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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Redevelopment of a Rat Specific Rodenticide Norbormide 

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Norbormide is a rat specific toxicant. It causes vasoconstriction of small arteries and vasodilation of large arteries in rats, which results in a rapid fall in blood pressure and death from heart failure. It is an extraordinary compound in that it is only toxic to rats. The lack of toxicity of this compound to birds and other mammals is unique. It was originally researched in the 1960s and initially marketed in the USA. Problems with taste aversion slowed its continued use and sales it and was largely forgotten when anticoagulant rodenticides became more effective and popular. Following the emergence of anticoagulant resistance in some populations of rodents, residues of the second-generation anticoagulants in wildlife and concerns regarding humaneness, interest in non-anticoagulants, such as norbormide, has revived. Research has been conducted to help identify and understand a formulation of norbormide which is palatable, effective, and fast acting in rats. Further research is underway to determine methods for large scale synthesis of an improved form of norbormide. Field trials are planned in 2018/19. The ability to target rats with no risk to non-target species presents considerable advantages in many settings and warrants further investment and completion of the current scale-up phase of research and development.

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