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Studies on bait preference and acceptance of flocoumafen in Rattus rattus infesting poultry farms and godowns

  • Author(s): Mathur, Manju
  • Jain, A. P.
  • Kashyap, Nisha
  • Parveen, Farzana
  • et al.
Abstract

In India, the most common commensal rodent, Rattus rattus rufescens, is often difficult to control using rodenticide baits. On poultry farms, it is commonly recommended that rodenticides be formulated using poultry feed as the main ingredient, but control is often ineffective. In laboratory studies, we evaluated bait acceptance using rats collected from poultry farms and from food grain godowns (local grain storage structures). Rats from poultry farms preferred formulations of millet + 2% arachis oil + 1% sugar to poultry feed, while rats from godowns preferred sorghum + 2% sesame oil + 1% sugar. We discuss the significance of observed diversity in bait preference. Flocoumafen at 0.005% was mixed with the two most preferred bait formulations and was provided to rats from both locations in a 2-choice test; mortality after a 1-day exposure was 50% and 62% in rats collected from poultry facilities and godowns, respectively. In both cases, rats consumed more flocoumafen bait than nontoxic poultry feed. This indicates that poison baiting in poultry farms should be carried out using the most preferred feeds rather than using poultry feed.

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