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Rat Watch Bulletin
02/10/07

Will rats come back this winter?

The number of rats out in the fields has been high this autumn, as last year’s mild winter left more than usual to breed over the spring and summer. So it is likely that more rats will be seen in farmyards this winter than last year.

rat

Hedgerows laden with fruit and berries have provided a rich food source for rodents – but any changes in the weather will encourage rats to move into farmyards and buildings.

“Dry spells force rats to search out water, while a cold snap drives them inside for warmth and shelter,” says Dr Jonathan Wade, technical director of rodenticide manufacturer PelGar International.

Rats need water
“Rats need to drink every day. So now’s the time to reduce the points where they can access fresh water, by repairing leaking pipes or troughs. Deny them water and they will have to go and find it elsewhere.

“It’s also worth doing all you can to make your property as rat ‘unfriendly’ as possible. Clear out rubbishy corners and keep doors shut. Store feed and dry goods away from walls – just a metre will do. This stops them nesting behind them. Clear up any feed spills immediately.

 “Once they do start to move in, rats and mice can be quickly controlled by following a well planned and focussed baiting campaign, using advanced formula rat baits such as Roban and Rodex.”

How much bait is needed?
The main reason rodent control programmes fail on farms is under-dosing.

PelGar has developed a simple rat bait calculator which works out how much is required for effective control, in a range of situations. Farmers can work out how much they need to buy by visiting www.getthatrat.com and clicking on the ‘PelGar Bait Estimator’ button.

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link NFU Scotland Emphasises Need to Control Bluetongue

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