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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Commensal rodent control


Federal Urban Rat Control Program grants were awarded to cities in different areas of the United States. Severe problems of rat infestations have been detected in many of the cities by the Environmental Health Service. Approximately 20% of 3.8 million people in the project areas were occupying homes infested with rats. Control operations are now in effect in all cities, and the living conditions of the people have been substantially improved. An increase in interest in rodent control also is evident in countries outside of the United States. The Technical Development Laboratories of the National Communicable Disease Center are participating in the World Health Organization program of research on new rodenticides. The evaluation program involves five steps which carry a candidate toxicant from laboratory phase through field testing. Acceptability and suitable concentrations of both acute and accumulative rodenticides are determined. Observations are made on the hazard of the compound to pets and to other nontarget vertebrates. Laboratory and field studies have been completed on a new, promising stabilized scilliroside glycoside which has given excellent control of the Norway rat in 16 out of 19 premises. Another new coded compound has shown a unique specificity for roof rats as compared to Norway rats. Although anticoagulant resistant rat populations have occurred in several countries in Europe, as yet no evidence has been noted of such resistance in rats in the United States. (Note: This paper was originally presented at the 4th Vertebrate Pest Conference in 1970.)

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