Date of this Version
J Pest Sci (2016) 89:129–135
Combination baits containing cholecalciferol plus an anticoagulant are effective against commensal rodents resistant to anticoagulants, and they likely pose less risk than anticoagulant-only rodenticides due to lower concentrations of active ingredients and shorter time to death. However, these combination baits have not been tested for agricultural rodent pests. Therefore, we established a study to test the efficacy of cholecalciferol plus diphacinone artichoke bract and pellet baits to determine their ability to manage California voles Microtus californicus in artichokes, where resistance to anticoagulants is known to occur. Field tests using radiocollared voles indicated that bract baits were highly efficacious (85 %), although pellet baits were less effective (60 %). Low observed efficacy of pellet baits may have resulted from poor weather following application during the second sampling period; further testing may yield more positive results. We observed a bimodal distribution in timing of death, with one group of voles dying between 4.3 and 5.8 days post-consumption; the other group died between 9.0 and 14.5 days post-consumption. Deaths in the first group were attributed to cholecalciferol, while deaths in the second group were likely due to chronic anticoagulant exposure. Almost double the proportion of voles that died from bract consumption did so during the early period when compared to their pellet plot counterparts. This suggests that voles were consuming greater quantities of bract baits over a shorter period of time when compared to the pellet bait. Collectively, these findings indicate that baiting with cholecalciferol plus diphacinone coated bracts is an effective method for controlling vole populations in artichokes.