With recent rain and cooler temperatures, sowing is in full swing in the southern areas of the state. And whilst weed prevention and control is at the front of many producers’ minds, there’s also a need to focus on rodent control. The focus maybe predominantly at a paddock level but the other areas of the home and enterprise should not be ignored.
The prolonged dry conditions have seen unprecedented on farm supplementary feeding of livestock either in the paddock or in confinement set ups. In many operations this steady stream of incoming hay or grain has seen on farm rodent numbers remain high regardless of a weaker summer harvest.
In a mixed enterprise rodent burdens can have wide-reaching impacts. They pose significant risks to cropping profitability, through seed destruction and spoilage. Rodents can destroy infrastructure through structural and electrical damage. But even more importantly they are recognised carriers of many diseases including Salmonella and Leptospirosis, as well as transporting parasites such as fleas.
Bayer’s livestock technical veterinarian Shahid Khalfan explains, “Rodents pose both an animal and human health risk for a number of reasons. Mice and rats act as reservoirs of the bacteria Leptospira which can cause the infection Leptospirosis in a wide variety of animals including humans. Infection is often transmitted during warm and wet weather conditions. With the bacteria spread through contact with soil, water or vegetation that has been contaminated with urine from infected animals.”
Dr Khalfan went on to explain that people may recall a recent outbreak of Leptospirosis in dogs throughout Sydney, this was thought to be related to the rat populations being stirred up by an unprecedented number of major construction and infrastructure projects taking place. “On a farm level we see infection in cattle, and this is often identified through abortions, and reproductive losses in the breeding herd. Less commonly we may see an outbreak of mastitis and increased numbers of sick cows.”
“Prevention is better than a cure. So, I advise producers to ensure they are controlling rodent numbers on farm and around the home during these wetter months and to maintain annual vaccination for leptospirosis in their reproducing stock.”
Bayer’s Racumin is a smart bait choice for around the farm and home control of rats and mice. It is available in multiple forms that can be used indoors and outside to suit different locations. It contains Coumatetralyl, a first-generation anticoagulant that works fast. The first-generation anticoagulant is different to the second and third generation bates, Dr Khalfan explains “As a first generation bait, the coumatetralyl is metabolised very quickly, so after multiple feeds the rodent not only dies quickly but they will carry less residue, this decreases the risk of secondary poisoning to pets or wildlife who may scavenge on the dead rodents.”
Racumin is very palatable to rats and mice. It is made up of a combination of vegetable fats and carbohydrates that make it attractive therefore limiting bait phobia and shyness. To prevent unwanted contact by non-target species, Racumin contains a bitter agent and can be placed in secured bait stations allowing easy inspection and replenishment. “Getting on top of the problem early before you see impacts to your enterprise is always the best approach and we have the ability to stop these diseases at the source” Dr Khalfan concluded.
To learn more about Racumin, and Bayer’s range of Farm Hygiene and Animal Health products, head to www.growsolutions.com.au, or ask your local independent Tuckers member store via one touch call, email or phone.