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RATSAK AND RODENT BAITING STRATEGIES

The extensive Ratsak range of products has pest managers covered when it comes to rodents, in all situations and environments.

Rodent activity increases as the weather cools and winter crops are sown. The mouse-monitoring program is detecting moderate to high numbers of mice in the Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Plains, parts of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Macalister in Queensland and Esperance in Western Australia. Baiting can begin during crop sowing and emergence and needs to continue into the flowering and seeding stage, which is particularly vulnerable to damage.

Mice migrate into buildings during autumn, to find dry, warm locations for their nests. Signs of rodents include burrows and holes, chewed wires, foot and tail marks (through dusty areas), dirty smudges along the base of walls, rodent droppings, more birds of prey, seeds being dug up and plants being eaten, nocturnal scurrying and gnawing noises, damaged food and a rodent odour.

For successful control of rats and mice, it’s important to use correct baiting strategies. Mice tend to feed relatively close to their nests and the optimum spacing between bait stations is 2-3m. Rats however feed at fewer sites than mice and 5-9m intervals between bait stations works best.

Not only is spacing important, but also the location of the baits. Baits should be placed in areas frequented by rodents. Black or roof rats are climbers and prefer to be up high, so baiting areas include roof spaces and near wall cavities. Ratsak Professional All Weather Wax Blocks are ideal for placing in these hard to reach places and can also be tied or nailed into position using the hole in the block. Norway or brown rats prefer to burrow and nest around the foundations of buildings, so the best baiting areas are around the perimeter of buildings.

Heavy duty, reusable plastic Ratsak Professional Bait stations can be easily baited with wax blocks and are ideal for placing around buildings. The bait stations also help protect the blocks from the weather and non-target animals. Mice can be found in various locations, so multiple bait stations both on the ground and in elevated areas will be required.

Single feed rodenticide baits such as Ratsak Professional Pellets and Wax Blocks only require one feed to kill mice and rats, however rodents may still continue to eat for several days after that initial lethal feed. Effective control relies on replenishing pellets and wax blocks until feeding ceases. This ensures the entire population is eliminated.

Traps are an effective alternative to baits, and Ratsak’s strong rat traps are quick and easy to set. For rat control, place traps no more than 4–5m apart and for mice place traps 2–3m apart. Keep handling of traps, bait stations and baits to a minimum as human scent can deter rodents.

Early rodent control prevents the build up of significant rat and mouse numbers and minimises the damage they do.

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