By ElRay Roper, Ph.D., Technical Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Commensal rodents do not typically store food. Instead, they search for food daily, which is why toxic baits are such an effective control measure.
Rats and mice are notorious for eating garbage, but that does not mean they enjoy spoiled food. One of the real problems with rodents is their tendency to eat our food supply. Therefore, if you are going to use baits as a control measure, the bait matrix must be at least as attractive as other food sources in the area.
Keeping baits fresh and attractive to rodents must be a priority when providing rodent control services. Rodenticide baits are manufactured on a regular basis, so baits you purchase are fresh, which will help provide maximum effectiveness.
For Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), keeping bait fresh is dependent on inventory control and proper storage. To ensure the baits you are using are as fresh as possible, remember the following points:
• Purchase baits on a regular basis. Purchasing large quantities means the bait will stay in storage longer and can become stale.
• Store bait in a cool, dark location in the original container.
• Avoid cross contamination by storing bait away from other chemical pesticides.
• In vehicles, store bait separately from other pesticides in a labeled container.
• Always keep bait containers sealed when not in use.
• Always wear gloves when handling bait to avoid contamination from oils, chemicals, tobacco or other things that may be on your hands in trace amounts.
• Replace bait that is moldy, melted or appears to have become aged due to heat or moisture.
Following these steps will keep bait fresh and attractive, which can greatly improve your rodent control efforts.
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