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


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Proceedings of the 17th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. 2017. Pp. 54-63.


(D. J. Morin, M. J. Cherry, Eds).

This document is a U.S. government work and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Rodents cause extensive damage to human and natural resources around the world. Rodenticides are heavily relied upon to reduce rodent populations and damage. However, some rodenticides are becoming less effective while others are becoming more restricted in their use. Additionally, there are growing concerns about the non-target effects of rodenticides and the humaneness of some rodenticides. In this study, we tested some formulations containing sodium nitrite, a salt that can be toxic in high enough concentrations. One of our previous studies indicated an LD50 of about 246 mg/kg for various rodent species. It was also determined that rodents could eat enough sodium nitrite-laced food to consume a lethal dose if the concentration of sodium nitrite was high enough. However, in the current study, none of the formulations tested had hardly any efficacy at all (< 20%) with wild-caught house mice and Norway rats in two-choice trials. While it appears that sodium nitrite may be an effective toxicant for some targeted species, such as feral swine, it appears that it will not be effective for problem rodents unless concentration and palatability issues can be resolved.

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