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“Rodenticide resistant rats rife across S. West”

 

Researchers at Hudderfield University have found that up to 75% of brown  rats in the South West of England are resistant to the most commonly used rodenticides in the UK. This might be contributed to by historical and present misuse of the poisons bromodiolone and difenacoum, in particular the leaving of small, non lethal quantities of bait in unchecked stations, resulting in recovery/resistance from consumption as opposed to death. The surviving rats may have an existing genetic disposition towards resistance, the positive selection pressure only being compounded by sub-lethal doses being available for consumption.

 

Much lesser resistance is noted against the less widely used second generation anti-coagulant (SGAR) brodifacoum, which at present is only licensed for indoor use without special authority. Mice appear to be susceptible to both brodifacoum and difenacoum equally, however significant resistance to bromodiolone has been observed.

 

At present even brodifacoum may be legally purchased by non-qualified members of the public who will usually not be aware of resistance issues. Surely such amateur use must be legislated against to avoid evermore  rapid development of resistance in the future and to avoid the researchers’ prediction of total resistance across at least the South west of the UK in around ten years.

 

Phil Meek.

 

(OCTOBER 2012)

 

 

 

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