Survey seeks super rats

Resistant ‘super rats’ are breeding in the UK and more information is needed to reduce their numbers. A new survey will compile data to establish the extent to which resistance is understood and what methods farmers are using to control rodent infestations.

Research published by the University of Reading Vertebrate Pests Unit (VPU) suggests that resistance is spreading due to the use of anticoagulants containing the actives bromadiolone and difenacoum. By using products that are ineffective on resistant rodents, farmers are only killing rodents that have no resistance. This is leaving resistant rodents to breed with each other, which is causing numbers to increase rapidly.

The survey is being supported by BASF to raise awareness of resistance and compile fresh data about the use of rodenticides on farms throughout the UK. “We believe it is important that the issue of resistance is kept fresh in the minds of farmers. Using some rodenticides in certain areas of the country could be increasing the number of resistant rodents and causing farmers to use rodenticides that are ineffective and potentially harmful to non-target species,” said pest control specialist Helen Ainsworth, from BASF.

The survey is available to complete online until 30 September and aims to establish how often farmers are using rodenticides, which products are being used and which regions of the UK are reporting the most problems with resistance. 

The first 100 entries receive a free beanie hat:  

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Rodentsurvey

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