A record harvest season, along with high levels of stored grain and fodder, have created ideal conditions for rodent populations to rapidly expand this season. The abundance of food in paddocks and around farms means that farmers should be vigilant.
Rats and mice can cause significant financial losses by eating and contaminating stored grain and fodder, as well as transmitting zoonotic diseases, such as salmonella and leptospirosis, to livestock and humans. They can do significant damage to crops and farm infrastructure as well.
“It pays to be prepared with an integrated control program to help keep on top of potentially expanding rodent populations,” explains Kim Krilich, Elanco Brand Manager.
“Monitoring for any signs of rodent infestations is the first step in pest management,” Ms Krilich says.
“Look for droppings, signs of gnawing, digging, and burrows around feed sources, runways, vegetation, and buildings.
“Access to feed sources should be reduced wherever possible, paying attention to cleaning up any feed spills and access to stored grain.
“Managing weeds and strategically clearing vegetation can discourage the use of these habitats by rodents and expose them to predators for biological control.
“Once signs of rodents are identified, it’s recommended to implement a baiting program to control the establishment of infestations,” says Ms Krilich.
“In recent years, we’ve seen rodent infestations expand rapidly, resulting in soaring demand for rodenticides. It is highly encouraged to begin discussions with customers on control programs and plan your rodenticide requirements early.”
Ms Krilich explains that customers may be hesitant to commence a baiting program due to the risk of secondary poisoning of non-target animals, particularly working dogs.
“Racumin® is a safer bait option in this regard,” she says.
Racumin is a first-generation rodenticide that contains the active ingredient, coumatetralyl. Unlike second and third-generation rodenticides, coumatetralyl is rapidly metabolised after ingestion, resulting in very low toxic residues in the body of the rodent once it dies.
“This significantly reduces the risk of secondary poisoning when natural predators, such as foxes, owls or snakes, feed on carcasses. Likewise, the risk of secondary poisoning of working dogs and pets is very low.”
An experimental study has demonstrated that the ingestion of one baited rat by a healthy dog carries no risk of poisoning.1 The risk may increase with successive daily ingestion*.
For additional safety, Racumin contains a bittering agent, Bitrex, to deter accidental ingestion by non-target species.
Several feeds are required to ingest a lethal dose, with death occurring three to eight days later, about the same as most single-feed baits**.
Racumin is available in three formulations and a range of pack sizes to suit different situations.
Racumin Rat and Mouse Paste is packaged in highly palatable sachets that can be placed in hard-to-reach and undercover areas, such as ceiling voids or behind materials. They are ideal for use in a range of domestic and industrial situations, including around farm buildings and dairies.
Racumin Rat and Mouse Blocks are weather-resistant, wax blocks that can be placed in appropriate bait stations in areas of known rodent activity. They are also registered for use in rodent control programs in macadamia and sugar cane field crops, and pineapple plantations.
Racumin 8 Rat and Mouse Rodenticide is a dry concentrate that can be used as a tracking powder by sprinkling in areas of known rodent activity. Rodents ingest the powder when grooming their feet and fur. Alternatively, it can be used as a dry bait and mixed with a suitable bait material, such as grain or fruit, and applied in and around domestic and farm building areas.
“With its versatility, excellent efficacy, and safety profile, Racumin is the smart choice for rodent control.”
For further information on Racumin and rodent control this season, contact your local Elanco representative.
1. Berny. P.J. et al. (1999). Evaluation of the secondary toxicity of coumatetralyl to dogs and an example of rat control in a dogs’ boarding kennel. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Urban Pests.
*All animals can be poisoned if they feed on sufficient bait directly. In the event of accidental ingestion of a baited rodent by a domestic animal, veterinary advice should be sought immediately.
**Baiting for at least 2 weeks is necessary to eliminate rat or mouse numbers.
Always read and follow the label directions. DO NOT place baits in open unless in bait stations. DO NOT graze or feed livestock on treated areas whilst bait is present. DO NOT place baits in any position accessible to children, livestock, or domestic pets.
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