Tips for using soft rodenticide bait, such as Generation FirstStrike from Liphatech.

For decades, bait blocks with grains and other ingredients, held together by paraffin have been the norm when it comes to rodent control. In recent years though, more and more pest control professionals have used FirstStrike, the new Liphatech difethialone soft bait.

The increasing popularity of FirstStrike appears to have been driven by its fast results and its attractiveness and palatability, even in competing food environments.

“Even when I first used FirstStrike, I was amazed at the speed of uptake, even by Norway rats which are known to be quite fickle,” said Romain Broch, sales and marketing manager Liphatech, ANZ.

“I particularly remember a job at a restaurant located near Sydney’s CBD where a pest manager was having a hard time controlling mice in an environment where food competition was plentiful. With the incredible amount of rodent pressure, the pest manager was expecting a lengthy treatment period. He needed a solution that would attract mice despite the myriad of food options. We recommended FirstStrike and had aggressive feeding immediately.

“After a couple of months, feeding started to slow down to a maintenance level and now the account is pretty much rodent free. We have transitioned the pest manager onto Maki Blocks for his perimeter baiting.”

Despite being a soft bait, FirstStrike is as easy to install as a wax block. It comes in 10g sachets easily secured on vertical or horizontal rods where they retain their aroma and palatability.

Since its introduction in Australia in 2014, FirstStrike has become the go-to product for hard to control infestations of roof rats, Norway rats and house mice. However, pest managers were also quick to realise the robustness of FirstStrike in hot environments. Even though FirstStrike is a soft bait, it is heat resistant, retaining its shape and palatability even in extremely hot environments where wax blocks would melt. This insures that FirstStrike continues to provide protection between scheduled visits.

Tips for success with FirstStrike

Choose the right rodenticide for the job. If you have been relying on wax blocks for a long time and have had no feeding activity, don’t assume there are no rodents. Use FirstStrike to check for feeding and eliminate surviving rodents.

Put any rodenticides on the rodents’ pathway, as close to their nest as possible. Rodents will not go out of their way to get even the most palatable soft bait. It goes against the pest’s instincts – they stick to areas they know, in order to protect themselves from predators.

Replace your rodenticide often to keep clean and fresh material available. Some account locations have contaminants floating in the air, which might taint the rodenticide. Rodents, which have an incredible sense of taste, can detect forklift tyre dust, oil, mist, exhaust fumes and residues. Never spray insecticide on rodenticides, and make sure you have no chemicals such as gasoline, cologne or nicotine on your hands or gloves when handling them.

Make sure you maintain an uninterrupted supply of rodenticide. Rodents are prolific and rapid breeders. Some might eat more than needed to kill them, resulting in less for other members of the colony. If a bait station is empty for a few weeks between service inspections, the population can rebound.

Manage the risks. Doing too little about a rodent problem carries risks of continued contamination, damage and disease. All rodenticides carry risks of primary and secondary exposure to non-target animals. Even traps carry risks such as the potential for injured fingers or hands.

Replenish FirstStrike more often than other types of bait – at least at first. FirstStrike can inspire quick and aggressive feeding. It might be helpful to increase the service frequency for the first couple of months on new, heavily infested accounts. After feeding slows, normal service frequencies will maintain control.

Don’t stop baiting too soon – FirstStrike might be consumed faster than other products. You might be tempted to back off on replenishing because plenty of bait has been consumed. Populations might be larger than expected. Keep bait available as long as reasonable for the account.