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The fine art and science of blending rodent bait stations with rodent baits

The fine art and science of blending rodent bait stations with rodent baits
By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

In real estate, the three most important factors are location, location and location. Ensuring rodent bait acceptance starts with location, but there are many more reasons to consider why a rodent may or may not consume your rodenticide.

Beginning with the premise that a rodent bait station and rodenticide must work together as a team, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the bait anchored to rods so it doesn’t come off in extreme heat? Attach the bait to vertical rods, not horizontal rods.
  • Is there adequate ant control provided? Some ant species, such as fire ants, can consume all the rodent bait in a station in less than 24 hours. 
  • Is there enough bait in each station to take care of all the rodents in the area?
  • Are you preventing puddles from forming inside a bait station? Drill holes into the bottom of the station – many stations have markings that show where to drill.
  • Are you inspecting the bait station, keeping it clean and supplying it with fresh rodent bait? Look around the bait location for rodent burrows, debris or high vegetation that require removal or pruning.

And now, for a couple of extra tips:

  • Before opening any bait station, tap on the lid and wait a few moments. Sometimes a live, healthy rodent is still inside.
  • When removing a dead rodent, I invert a plastic bag over my hand as to not touch the rodent, and then invert the bag again to cover the rodent. Dispose of the rodent as recommended by your company, and do not toss it in the customer’s trash.
  • Carry a stick or long screwdriver when checking bait stations. Sometimes a black widow spider, toad or snake can take up residence inside. A quick flick of the probe can often remove the intruder.
  • Store rodenticide in a sealed, labeled container in the shop, the vehicle and the carrying case. Store fresh rodenticides in a separate container than old bait you may pick up in the field.
  • Always look around each bait station to ensure no old rodenticide is left where non-target organisms can reach it.
  • Environmental Protection Agency regulations that modify where exterior rodent bait and tamper-resistant bait stations can be placed may diminish the amount of bait the rodents are eating. Choose a rodenticide bait that will give the most effective control within a single feeding. Researchers from Syngenta have successfully incorporated the latest technology in food science to provide enhanced palatability with Talon® Ultrablok rodenticide. This formulation development results in rodents accepting the bait quickly and consuming more bait on the first feeding.
  • Lastly, consider the palatability of the bait in very harsh conditions – not only when it’s wet, but if it becomes totally submerged for a short time. Talon Ultrablok excels in this area compared to many other formulations.

Use these reminders to help tip the scale of bait acceptance in favor of your business and your customers.

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