Kelly Thompson, owner of Warwick's Cleaning and Catering Products, said farmers are buying her toilet cakes by the bucket load because they repel mice and rats.
Kelly Thompson, owner of Warwick's Cleaning and Catering Products, said farmers are buying her toilet cakes by the bucket load because they repel mice and rats. Michael Nolan

They're meant for toilets, but farmers buy 'em by the bucket

FARMERS are a crafty bunch and they're always on the lookout for new solutions to age-old problems.

It seems they found one in Kelly Thompson's urinal cakes.

Mrs Thompson owns Warwick's Cleaning and Catering Products where farmers are buying the toilet deodorisers by the bucket load because they repel mice, rats and possums.

"Apparently it's been happening for years but I never knew about it," she said.

"The word is getting out now that they are quite effective.

"With the drought, the mice are out a lot more and farmers are coming on looking for a way to keep the mice and rats away.

"I did a bit of research on the product and it is a pesticide in that respect."

The cakes' active ingredient is dichlorobenzene, which is also used in mothballs.

It's a disinfectant, pesticide and deodorant but Mrs Thompson is yet to sell a single bucket for use in a toilet or urinal.

"They have strong lavender fragrance," she said.

"I have put them around the building and we've never had any mice in the store."

They retail at $14/kg or in a bulk, four-kilo bucket for $43.

The smell of the chemical is what keeps pests at bay so they don't have to eat it.

This makes the blocks a safe option that won't cause secondary poisoning in cats or dogs.

However, dichlorobenzene is a chlorine and benzene compound, which makes them corrosive to touch and rubber gloves should be worn if you handle them.

If left in dry conditions, each block will last about a month before they evaporate. They sublime, converting from solid form to gas, leaving little or no residue.

"I had a farmer come in the other day, he'd been at the Pig and Calf Sale and he said my toilet blocks were the talk of the town. I laughed," Mrs Thompson said.