Survey seeks super rats


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30 July 2020
Survey seeks super rats

Resistant ‘super rats’ are breeding in the UK and more information is being sought from growers to help reduce their numbers. 

A new survey is being held to compile data to establish the extent to which resistance is understood and what methods farmers are using to control rodent infestations. Its findings will be used to raise awareness of resistance and compile fresh data about the use of rodenticides on farms throughout the UK

Research published by the University of Reading Vertebrate Pests Unit (VPU) suggests that resistance is spreading as a result of the use of anticoagulants containing the actives bromadiolone and difenacoum. By using products that are ineffective on resistant rodents, farmers are only killing rodents that have no resistance. This is leaving resistant rodents to breed with each other, which is causing numbers to increase rapidly.

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The survey is available to complete online until September 30th 2020 and aims to establish how often farmers are using rodenticides, which products are being used and which regions of the UK are reporting the most problems with resistance. This has been welcomed by the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) that promotes best practice in the use of all rodenticide products. 

“This will help to reduce the use of products that rodents have become resistant to and minimise the threat to non-target species,” said CRRU Chairman Dr Alan Buckle.

Amongst those supporting the survey is biological pest control producer BASF.
BASF pest control specialist Helen Ainsworth said: “We believe it is important that the issue of resistance is kept fresh in the minds of farmers. Using some rodenticides in certain areas of the country could be increasing the number of resistant rodents and causing farmers to use rodenticides that are ineffective and potentially harmful to non-target species.”

First 100 entries receive a free beanie hat: