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The authors compared the efficacy data for federally registered rat and mouse baits tested both by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Animal Biology Laboratory and by company laboratories. We chose ready-to-use, dry bait products evaluated according to the same laboratory test protocols. The data, which included 364 tests, were analyzed in two ways. First, we made 12 comparisons based on the mean percent acceptance and the mean percent mortality. Regardless of the combination of active ingredients (diphacinone, warfarin, or prolin), the species (Norway rat or house mouse), or the efficacy criterion (acceptance or mortality), the products always did better in company tests than in EPA tests on the average. These differences were usually greater for comparisons of the mean percent acceptance than for comparisons of the mean percent mortality. Second, we determined the amount of agreement between 99 matched sets of EPA and company data. We found agreement in 65 of the comparisons. Where agreement was not found, the products failed company tests but passed EPA tests in 5 cases, and passed company tests but failed EPA tests in 29 cases. Where individual companies have performed subsequent studies, they have confirmed in their laboratories the efficacy problems discovered in the EPA laboratory. We have discussed the reasons for the differences between the EPA and company data and the steps that are being taken or should be taken to reduce these differences.
vertebrate pest control, laboratory testing, evaluation, rodenticides, anticoagulants, Rattus norvegicus, Mus musculus
Pesticide products specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.,
Biologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, Benefits and Field Studies Division, Animal Biology Laboratory, Beltsville, Md