By Chris Keefer, Ph.D., Technical Services Manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Rodents are among the world’s most notable pests. It’s estimated that more than 10 million people have died in the past 100 years from rodent-borne viruses, bacteria and protozoan*. To control rodents in urban environments, keep in mind the following best practices:
- Identify favorable conditions: Rodents have three requisites for life: food, water and harborage. Remove one or more of these and your rodent control success will increase. Check for rodents in common harborage locations, including sewers, basements, animal feces, junk piles, vacant structures or lots, commissaries, standing water, ceilings, landscape vegetation and construction.
- Know the enemy: To build an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan that will ensure success, properly identify the rodent species. Different rodents have different life habits like movement patterns, gestation periods, habitats or volume of food and water required.
- Implement IPM strategies: Become familiar with the sanitation practices of the structure’s owners or inhabitants. Understand the construction of the structures you are servicing. Be cognizant of nearby vegetation including bushes, shrubs, trees, weeds and vines, as well as their potential role in rodent success. Inspect and note rodent entry points, droppings and urine trails, gnaw marks, clutter piles, ceiling, wall and furniture voids, grease marks, odors, sounds, bird feeders and other potential signs of rodent activity and population-friendly variables.
- Choose the right rodent control: Available product formulations for controlling rodents include pellets, soft baits, blocks, liquids, powders and meal seeds. Selecting the proper formulation for the job is important. When using baits, acceptance doesn’t always correlate to control. When using traps, know what the rodent population is currently eating and use similar or identical food. If unsuccessful, test an opposite diet, like sweets vs. proteins.
Products that can help provide consistent control of rodent populations are Talon® Weatherblok® XT and Talon-G rodenticides from Syngenta. These products contain brodifacoum, a second-generation anticoagulant that is effective against warfarin-resistant rats and mice with a single feeding. These Talon brand solutions also have superior efficacy against Norway rats, roof rats and house mice to ensure lasting control.
For more information about commercial rodent management, visit www.SyngentaPMP.com.
* Corrigan, R. M. 2001. Rodent Control: A Practical Guide for Pest Management Professionals. Cleveland, OH. GIE Media.
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