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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Ability of a Geo-Textile Barrier Material to Exclude Rodents

  • Author(s): Witmer, Gary;
  • Burke, Patrick
  • et al.

Many rodent species, including both commensal and native species, cause numerous types and extensive amounts of damage worldwide. Much of their adverse effects on human populations involve food consumption and contamination as well as disease transmission. Their digging and gnawing abilities, however, are well developed and other types of damage result. These include the undermining of hydraulic structures, ditches, levees, building foundations, roads, and runways. They also damage pipes, cables, and building insulation, occasionally resulting in power outages and fires. Effective and efficient barriers would help reduce these latter types of rodent damage. We examined two types of geo-textile (containing metal fibers and called “Xcluder”) materials for their ability to prevent house mouse and Norway rat entry through regularly-used openings. We also examined the materials ability to protect highly palatable food sources from these rodents. Although these were preliminary trials, the materials showed considerable promise in some applications. We discuss potential applications and ways to maximize the effectiveness of geo-textile barriers, along with additional research needs.

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