Date of this Version
U.S. Government Work
Rodents cause substantial damage and losses of foodstuffs around the world. They also transmit many diseases to humans and livestock. While various methods are used to reduce damage caused by rodents, rodenticides remain an important tool in the toolbox. However, like all tools, rodenticides have advantages and disadvantages. Several considerations are shaping the future of rodenticide use, including manufacturing and registration costs, concern about toxicity levels and nontarget animal hazards, potential hazards to children, reduced effectiveness of some formulations, and humaneness to the targeted rodents. Many of these disadvantages apply to anticoagulant rodenticides, and their use is being more restricted in numerous settings. This paper discusses rodenticide use but also alternative control methods such as traps, exclusion, habitat management, repellents, and fertility control. While there have been relatively few new developments in rodenticides and other rodent control methods in the last several decades, new formulations and active ingredients are being investigated so that these concerns can be addressed. Some of these new developments and research results are also discussed.
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