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NSW pest manager Greg Hall shares his experience of using Storm Rodenticide on mining sites. 

When rodent damage to electrical cabling can result in a business shutdown costing your customer’s business $5000 – $10,000 per hour, you need to be confident in your rodent management skills and have a rodent bait you can trust.

That is the reality of rodent management on mine sites and one that influences the bait choice for Greg Hall Pest Control in the Hunter Valley. “Mines are powered by their own remote power stations on site and these need to be well maintained and protected (from rodents),
to ensure the mine can operate continuously. A loss of power will stop production immediately and the costs are significant,” explained Greg Hall, owner of Greg Hall Pest Control.

“Contracts for mine sites can be good business, but you need to deliver. A shutdown due to rodent damage could cause us to lose a contract.

We need to be sure our skills and products continue to perform. Unfortunately, we started to see some evidence that our normal bait was not performing as well as we would like, so were keen to try an alternative. Based on a recommendation from Agserv, we decided to do a trial with Storm rodenticide from BASF.

“We carried out the trial on two of the newer mine sites belonging to one of our larger customers – 150 bait stations over the two sites. Initially, we placed two of the Storm Wax Blocks alongside our current bait product. The results were clear-cut – the rats took Storm and left our current product!

“The high palatability of the Storm bait was obvious straight away. Baits becoming coated with mine dust is a common problem and it appeared to affect the palatability of our current bait. However, Storm Wax Blocks appeared to be taken even when coated with mine dust. We were getting a higher ‘take’ for both rats and mice with the Storm bait.

“We also noticed that our current product tended to grow more mould, a problem we didn’t get with Storm – maybe this impacted the palatability as well?

“From a performance point of view we also saw a faster speed of kill using Storm – actually seeing dead rats within a few days of bait placement, something we had never seen before.”

Andrew Glenn, BASF sales manager NSW/ACT, confirmed that only small amounts of bait are required to get control and the required dose can be eaten in a single feed. “The combination of flocoumafen (a secondary generation anticoagulant) and the high palatability bait matrix means pest control professionals can get consistently fast performance. The Storm Wax Blocks are designed to be highly durable. The combination of water repelling properties, fungal inhibitors and heat resistance means the bait remains attractive even under the most challenging conditions, such as those at mine sites,” said Mr Glenn.

“This combination of high palatability and fast action means we have reduced the amount of bait we place in each station, from eight blocks with our previous bait down to four blocks with Storm,” said Mr Hall.

“Although this saves us a bit of money, the main benefit is the increased confidence in our rodent control program. We need to be sure that between our fortnightly services the bait remains attractive to rodents and delivers fast control, protecting our customer’s power source. We need performance we can rely on and storm rodenticide delivers.”