The concept and definition
Rodent Control is a method of suppressing field rodents or urban rodents. There are two main reasons that rodent control should be performed:
1. 1.Urban rodents are contaminating the environment, they may also be vectors of different pathogens which cause infectious and parasitic diseases that affect humans and animals;
2. Rodents is also causing reduction and quality of stored products. By the measurements taken in preventing the increase of rodent population is the cost of the maintaining the facilities and the product is lowered.;
Since rodents cannot be completely eradicated in a particular territory, the goal is to maintain the lowest possible number of pests which is below the economics threshold. Field rodents primarily include species of the genus Rattus, Mus and Apodemus, which are generally the most important rodent species in the field. These include hamsters, voles and blind puppies.
Reproduction of field rodents
Quick propagation is one of the basic biological characteristics of field rodents. Female house mouse can deliver five to eight pups, and sometimes more than once a year, which indicates a high potential of biological reproduction. The intensity of the reproduction of field rodents depends on some external factors such as temperature and relative humidity. Low temperatures negatively affect the fertility field rodents. Therefore, there breeding period is spring – autumn. One of the particularly important factor is the abundance or lack of food. Low temperatures negatively affect the fertility field rodents.
Nutrition of field rodents
Rodents are mainly herbivores but some are omnivores. Grey and black rat prefer to consume grain foods, whole or crushed wheat, rice or corn. In exceptional cases, the rats feed on some invertebrates, including insects, and sometimes eggs, and even the chicks of domestic and wild birds.
Economic importance of field rodents
The way of life of rodents inflict direct and indirect economic losses. It is believed that over 10% of the total damage to grains in the agricultural production in the world is caused by rodents. Rodents cause great damage by damaging buildings and storage facilities, plumbing and electrical wiring, destroying furniture, fabrics, leather and other products. They damage technical equipment and facilities, can be several times higher than the costs of rodent control in field.
Epidemiological significance of field rodents
Field rodents are the carriers of many infectious and parasitic diseases to humans, domestic animals. Their control is of major epidemiological importance. The most dangerous diseases that are transmitted are: plague, leptospirosis, hemorrhagic fever, trichinosis, rabies, tick encephalitis, salmonellosis, brucellosis, tuberculosis etc.
Suppression of field rodents
Preventive measures are applied to prevent the proliferation of field rodents. The number of field rodents present is highly dependent on the building structure, on some premises largely depends on the material used to build a particular building structure. In the facilities that have a concrete structure the number of rodents is small, while the opposite is the case with buildings constructed from soft materials (wood, plasterboard panels, panels) because they are conducive to greater reproduction and nesting rodents. The maintenance of hygiene in warehouses and other facilities used for the storage of food and agricultural products is one of the most important preventive measures against rodents.
Mechanical measures involve the use of various devices such as mousetraps, ratters, valves, sticky traps etc.
Biological measures include regulating rodent numbers with the active participation of their natural enemies (weasels, foxes, birds of prey, etc.). Biological measures include the application of products that are based on pathogenic microorganisms - backterorodenticidesa.
Chemical rodent control measures include the use of chemical agents i.e. rodenticides. Rodenticides are divided into:
• fast-acting (acute) poisons that are rarely used in practice because of the possibility of poisoning humans and domestic animals. These rodenticides cause death within minutes or hours after the poison is consumed. Also, these poisons cause spasms and pain so that the screams of one poisoned animal warn others of the danger and thus deter them from taking the bait.
• slow-acting (chronic) poisons which are contemporary used belong to the second generation of rodenticides (based on anticoagulant action, manly available as active ingrediens; bromadiolone, brodifacoum). These products cause the death of rodents several days after consumption.
The most common rodents
Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Is a relatively large rodent weighing approximately 300-450 g. Its body length is 20-25cm and the length of its tail is 18-20cm. The brown rat is omnivorous, preferring to consume foods of animal origin, but is also keen on plant parts and fruits.
Black rat (Rattus rattus)
It is also called a domestic rat because it lives in the vicinity of people. Its external appearance resembles a mouse but significantly larger. Its body weight is between 180-240 grams, while its body length is 16-28cm. Its tail, which is 16-18cm, is slightly longer than that of the brown rat. It feeds mainly on plant foods, but also on the waste of animal origin.
House mouse or domestic mouse (Mus musculus)
This is a small rodent with a long tail whose and the length of the body of 7-10cm. It can inflict considerable material damage to houses, flats and business premises. Its daily need for food is about 5 gr but the amount of pollution it makes is much greater.
Field mouse (Apodemus agrarius)
The size of a field mouse is 94-116mm, of which the tail takes19-21mm. It weighs approximately 21,5g. It feeds on insects, worms, fruit, cherry seeds but if need be it also feeds on the bark of young trees. The female has litters several times a year and delivers 5-7 cubs.
Common vole (Microtus arvalis)
A vole is weighing 50g and its length is 10-15 cm. The intensity of its reproduction is very high. The vole is a good swimmer. Its habitats are open fields, meadows, pastures, and clover fields. It is herbivorous and its gluttony causes severe damage to field crops.
Mole (Talpa europaea)
A mole has a cylindrical body with the length of 15-18cm. The mole is not a rodent. By its way of life it can be classified both among pests and the beneficial animals. It is useful because it helps to dig the land and thus improving its aeration, but it can also inflict serious damage to gardens, greenhouses, sports grounds etc. It feeds mainly on insects, mice, earthworms and frogs.