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Pest manager Steve Crouch of Gawler Pest Control shares his experience of using Liphatech’s soft rodent bait, Generation FirstStrike. 

Liphatech Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait, containing their own second-generation anticoagulant, difethialone, is rapidly becoming the bait of first choice when pest managers wish to gain control of rat and mice problems.

Significant rodent infestations can be a major challenge. But as Steve Crouch from Gawler Pest Control discovered, FirstStrike provides a powerful tool to solve the most persistent rodent problems, turning money-losing jobs into profitable accounts.

“Recently, we have been successful in getting several rodent management contracts with some poultry farms and other commercial and industrial sites. The sites are large and extensive with many difficult to find harbourages and highly competitive food sources,” said Mr Crouch.

“For many years the sites had been carrying out their own rodent management programs. The site managers had indiscriminately used brodifacoum and bromadiolone products over many years and the products were simply not delivering the expected outcomes.

“Shortly after the release of Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait we began converting all sites to this product, as it represented a very different format, formulation and active ingredient to the existing baits being used.

“We removed all brodifacoum and bromadiolone products from the sites. We had immediate success, with fast acceptance and within a few months the rat populations were substantially reduced and well under control. As time has progressed the rat populations have continued to decrease to extremely low levels of activity.

“When we started the management of one site, rats were quite visible at any time of the day and rodent droppings abounded everywhere. The site was old with decaying infrastructure with many places for rodent harbourage. They completely ignored the many baits lying around in the areas of their activity. At first it seemed a daunting task and we thought we would never get on top of the rodent population. But since the switch to FirstStrike, now hardly a rat is seen and our baits are taken every time.”

Generation FirstStrike contains no wax, making it highly acceptable and palatable to rodents and won’t melt in hot temperatures. Certainly, Mr Crouch apportions a large part of the success to the palatability of the bait.

“At times we introduce other baits to see if the rodents will take them again, but they are always left in favour of Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait,” said Mr Crouch.

Although Generation FirstStrike is a high performance bait, it’s still important to understand rodent foraging behaviour and take time to find harbourages, to get bait placement correct.

“The most effective way of gaining control was to securely place the baits either in the rodent harbourage or in the ‘highways’ that the rodents [especially rats] used. The harbourages did take time to find and ascertain. Once found and with the introduction of Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait we had and continue to have instant success.”

The success with Generation FirstStrike in controlling rodent infestations has had a big impact on profitability for Gawler Pest Control and their clients.

“When we picked up these accounts, our expenses in both bait and time were up initially and profit seemed a long way off. Due to the success we have had with Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait our contracts are now returning profit.

“More importantly our customers are happy and have been able to eliminate some of their repair and maintenance costs.

“On one site, at the commencement of our rodent management contract, the electric cables were being chewed on a regular basis. Sometimes, several times a day, the alarm system would go off and the electrician called. The site manager reported to us that the repairs to the electrical system were costing them several thousand dollars a month.

“Having used FirstStrike at this site for a while, I recently asked the manager when they last had an electrical failure due to rodent activity. His response was that he could not remember.

“With Generation FirstStrike, we are happy to have found a rodenticide product that has allowed us to get on top of rodent populations quickly and on difficult sites,” concluded Mr Crouch.

Generation FirstStrike Soft Bait can be used for both clean out and on-going maintenance programs – once on top a rodent problem, you need to keep it in check.

Gavin Wilson, Liphatech Technical and Marketing Manager, Australia and New Zealand