Does Your IPM Program Encourage Rodents to Take the Bait?

People have been baiting for rodents for thousands of years. The baits have evolved from strychnine and arsenic to second generation anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants. It’s not just the products that have evolved, how we bait has changed significantly. Instead of dusting areas and mixing poisons into food, we now have specially formulated baits, keep them in locked and secured stations, and try to protect non-target organisms. Using rodenticide baits should be carefully thought out and used in a targeted manner. Here are some key points to think about when you are baiting:

Location, location, location!

The best, most palatable bait is worthless if it isn’t located  in the right place. If rodents have a good harborage point and an easy food source, they won’t go out of their way to visit a bait station. Place the bait as close to the rodents’ harborage as possible. This makes it easy and convenient for them to get at the bait. It’s also helpful to place  bait along their pathways. Rats and mice will run along the same route, typically along floor-wall junctions and along building edges. Place stations like the EZ Klean Rodent Bait Station along the floor-wall junctions, in dark areas, where evidence of rodents is seen. Look for the droppings to find these key areas. Bait can be placed vertically or horizontally on the rods and the stations can utilize solid block baits or soft bait packs.

You gonna eat that?

Rodents are adept at living off the foods that humans leave for them, they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. When there is a ready food source, like an overflowing dumpster, rodents are going to be less likely to visit a bait station. Sanitation is the best solution to eliminate or at least minimize the available food sources. Make bait stations more appealing. Using a station like the EZ Secured Rodent Bait Station close to their foraging area can provide a dark, enclosed area that rodents feel safe in. Because it is not open and exposed, they can go in to hide. The EZ Secured is designed to guide the rodent into the bait area and allows them to feed safely. It’s also weighted so it stays in place and like the EZ Klean, bait can be placed vertically or horizontally on the bait rods. Use the EZ Soft Bait horizontally and the EZ Block Bait vertically for best results.

Shut the front door!

The best way to prevent rodents from coming into a building is to seal off all entry points so the mice and rats can’t get in. Bait stations around the outside of a structure can provide information on where the highest rodent pressure is so that area can be inspected and sealed first. Areas that have high amounts of feeding mean more pressure in that location. On the inside, bait stations can be used to reduce resident rodents before an exclusion job. For mice in particular, the MBS Mouse Bait Station is perfect for tight, hard to reach areas that larger stations won’t fit in. It can easily fit a EZ Block or EZ Soft Bait in the station. By monitoring which stations have feeding activity, traps and additional control methods can focus on those spots.

Read the label

If using rodenticides, always read and follow all label regulations. It’s important to use rodenticides safely so non-target organisms aren’t affected but the rodents are still controlled. Remember that the label is the law!

Bait stations are a handy tool as part of an overall IPM program for managing rodents. Used with the rodents’ biology and preference in mind, they can significantly help reduce rodent issues. For more rodent control information and VM Products, click here

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