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Frazzled_Barbie

Rat Poison and Carrion

We have a rat issue here at the moment - they are issuing all over the place.  

We have put bait down in boxes but after reading the red kite post am now concerned about the birds picking up the dead rats. Will the poison still be active and be ingested by the birds etc.

The posion I am using is a product called "Deadfast".

Last year I used "eradibait" but I dont this it was as a effective.

Any advice would be good, dont want to poison the bird population.  

Thanks

Angie
milkermel

To be honest if you want to reduce the risk of secondary poisoning you need to either not use any bait that has anti coags in it or trap them.  Ideally you should be looking for bodies as well, but tbh unless you have a big problem then you wont find many bodies.

The obivous thing is as well is to remove the source of interest for the rats, ie why are they coming in?

It would be useful to see what the active ingredients are in the rat bait you are using, its not a name I recognise.

Might be worth you finding a qualified and insured pestie in your area and explaining your concerns.  Secondary poisoning is a big issue and there are elements in pest control training that cover the subject.

Traps would be a great way to go  but you need to remove or reduce the source of interest for the rats.
budgie

best thing ever is cats!! we have 4 here (one litter from a cat who is no longer with us) they dont come in the house ever get feed out in the barn and we dont get any problems at all! the chap who rents a barn here for hay loves them have savrd a packet not putting bait down for a year! find your local blue cross
Frazzled_Barbie

Thanks for the replies.

The bait contains bromadilone 0.005% which states it is an indirect anticogulant. Got it from the chain of DIY shops in the town.

We keep chickens and the feed is securely placed in bins that the rats can't get to, however we have a feeder in the chicken enclosure that I know that they like to try and get to.

Also the rat runs are heading for the wooden pen that I keep the birds in at night and they have started to try and burrow underneath and also there are chew marks on the wood.

We have a large peice of decking that i think they have decided to inhabit too which so I am told makes an ideal breeding ground for them.

At the back of our garden there is a field with stables and horses so not sure if this might be having an impact too. Not exactly on overly good terms with the neighbours so difficult to check..  

Budgie - the cat idea sounds great in principal, however we are trying to move so not sure how fair that might be on the cat but also for some strange reason cat's are the 1 animal that my OH hates with a passion...strange.

However something to think about after the move - especially if I tell him that it wont have to come into the house etc.
bodger

You do need to collect the bodies and dispose of them but remember that whatever poison there is in the system of a dead rat is very small.
Modern coagulents are described as being one feed. This means that the rat is doomed after having had one full dose of the rat poision. The first generation ( old stuff) needed the rat to have taken the bait on a number of occasions for it to be effective.
Anti coagulent poison is far from being instant and although the damage has been done by the time its consumed the one dose, it can take a couple of days for the rat to actually die. During the time that it takes for the rat to become an ex rat, much of the active ingredient will have been secreted in the the form of urine and poop.
All that you can do, is to have a sciout a round for the dead bodies regularly and remember that many of the rats will have died underground and out of harms way.
Frazzled_Barbie

Thanks bodger, I have checked it is a 1 dose and will check each day for the little buggers.
HonkHonk

What about mixing bicarbonate of soda with some scraps of food, rats can't burp or fart, so when they eat bicarb' they swell up with the gases and it kills them, so no chance of secondary poisoning.
matt the rat

HonkHonk wrote:
What about mixing bicarbonate of soda with some scraps of food, rats can't burp or fart, so when they eat bicarb' they swell up with the gases and it kills them, so no chance of secondary poisoning.


That old one again!      

OK, here are some thoughts that might help.

The secondary poisoning issue isn't really related to rats - it's usually mice that pass SGR's up the food chain - leaving bait down permenantly it means that you will kill lots of field/wood mice (Apedemus Spp) which are a primary food source for certain raptors.

When it comes to rat control, the most important thing to do is to avoid getting rats at all.  I know, that is easier said than done, but there are a few basic steps you can take which will help reduce the risk of getting rats.

Rats need three things to survive; food, water and harbourage.

Lets start with food.

Nearly every site I go to that has poultry has food sitting around.  If there is food left on the ground when your birds have gone to roost then you are overfeeding them.  Hopper feeding is very popular, but you are better off putting just enough for your birds in the hopper in the morning and removing the hopper at night.  If the birds are spilling/spreading the food from the hopper then they are getting too much.

OK, the same applies to water.  Remove it at night and rats can't drink it.  An adult rat needs 60ml of water each day - they get that wherever they can; puddles and drinkers are obvious places around the average holding.  If you have permenant buildings then make sure that the gutters drain into a soakaway rather than just onto the ground.

Harbourage is a bit more complicated.  Harbourage is the broad term used for anything that provides a rat with shelter from the weather or predators, or gives them somewhere warm and dry to live.  Lift your sheds off the ground, remove any junk lying around, and keep a 'sterile' area around buildings (2 meters at least) with no junk and no undergrowth.

Traps are a useful way of picking up rats before they become established.  Keeping a few Fenn traps in tunnels around a holding will pay dividends in the long term.  There are plenty of threads on here about using Fenns and Fourteenacre are very reliable suppliers of genuine Fenn traps.

If you are going to use bait then the most important thing is to read the label and follow the instructions.  Don't put down more than the label says (usually 50 - 200g per bait point) and check and replenish it every day until the bait take stops.  Once you've got the situation under control, remove the bait altogether and store it away safely.

When I first started out (a long time ago, lol) a wise man said to me "take the bait to the rats and don't expect the rats to come to the bait".  It was a good tip then, and it's a good tip now.  If you've got rat burrows then bait them and block them and keep doing so until they stayed blocked.

Two very important things to know about rats:

1) Rats are 'neophobic' which means that they will actively avoid anything new that appears in their area.

2) Rats will always try and move around against things.  When positioning traps or bait points, make use of this fact and place your trap in such a way as it's hard for them to avoid.


Good luck, and I hope some of that helps.
MrsWW

Very good advice there from Matt the Rat  
bodger

Matt you must have read a really good article somewhere along the line.  
http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about13.html&highlight=rats
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
Matt you must have read a really good article somewhere along the line.
http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about13.html&highlight=rats


That is a very good article Bodger, but there are a few things that are out of date in there:

bodger wrote:

Now down to poison. The number one rule with poison is donít skimp. Being Ďtightí with your poison could mean that the rats get a sub-lethal dose and encourage resistance or bait shyness.


Rats cannot become resistant to bait.  They are either born resistant or they are not.

Far more important than 'not skimping' is only putting down the amount that the label says.  It gives an amount for a reason, for example, 150 grams of difenacoum would not be enough to kill a dog, but 500 grams would.

bodger wrote:

Down to practicalities. You need to keep poison down in the form of bait stations all year round and in that way youíll never get a build up of vermin.

Bait stations can take the form of lengths of plastic or clay pipes placed in strategic positions. If you have the pipes about 3 foot long you can spoon the bait into the middle of it so that only rats can get at it.


Very out of date.

Bait labels are going through a process of change as a result of the Biocides Directive which is taking over from COPR.

It is already an offence to leave bait down permenantly unless you can prove that there are pests present.  It has been illegal to apply pesticides as a precaution since 1986, but for some strange reason, the law has never been applied (until now) to rodenticides.

The new bait labels are going to give a maximum amount of time that bait can be used (35 days in most cases) and all labels already require you to 'remove all bait at the end of treatment'.

There is a growing issue with residues of rodenticide being found in our birds of prey.  The main cause of this is the poisoning of non-target mice (Apedemus Spp) who are getting bait from bait stations kept topped up for rats.  If you have mouse activity in an external rat box then it's going to be these non targets and not house mice that are eating the bait.

bodger wrote:

Rat poison is now also sold in the form of wax blocks. These are excellent, if a bit expensive. They are weather resistant and can be nailed to the sides of sheds on rat runs and are less likely to attract the chickens.


Nothing wrong with that advice at all..... BUT, as someone who has worked in pest control for a long time, my experience is that rats (especially rural rats) don't really like wax blocks.  Baits based on whole wheat tend to be much more palatable.

bodger wrote:

One thing that I would advise against is the use of scatter bags. Although they might appear handy they arenít as good as they are cracked up to be. Rat colonies have a definite hierarchy and the dominant rats often carry the bags away to keep them from their lesser brethren, hide them and forget where they put them so the poison is lost and therefore wasted.


I would agree with that.

Rats are known to be 'gorgers and hoarders'.  In other words, they will fill their bellies and then try and move and hide anything that's left over.

That is another good reason not to put down too much bait at each bait point.  You may place it safely, but the rat that moves it may not care where he or she leaves it.
[/u]
matt the rat

Good advice and information can be found here:

Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (LINK)
Frazzled_Barbie

Ok - lots of things to take from these postings - so thanks all.

The bait we are using is pellet form and instructions say approx 200mg.

One of the bait boxes was completely empty the other day so that implies that the little buggers have been hoarding - so have refilled that one and tried to look for other runs close by.

We lock the chicken food away at night so no food source available - but didnt think about the water. Will go and check available water sources etc later and try and remove.

Will also have a general look around with regards to tidying up, ie moving some of the piles of stuff that I accumulate on the off chance that it might come in handy in the future.
matt the rat

Barbie

If the label says 200g, then that is the maximum amount to place at any one bait point.

Getting a 'complete bait take' is not unusual with rats.  Keep checking all the bait points every day, and if necessary, increase the number of bait points rather than the size of the individual bait point.

Yes, water is important, but it's more of a long term attactant.

Where abouts are you located?  There are pockets of resistance in parts of the UK, and that can also be very significant.
bodger

I did a rat job at a pig farm where half a hundred weight of rat poison was taken in a night. If you have a heavy rat infestation, then your 200 grammes per bait station is patently not going to be sufficcient.
With regards to bait resistance, I'm merely repeating what I was taught by the tutors when I took the RSH in pest control. If you take small doses of some poisions, then the body can build up a tolerance and †if the rat takes a sub lethal dose of poison, then resistance can be built up. Further more, if rats associate there feeling of being unwell to the poison, then bait shyness can be a real prospect. I'm not making this up, its what I was taught.
The course that I went on, was the one that the councils sent their pest control operatives on.
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
I did a rat job at a pig farm where half a hundred weight of rat poison was taken in a night. If you have a heavy rat infestation, then your 200 grammes per bait station is patently not going to be sufficcient.
With regards to bait resistance, I'm merely repeating what I was taught by the tutors when I took the RSH in pest control. If you take small doses of some poisions, then the body can build up a tolerance and †if the rat takes a sub lethal dose of poison and associates and its feeling unwell to the poison, then bait shyness can be a real prospect. I'm not making this up, its what I was taught.
The course that I went on, was the one that the councils sent their pest control operatives on.


How long ago was this Bodger?  Things have moved on somewhat, which is why most professionals are now in CPD schemes.  Keeping up with changes in legislation and best practice is not always easy.

As for resistance and tolerance, they are two different things.  Tolerance is indeed developed as a result of ingesting sub-lethal doses, but resistance isn't .

Bait point size is critical.  Like you Bodger, when I was originally trained, we were told that if you get a complete bait take then you increase the bait point size accordingly.  In those days, labels didn't state an amount to be used at each bait point though.

If you increase the bait point amount beyond the maximum allowed on the label then you would be committing an offence.  NE and other enforcemtent agencies are actively looking for this kind of thing - I've seen them actually collect bait and weigh it - and prosecutions are being carried out.

Ignore the label at your peril.  By doing so you are putting yourself at risk of prosection, and also potentially risking your pets etc.
Frazzled_Barbie

With regards to the size of the infestation I have seen 6 - though that could be the same one 6 times....

I have not seen any for about 2 days and I have 11 bait stations placed where I have seen runs etc. The bait stations have been down for 5 days I think.

Bodger the bit about them being bait shy if they get a dodgy tummy makes sense as all animals have an inbuilt survival instinct.  So have added more bait stations to that area.

Matt - I live close to High Wycombe so if you have any info about the area I would appreciate it. Thank you.

What I have learnt from this is not to be complacent - I had rats last year and got rid of them. However there are areas of the yard that I don't check as often as I should and this is how I think they have got a foothold again. I should have checked on a more regular basis.    I wont be making this mistake again!

Also a few years ago I had a large area decked......never again as this is where my major run is. You can see them entering from one side and exiting from the other.

I think I am going to invest in some traps too.
matt the rat

High Wycombe is not currently known as a resistance area, but it would be good practice to 'rotate' the active ingreadient you use.

Once you've got your present situation sorted, invest in some traps and keep them down all the time.  You may pick up a few rats, and never need to use bait again.

If you do have to use bait again, then change over to a product containing Difenacoum.  That will also deal with any rats that have become tollerant to Bromadialone.

Sub-Lethal doses are not really a major issue with anti-coagulants.  It used to be a huge problem with acute baits that were available until quite recently (zinc phosphide etc).

Whatever you decide to do, always read the label of any pesticide and follow the directions to the letter.
bodger

Tolerance and resistance are one and the same. If you've got a tolerance to something then you're showing a resistance.

If I understand you correctly, then you're advocating putting down the same amount of poison for one rat feeding at a bait station as you would for dozens. Am I correct? If I am, then thats something akin to the loaves and fishes miracle.
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
Tolerance and resistance are one and the same. If you've got a tolerance to something then you're showing a resistance.

If I understand you correctly, then you're advocating putting down the same amount of poison for one rat feeding at a bait station as you would for dozens. Am I correct? If I am, then thats something akin to the loaves and fishes miracle.


Sorry Bodger, but in modern pest control, resistance is genetic, whereas tollerence is developed.

As for bait points, yes, I am advocating following the label instructions, which is the law of the land.

Maximum bait point amounts are there for a reason.  

Please, please people, do not ignore pesticide product labels.  To do so is folly.
bodger

The so called 'Super Rats' that have been making the the headlines for years, are a different thing.
This was how it was explained to me all those centuries ago when I became qualified and ran a pest control business.
If out of a thousand animals in a species a few individuals are †for some reason immune to a poison, then thats not really a problem. The individuals are such a small percentage that it doesn't really matter.
Now along comes the pest controller and kills all the rats that aren't immune to the poison. This leaves the once insignificant number of immune rats as being the only show in town. From being insignificant, they have quickly moved to being the dominant force. They get the best houses, best food and the best females. The mutants, because thats what they are really, then pass their genes on to their off spring and very quickly you have a population of rats that are immune to a particular poison.
Simples really.
bodger

Matt said.

"As for bait points, yes, I am advocating following the label instructions, which is the law of the land.

Maximum bait point amounts are there for a reason.  

Please, please people, do not ignore pesticide product labels.  To do so is folly."

Lets get this right, you're saying to put the right amount of poison down for the job but to spread it  around a bit? in other words, or if you like, in my words, you don't "skimp"?
matt the rat

Bodger, resistance is not limited to a few individuals.

I have a contract with a very large L120Q resistant site.  We proved the resistance by doing field trials and DNA testing three years ago.

Since then, I've done alot of work for the University of Reading on resistant populations working alongside two of the worlds leading authorities on rodent control.

There is some interesting information here (link) about resistance and how to deal with it.

Tollerence can be overcome by simply feeding more of the rodenticide product.  With resistant populations, the rodents just get fatter.
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
Matt said.

"As for bait points, yes, I am advocating following the label instructions, which is the law of the land.

Maximum bait point amounts are there for a reason. †

Please, please people, do not ignore pesticide product labels. †To do so is folly."

Lets get this right, you're saying to put the right amount of poison down for the job but to spread it †around a bit? in other words, or if you like, in my words, you don't "skimp"?


NO.

What I'm saying is put down no more than the maximum amount stated on the product label at each bait point.

If more bait points are needed (and the label allows for them) then it is worth increasing the number.

Always read the label
bodger

Its not now but it was once. Everything has got to start somewhere and the theory that I put forward in my previous post was how the phenomonons development was explained to me. It certainly made sense to me at the time and I think that its still does.

So to give your resistant rats a lethal dose, are you advocating that you put down more posion for them than you would for'normal' rats? What about what it says on the label ?
bodger

Of course, Matts absolutely right about always reading the label on rodent bait and following the instructions.
As long as you do this and use a modicum of common sense, then there's no reason why you as private individuals can't deal with the vast majority of rat and mice problems yourself.
By law there's always a massive amount of information printed on the bag or bucket
matt the rat

bodger wrote:
Its not now but it was once. Everything has got to start somewhere and the theory that I put forward in my previous post was how the phenomonons development was explained to me. It certainly made sense to me at the time and I think that its still does.

So to give your resistant rats a lethal dose, are you advocating that you put down more posion for them than you would for'normal' rats? What about what it says on the label ?


No, I'm not suggesting that at all Bodger.

In fact, there is a new label condition that reads something like this:

Quote:

The resistance status of any target population should be taken into account before using this product


The reason for this is simple.  

If you have resistant rats then they can feed on rodenticide bait without it having any effect, which results in them ingesting far more than any normal rat could eat without dying.

The result is that you have rats wandering around with massive residues of SGAR's in them, which makes them an even bigger risk to any wildlife that eat them.

Best practice is to completely stop using SGAR's if you know you have resistance.

The site I mentioned earlier hasn't had SGAR's used for three years, and now has less rats than it's had at any time in the last ten years.  How has than been achieved?  Through IPM.
12Bore

Sorry Matt, IPM?
bodger

I think it might be some kind of missile Joe, as in IBM.
12Bore

matt the rat

12Bore wrote:
Sorry Matt, IPM?


Integrated Pest Management - sorry, industry speak.

IPM is looking at the whole picture rather than just firefighting with rodenticides.

For example, I once went to a site where there were regular mouse issues in an electrical cupboard.  For years, everytime there was a complaint, a technician would attend site and put down bait.  I think I picked up 8 bait boxes/trays from the cupboard.

On proper investigation, there was a gap around a pipe that brought services into the property and allowed ingress of mice.  A quick fix and the problem never reoccured.

Another one was a pub that kept complaining about rats around their bins.  When I looked, the bungs were missing from the bins and they had insufficient capacity.  When that was sorted, rats had no reason to be there.

That is IPM.
12Bore

Thanks Matt, I thought missiles might be a little extreme!
Pro Pester

Hell Matt, you're here - I'll get me coat †
matt the rat

Pro Pester wrote:
Hell Matt, you're here - I'll get me coat †


Don't do that Simon!

Nice to see you here  
hopefullbry

Matt has that affect on a lot of forums            
Pro Pester

Good to hear from you Matt, how's it going ? I was only pulling yer leg †

Bry, still trying to save for the N/V sites  

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