its consistent effectiveness
on different sexes, ages, stages of maturity, and eggs.
Tests were conducted by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National
Wildlife Research Center in Hilo. Results
are summarized in this announcement
but are not a recommendation to or an endorsement for
the use of baking soda by the public. There
are several more steps in the process before it is approved
Test baking soda under field conditions to determine that
its effectiveness on the coqui frog is the same or exceeds
laboratory results and does not harm non-target organisms
(plants, invertebrates, vertebrates).
Tests are currently being conducted by USDA APHIS Wildlife
Services, National Wildlife Research Center in Hilo.
Request and receive approval from a manufacturer of baking
soda to use its product to control coqui frogs in Hawai‘i.
Church & Dwight has denied approval to use its sodium
bicarbonate to kill coqui frogs. Another manufacturer has
been contacted but is requesting more information in order
to make a decision.
Submit the results of Steps 1, 2 and 3 to US EPA via Hawai‘i
Department of Agriculture to request approval for use of
baking soda to control coqui frogs in Hawai‘i.
more information, see
Regulating Pesticides – US Environmental Protection
Agency website http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/