Anti-Rodent Measures

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 19 : Rodent Control

Anti-Rodent Measures

Anti-Rodent Measures - Rodenticides

Rodenticides are of two main types :

  1. single-dose (acute)
    • are lethal to the rat after a single feeding
  2. multiple-dose (cumulative)
    • require repeated feedings over a period of 3 more days

Anti-Rodent Measures –Commonly used Rodenticides in India

  • Barium carbonate

    • white tasteless powder, very cheap
    • mixed with wheat or rice flour in the ratio of 1:4
    • The mixed material is moistened with water and made into small balls.
    • The poisoned baits are placed near the rat burrows and in dark, secluded places. On eating the pills, rats are killed in 2 to 24 hours.
    • Barium carbonate is a weak rodenticide of uneven performance, and probably easily-detected by rats in many baits. Therefore and in view of the availability of more efficient rodenticides, barium carbonate should not be used any more

  • Zinc phosphide

    • Zinc phosphide is an efficient rodenticide.
    • When moist, the chemical slowly gives off phosphine whose garlic odour is repellent to man and domestic animals, but seems to have no adverse effect on rats.
    • It is used in the ratio of 1:10 parts with wheat or rice flour, mixed with a few drops of edible oil to attract rats.
    • Rats are killed in about three hours.
    • Use of rubber gloves and special bait boxes is recommended in handling zinc phosphide as it is highly poisonous.
    • Because of its good safety record, low cost and reasonably high effectiveness, Zinc phosphide is recommended for large scale use against rats

Multiple Dose Rodenticides

  • Examples include, warfarin, diphacinone, coumafuryl and pindone
  • As anticoagulants, they cause internal haemorrhage and slow death in 4 to 10 days.
  • The continued use of anticoagulant rodenticides has led to the appearance of resistant Norway rat populations in several European countries.
  • Therefore, in some countries, the use of chronic rodenticides has been given up.
  • All rodent poisons are toxic to mammals including man and call for the utmost care in their use.

Anti-Rodent Measures - Fumigation

Cyanogas Foot Pump

  • It is an effective method of destroying, both rats and rat fleas.
  • Examples: Calcium cyanide (often called cyanogas or cymag), carbon disulphide, methyl bromide, sulphur dioxide, etc.
  • Cyanogas has been extensively used in India for the fumigation of rat burrows.
  • This chemical is prepared in powder form and is pumped into rat burrows by a special foot pump called the "Cyanogas pump"
  • About 2 ounces of the poison are pumped into each rat burrow after closing the exit openings and the burrow is then promptly sealed with wet mud.
  • On contact with moisture, the cynogas powder gives off hydrogen cyanide gas which is lethal to both rats and their fleas.
  • Trained personnel are required to carry out fumigation as it is extremely dangerous to man and livestock.
  • For the eradication of rats from ships, either cyanogas or sulphur dioxide is used.

Anti-Rodent Measures - Chemosterilants

  • A chemosterilant is a chemical that can cause temporary or permanent sterility in either sex or both sexes.
  • Rodent chemosterilants are still in the experimental stage .
Last modified: Tuesday, 24 April 2012, 8:00 AM