Of all the pests and rodents we treat as Pest Control Operators, rats can sometimes be the worst. Luckily, over the past 2 years, Bell Laboratories has been stepping in to help one Aussie zoo successfully combat a significant rat infestation.
The Zoo’s Rat Issue
With over 60 species of rats in Australia, they can easily become a problem any time, anywhere. At this particular zoo, the managers and keepers noted that rats were breaking into Bird Aviaries and eating both the birds’ eggs and young chicks. They were also eating the plants and shoots that had been planted in the aviary to support the birds.
Bell’s Pest Control Solutions
The solutions to rectify the rat problem at the zoo took place over a period of 2 years, with different approaches and baits tried.
At the start of the 2-year trial, Bell recommended the use of Contrac Mouse & Rat bait. This was due to its low primary and secondary poisoning risks.
Contrac baits were placed in Protecta Bait Stations to further lower the risk of bait access and additional poisoning.
The Contract baits were predominantly used to treat rat problems in the monkey cages.
This was decided to be the best course of treatment – if any of the monkeys accidentally got into the bait and consumed it, it would pose a relatively low risk to their health and they could subsequently be treated with a Vitamin K1 antidote.
Stage 2. RAMPAGE
When Rampage became available, it was decided that its Vitamin D3 formula could also prove successful in the zoo’s rat eradication.
As we all know, Rampage was developed for the Australian market by Bell, using the active ingredient cholecalciferol.Rampage was chosen mainly because:
· It is highly suitable for use in animal production or animal-based facilities
· It substantially reduces the risk of primary/secondary toxicity in birds
· It has an extremely low risk of secondary poisoning for ALL animals, especially when compared with other baits available on the Australian market
Rampage was first used to treat the rat problem in the Bird Aviaries.
The key benefit here was that if a bird happened to eat some of the bait (or if a rat ate the Rampage and was later eaten by a monkey in the cage next door), the primary and secondary toxicity (respectively) would again be very low.
Stage 3. Using the Protecta Bait Stations
Zoo staff and Bell experts alike found that the use of heavy-duty Protecta Bait Stations also brought many advantages to the trial, since they were highly resilient and lived well up to their reputation.
They were very tamper-resistant and also resistant to general breakage, fracturing and wear and tear. They were also able to hold up to 6 rats at a time.
The Protecta stations proved so successful that zoo managers actually chose to use the Ditrac All-Weather Bloxin the stations– an anti-coagulant bait with the highest toxicity levels –in order to treat further areas of the zoo suffering from high rat infestations.
After two years of bait trials, the results have been extremely successful for both Bell and the zoo.
Bird breeding is thriving, particularly in species that had not been able to breed before. The impact of rats on the plants in the Bird Aviaries has also been significantly reduced, with plants now being able to grow without threat.
· Other baiting programs have now been implemented in other areas throughout with zoo to further reduce rat problems
· A Standard Operating Procedure around rat management and the use of Bell rodent baits/stations has been developed for the zoo as well
Are you combatting rats?