Review of the use of bait boxes during operations to control Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus – a report to CIEH

Published: August 2011


Topic(s): Pest Control

Type(s): Report


As most rodenticides are toxic to a wide range of vertebrate species, pest control operators are obliged to take precautions to prevent non-target species from accessing baits during treatments. However, the measures taken to protect the bait should not also discourage rats from eating it, because if rats are not controlled, there is a risk of disease transmission to humans and other animals, continuing damage to structures and contamination of commodities.

One way of preventing access by non-target species is to use tamper-resistant bait boxes. However, research carried out by the UK Government’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) has shown that the use of tamper-resistant bait boxes can significantly extend the time that it takes a treatment to be successful. This means that wildlife is more likely to be adversely affected through secondary poisoning.

The National Pest Advisory Panel of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health commissioned Fera to produce this report on the work it carried out.

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