Farm rat populations are at their highest for at least five years, according to latest figures.
Based on information from Countrywide’s rat bait sales, which shows that autumn usage is 75% above average, the figures indicate the extent to which rodent populations have increased thanks to ‘ideal breeding conditions’ over the last 12 months.
In addition, an exceptionally mild 2006/2007 winter has also been blamed for the rise, as well as poor control rates during crucial periods.
Explaining the trend, Countrywide agricultural category manager Dave Taylor said: “Detailed records suggest the highest usage of bait for at least five years, and it has really taken off this autumn.”
And, as producers generally only buy bait when they see rats, Mr Roberts warned of a serious increase in rat populations over the winter if numbers aren’t controlled now.
“The mild winter last year restricted seasonal migration for field to farmyard, resulting in greatly reduced bait usage,” added Mr Taylor. “Just because rats are not obvious around farm buildings, it doesn’t mean they aren’t present.”
Producers are advised to monitor rat activity and use a maximum uptake rodenticide in well sited bait points as soon as a rat population is detected.
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