Rats! New poison targets super rodents

With rodent infestations standing at record levels, speed baiting – not to be confused with speed dating – is set to offer farmers a quicker and safer means of controlling rat infestations in barns and feedstores.

Rats can be cute but they're never welcome on a farm (Picture: Getty)
Rats can be cute but they're never welcome on a farm (Picture: Getty)

A new product which also controls so-called super rats which are resistant to other poisons, Selontra, manufacturers BASF claim, can stop rodents feeding in grain stores within 24 hours – minimising feed losses and reducing the bio-security risk of rodents in animal feed. Concerns over resistance to anticoagulant rodenticide baits had created the need for a new active ingredient to be introduced to tackle the super rats, a spokesperson said.

They added: “ Some rats have developed resistance to difenacoum and bromadiolone actives which are used in a number of common baits. To help control resistant rats BASF has developed Selontra, which contains cholecalciferol in a highly palatable bait matrix.”

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The company said that the product was more appealing to rodents than common farm food sources – and in farm trials it had been shown to be 13.2 times more palatable than maize silage.

It was also claimed that a new baiting technique, known as “speed baiting” could reduce the time needed to control farm infestations, allowing farmers to control even large infestations quickly and with less bait:

“The new active ingredient, cholecalciferol – which works by raising calcium levels in the rodents’ blood – also means fewer, less harmful residues, which will help to minimise the risk to non-target species,” added the spokesperson.