U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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Witmer, Gary W., N.P. Snow, and R.S. Moulton. 2013. The effects of vitamin K1-rich plant foods on the efficacy of the anticoagulant rodenticides chlorophacinone and diphacinone, used against Montane voles (Microtus montanus). International Journal of Pest Management 59(3):205-210. doi: 10.1080/09670874.2013.816453


U.S. government work.


Voles can cause significant losses to agriculture and wood fibre production. California growers typically rely on baits containing chlorophacinone and diphacinone to reduce vole population densities, but the efficacy of those rodenticides has been decreasing. One hypothesis suggests that voles are consuming high levels of an antidote (vitamin K1) to the anticoagulants, contained within green leafy plants. We tested that hypothesis by first feeding Montane Voles (Microtus montanus) diets that were high in vitamin K1, and then providing the animals with either: (1) chlorophacinone-containing bait, (2) diphacinone-containing bait, or (3) a control diet. We found that the chlorophacinone-containing bait remained efficacious (100% mortality), whereas the diphacinone-containing bait had a much lower efficacy (60% mortality). When only the diphacinone-containing bait was presented, the efficacy was somewhat better (80%). We infer that a diet rich in vitamin K1 did not negate the effects of the chlorophacinone for voles, and so we recommend its continued use in California unless anticoagulant resistance is known to have developed in the vole population. We hypothesise that: (1) diphacinone has a relatively low efficacy against Montane Voles when compared to chlorophacinone, and (2) this lower efficacy could be further reduced by a vitamin K1-rich diet.

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