Rodent Control: Back To Basics To Understand The Future
  Key Words  
  Prevention, rats, mice, bait, neophobia, traps, exclusion, proofing, monitoring
  R. M. Shand and A. J. Brigham
  The current urban rodent control servicing model which relies very heavily on baiting with rodenticides is being increasingly challenged, and two studies are reported here that attempt to ‘go back to the basics’ of rodent behavior in order to investigate new avenues for innovation. The ability of several candidate food-based attractants was assessed in a pen containing a colony of mice maintained in ‘semi-natural’ conditions. None of the materials tested had any effect on increasing bait take in any of the bait boxes treated – in fact the control bait boxes sprayed with water had the highest mean daily bait take. The same colony was used on another occasion to test various candidate mouse-proofing products, through which the mice had to pass to access a central enclosure. Some professional products, as well as industry-recommended materials such as steel wool, did not last the 90 days of the test period. However professional products Mouse Stop and Rodent Barrier, as well as one DIY product (Polyfilla) lasted the length of the trial and would appear suitable for use as part of a rodent control IPM program.