Prepare for an ‘influx of rodents’ this autumn

Those who live and work in rural areas will probably have to deal with much higher numbers of rodents this autumn and winter, Roger Simspm, Lodi UK’s managing director has warned

The unusually hot, dry summer encouraged rodents to breed over an extended period and  enabled a high proportion of their offspring to survive. So numbers are likely to be well above average this autumn, pest control specialist Lodi UK has warned. However, many will be unable to use the same products they have in previous years because of new EU legislation governing the sale and use of rodenticides, which came into effect on March 1, 2018.

Lodi UK MD Roger Simpson said: “Sources of food and shelter in fields are declining quickly and average temperatures are beginning to fall, particularly at night, so rodents will quickly begin to migrate indoors. Therefore, it is critical to implement effective control measures to prevent them causing loss and damage in crop and feed stores, livestock housing, silage clamps, farm workshops and other rural buildings, such as stables.

“Rodent infestations used to be part and parcel of running any farm, but times have changed and what was deemed acceptable 50 years ago no longer is.”

Controlling rats and mice effectively, and much more selectively, must now be a priority for every sector of the agriculture, he added. Increasing legislation, the need to comply with the standards set by quality assurance schemes, meeting the specifications demanded by food processors and fulfilling higher consumer expectations when it comes to food hygiene are just a few of the reasons.

He said: “We are now coming into the autumn when rodents will be encouraged to head indoors, making this a critical time to begin implementing effective control measures. But this will be the first year that producers have had to do so within the confines of new European rodenticide legislation.

“Designed to ensure that rodenticides are used correctly, in ways which minimise the exposure of wildlife and other non-target animals, the new regulations limit the sale of professional-strength products, classified as those containing 50 parts per million (ppm) of anticoagulant rodenticide active substances.”

Until February 28, 2018, ‘non-professionals’ could still purchase professional-strength rodenticides in packs of up to 1.5kg. Now, only ‘professional’ users, classed as those who hold a certificate approved by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) or are part of a CRRU-approved Farm Assured Scheme, can purchase this category of product.

Mr Simpson added: “Those who meet the above criteria or employ a professional pest control company with CRRU-certified technicians are, therefore, not affected. For those outside of these categories, this year could therefore be the first that you go into a merchant and are refused a purchase of products that you might have used for years.

“Instead, your purchase will be limited to maximum pack sizes of 150g of grain and paste bait formulations or 300g packs of block baits containing less than 30ppm of anticoagulant rodenticide active substances, approximately half that of the products you may previously have used.”

“While we would suggest that taking a relatively small amount of time to become CRRU-certified is the best option for all pig producers and staff, whether with indoor or outdoor units, there are other options,” Mr Simpson said.

To help users meet the criteria, Lodi has produced new formulations that incorporate just 0.0025% (25ppm) of active ingredient:

Ruby Block 25 and Ruby Grain 25 contain the multi-feed active difenacoum, to treat a rodent infestation in more sensitive areas.

Jade Grain 25 is based on the multi-feed active bromadiolone, which can potentially control rats and mice in as little as two feeds. Sapphire Paste 25 and Sapphire Grain 25 contain the single feed active brodifacoum and can control rodents in a single feed.

“By using the right products for the target species and situation, rodents can still be controlled effectively,” Mr Simpson said.

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