Controlling House Mice In The Food Industry
  Key Words  
  Behavioural resistance, Baits, traps, electronic monitoring
  John Simmons and Chris Swindells
  In recent years we have lost many rodenticide products, and seen increased regulatory restrictions on the way in which remaining products may be used. In the food industry, client-imposed restrictions further limit usage options. House mice (Mus domesticus) remain a major challenge to control, even without such developments, and our experience suggests that around 10-20% of all food manufacturing plants in the UK experience resident mouse infestation. Using an electronic monitoring system, we have demonstrated that some of the rodent baits and traps used in ‘conventional’ monitoring programmes may be an extremely unreliable indicator of activity, with a high degree of behavioural resistance sometimes evident. This has long been known about, or at least suspected, but has rarely been quantified. The implications of this from the viewpoint of controlling mice are profound. Electronic monitoring systems are a useful tool for studying rodent behaviour in the field.