STP817

    Use of Outdoor Pens in Evaluating Field Efficacy of Rodenticides

    Published: Jan 1983


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    Abstract

    While laboratory efficacy testing of commensal rodenticides is essential in the development of a compound, this environment does not represent the “real world” of rodent control. Thus testing under actual-use conditions is necessary. However, such field tests may be seriously compromised by peripheral, nonexposed animals moving into an area immediately after rodenticide exposure.

    When information necessary for rodenticide development, formulation, or reregistration does not warrant a full-scale field trial, a simulated field trial, using an out-door pen, may be applicable. It offers a small but restricted population of rodents [such as house mice (Mus musculus) or white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus)] and is less expensive.

    Pen trials are confined field trials, limited in scope, subject to normal weather conditions, yet with environmental controls more akin to those of laboratory testing. Outdoor mouse pens, with harborage and food, enable introduced animals to establish a reproductively active population, which the investigator can regulate; and sensitive index methods can be utilized to monitor population density and activity.

    Penned areas (about 232 m2) served as the test sites. Pen walls (aluminum sheet metal) extended 20 cm into a stone trench and 51 cm above the ground. A 1-m-wide grass strip on the interior perimeter was kept mowed to deter mice from moving near the perimeter wall. An area outside the pen also was mowed. Straw bales were placed within the pen, and grass and weeds were allowed to grow, the combination providing excellent harborage for mice.

    Wild house mice released in the pen were allowed to acclimate to the surroundings for at least 30 days. Sherman live traps were placed along both sides of the pen perimeter for monitoring rodent movement into or out of the test area. Large Tomahawk live traps also were placed along the exterior pen wall to protect against ground predators.

    Pens of this nature can be used for determining rodenticide efficacy, the comparative testing of rodenticides, or comparing population indexes with populations of known size. Such pens also constitute an investigative tool to study population responses to a rodenticide or bait formulation.

    Keywords:

    efficacy, pen trial, rodenticide, house mouse (, Mus musculus, ), white-footed mouse (, Peromyseus leucopus, ), brodifacoum, bromethalin, vertebrate pest control


    Author Information:

    Daniel Ashton, A

    McCumber, JH
    Director, Rodent Research Laboratory, technician, and director, Center for Environmental Research and Services, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio

    Jackson, WB
    Director, Rodent Research Laboratory, technician, and director, Center for Environmental Research and Services, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio


    Paper ID: STP30176S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.17

    DOI: 10.1520/STP30176S


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