National Pest Control Agencies publications

National Pest Control Agencies produces a range of publications with up-to-date, practical information on the control of vertebrate pests. Our publications are written with the input of pest control specialists and are regularly updated to ensure they reflect current best practice.

A selection of publications have now been updated (May 2020). For a list of these see below. 

There are four categories of NPCA publications:

  • 'A' Series - Best practice guidelines for controlling and monitoring vertebrate pests
  • 'B' Series - Information about regulations relevant to vertebrate pest control
  • 'C' Series - Public awareness materials
  • 'D' Series - Schools education material

These publications are used by:

  • vertebrate pest control contractors;
  • local government and DOC operations staff undertaking vertebrate pest control;
  • landowners wanting to control vertebrate pests on their land;
  • people in the general public with an interest in pest control;
  • teachers of primary and secondary school students;
  • institutions running training programmes in the monitoring and control of vertebrate pests.

Updated publications, 2020 

A Technical Advisory Group reviewed a number of NPCA publications and updated the following: 

  • A1 Possum Population Monitoring Using the Trapcatch, Waxtag and Chewcard Methods 
  • A3 Private Landowners’ Guide to Possum Control, Control Tools and Techniques 
  • B1 Legislation Guide: User Guide to Legislation Relating to Terrestrial Pest Control 

Minor revisions of publications A4.1, A4.2, A4.4, A5, A6, A9, A10, A11, A13, A14, A15, A16, B5.1 and B6.1 also took place in 2020.

A1 Possum Population Monitoring Using the Trapcatch, Waxtag and Chewcard Methods (pdf 3.8 MB)

This Protocol outlines a method for estimating indices of relative abundance of possum populations. It is based on sampling populations using various detection devices (Traps, Waxtags or Chewcards).

A3 Private Landowners’ Guide to Possum Control, Control Tools and Techniques (pdf 9.8 MB)

Private Landowners Guide to Possum Control. Control tools and techniques.

A4.1 Leghold Traps, A guideline for Capturing Possums, Ferrets and Feral Cats using Leghold Traps (pdf 12 MB)

This guideline describes the use of leghold traps for capturing possums, ferrets and feral cats.

A4.2 Kill Traps: A Guideline to Trap Possums, Ferrets, Stoats and Feral Cats using Kill Traps (pdf 8 MB)

This guideline describes the use of kill traps for capturing possums, ferrets, stoats and feral

A4.4 Possum and Ferret Traps: A report to inform and advise users of trapping products (pdf 4.7 MB)

A Report to Inform and Advise Users of Trapping Products to Ensure Proper Product Selection and Use.

A5 Pest Rabbits: Monitoring and Control Good Practice Guidelines (pdf 12 MB)

This best practice guideline to the implementation of Regional Pest Management Strategies for the control of rabbit populations.

A6 Pest Rooks: Monitoring and Control (pdf 3.4 MB)

Pest Rooks, Monitoring and Control: Best Practice Guidelines.

A7 Pest Hares: Monitoring and Control (pdf 5.7 MB)

Practical and regulatory best practice guidelines for hare control.

A8 Pest Mustelids: Monitoring and Control (pdf 2.3 MB)

Best Practice Guidelines for Monitoring and Controlling Pest Mustelids

A9 Wallabies: Control and Monitoring of pest Dama and Bennett's Wallabies (pdf 2.8 MB)

Wallabies: A Review of Monitoring and Control Techniques.

A10 Feral Pigs: A Review of Monitoring and Control Techniques (pdf 3.4 MB)

Feral Pigs: A preliminary guideline towards good practice.

A11 Feral and Stray Cats: Monitoring and Control, a Preliminary Guideline towards Best Practice (pdf 3.4 MB)

Feral and Stray Cats: A preliminary guideline towards good practice.

This Guideline refers to both stray and feral cats. As defined in the code of welfare for companion cats (, released under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, feral cats are different to stray cats. Neither are owned, but strays have varying interactions and dependence on humans while feral cats are wild. It is important that cats are correctly identified so that they can be managed appropriately.

A13 Responsible Use of Bait Stations: An Operators' Guide. (pdf 3 MB)

Guidance on the use of toxic bait stations for vertebrate pest control, including legal obligations, risk management, field techniques, recording and reporting.

A14 Aerial 1080 control of possums and rabbits (pdf 2.6 MB)

Guidance on the operational steps involved in planning and managing aerial 1080 operations for local government interests. This SOP is designed to be read and used together with the (B9) Aerial 1080 Pest Control Industry Guidelines and should not be used on its own.

A15 Determining the age of wild pigs using tooth eruption (pdf 1.7 MB)

A photographic guide for field workers to help estimate the age of pigs from their jaws. Determining the age of wild pigs, using tooth eruption and estimated wear.

A16 Keep it Clean: Machinery and vehicle hygiene guidelines and logbook to prevent the spread of pests and weeds (pdf 4.5 MB)

Good practice guideline and logbook for machine operators in rural environments. One logbook per vehicle recommended. To print at compact A5 booklet size, set printer to 'multi-page, double-sided, booklet, centre binding, fit to page' options.

B1 Legislation Guide: User Guide to Legislation Relating to Terrestrial Pest Control (pdf 577 KB)

This document summarises legislation that is directly related to land-based pest control
activities to help contractors and staff of control agencies identify and gain an overview of
legislation relevant to their work.

B2 Vertebrate Toxic Agents: Minimum Requirements for Safe Use and Handling, Best Practice Guidelines (pdf 1.4 MB)

Summarises the regulatory aspects of using vertebrate toxic agents (VTAs). Includes additional best practice standards for the safe use and handling of (VTAs). Primary audience: field staff and contractors responsible for vertebrate pest control programs.

B5.1 Water sampling for sodium fluroacetate (1080) (pdf 1.9 MB)

Report on a review of research findings relevant to water sampling for 1080; led to the 2008 update of the Landcare Research water sampling and testing guideline

B 6.1 Monitoring pest control industry workers for occupational exposure to 1080 (pdf 1.5 MB)

This document has been published to assist employers in the animal pest control industry to meet their obligation to monitor employees or contractors for occupational exposure to the vertebrate pesticide, sodium fluoroacetate (1080), by providing:
• background information, and
• guiding procedures for implementing an employee monitoring program.
This document has had minor amendments in 2020.

B7 Signage: Minimum requirements for signage where vertebrate toxic agents are laid outdoors for pest control (pdf 1.2 MB)

Outlines minimum requirements for warning signage where vertebrate toxic agents in bait form are laid outdoors for pest control. Covers the legal requirements of warning signs: - wording, design, installation, maintenance and recovery. A useful resource for agency staff and contractors implementing control programmes in the field.

B8 Tracking: Minimum requirements for tracking vertebrate toxic agents (pdf 1.7 MB)

A guideline on the minimum requirements for tracking vertebrate toxic agents. In two parts: (i) purpose and regulatory aspects, and (ii) standard forms with explanations for use, examples and key points associated with the tracking guidelines. For field staff and contractors responsible for vertebrate pest control programmes and pest managers responsible for ensuring that toxin tracking meets minimum standards.

C1 Questions and answers on 1080 (pdf 792 KB)

Answers commonly asked questions about possum control and the use of 1080. Written for the general public, it contains up-to-date research-based material and assists people to assess the relative risks and benefits of the possum control programme.

C3 1080 and dogs don't mix brochure (pdf 176 KB)

A checklist for dog-owners of precautions to take to minimise risks of 1080 poisoning. Also includes a section on recognising signs of 1080 poisoning and an action plan for cases of accidental poisoning.

C4 The Possum Busters are coming Brochure (1080 Health & Safety brochure) (pdf 1.3 MB)

Brochure for parents and caregivers of preschool children for use by agencies and contractors during pre-operational public awareness initiatives. Developed by NPCA in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Officers of Health as part of the schools’ package. Available in 3 versions, each with contact information specific to the agency responsible for the 1080 operation.

C5 Cholecalciferol: Its Use for Possum and Rodent Control. (pdf 2.1 MB)

Brochure covering aspects of cholecalciferol use for possum and rodent control. Includes
information on how cholecalciferol works, what it looks like, the risks to humans and animals
and how to keep safe when using it.

C6 Cyanide: Its use for Possum Control. (pdf 1.5 MB)

Brochure covering aspects of cyanide use for possum control. Includes information on what
cyanide looks like, the risks to humans and animals and how keep safe when using it.

C7 Brodifacoum: its use for Possum and Rodent Control in Forests and Farmland. (pdf 6.2 MB)

Information booklet about brodifacoum; who uses it and why, the risks to humans and animals, and safety aspects of its use.

D1 The How and Why of Possum Control: Teachers Edition (pdf 1.9 MB)

Teachers' Booklet: provides teachers with a range of activities and opportunities to assist
with planning a unit of work based on possums and associated issues. Contains background
information about possums and possum control, relevant curriculum links and activity

D1 The How and Why of Possum Control: Student's Booklet (pdf 8 MB)

A Student guide to Possum Control. To be used in conjunction with visits to schools by staff of pest control agencies or as part of teacher-planned study of possums across the curricula. Contains a possum quiz, facts and figures, a word search, information on 1080, suggestions for further activities and much more.