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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Control of meadow mice, kangaroo rats, prairie dogs, and cotton rats

  • Author(s): Ludeman, John A.
  • et al.

Control methods used against meadow mice (Microtus), kangaroo rats, prairie dogs, and cotton rats in California and other western states are described, with emphasis on proper formulation and application of rodenticide baits. For meadow mice, habitat management by removal of vegetative cover is discussed, as are exclusion barriers that can protect individual plants. Reduction of meadow mice populations requires use of rodenticides, which are formulated using apple cubes, oats, cracked corn, or wheat; zinc phosphide and strychnine recipes are given for formulating these baits. For kangaroo rat baits, rolled oats, rolled barley, or milo maize are preferred bait materials, generally treated with zinc phosphide or strychnine. For prairie dog control, burrow fumigants or trapping are sometimes employed, but more commonly larger control operations use rodenticides with Compound 1080, thallium sulfate, zinc phosphide, or strychnine formulated on steam-rolled oats or whole oats. Cotton rat rodenticide baits are made using materials such as oats, corn, wheat, maize, carrots, sweet potatoes, or white potatoes. Toxicants employed are strychnine, zinc phosphide, or thallium sulfate. Recipes are given for use of oats or sweet potatoes.

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