‘MUTANT SUPER RATS’
If you’ve recently seen a headline similar to the above, Don’t be unduly alarmed, the fact that you’re reading this blog means that you’re about to find out just what the Issue is and what is being done about it!
Rodenticides in The U.K
With the exception of one (Alphachloralose), All rodenticides licensed to control rats and mice in the u.k are anticoagulants, that is they interfere with the clotting process of blood, this means that death is normally due to internal haemorrhage.
The most famous of these compounds is ‘warfarin’ (Wisconsin alumni research foundation + Coumarin) commonly used to treat thrombosis and similar conditions in humans.
Warfarin, along with Chlorophacinone and Coumatetralyl are known as first generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs)
Resistance to the first generation of anticoagulant rodenticides was discovered in rats (R. norvegicus and R. rattus) and mice (Mus musculus domesticus) in the United Kingdom around 1960, approximately 10 years after the first use of anticoagulant rodenticides.
Similar resistance has now been reported in many countries across the globe.
The second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) were specifically developed to overcome resistance, but resistance to several of these more potent analogs has now been detected.
Continued use of anticoagulant rodenticides against these populations of resistant rats is likely to maintain the selection pressure toward higher prevalence and degrees of resistance.
Second Generation Anticoagualnt Rodenticides (SGARS)
The 2 SGARS which are the main focus of the problem are Difenacoum and Bromadiolone, both are ‘multi-feed’ rodenticides (That is, a rodent usually needs to feed on them a number of times before the active ingredient takes effect) and both are available to the professional sector AND the general public. Any rodenticide product that you see in the high street, supermarket etc will be one of these two.
There are other 3 SGARS available, which have greater levels of toxicity than Difenacoum and Bromadiolone, Brodifacoum, Flocoumafen and Difethialone. There is no known resistance to products containing these actives. They are technically ‘multi-feed’ rodenticides but Rats & Mice frequently eat enough in one feed to have a lethal effect, This has led to some people referring to them as ‘single-feed’
At present it is illegal to use any of these 3 outdoors.
Resistance in Rats and Amateur Use
Although genetic resistance occurs naturally in Rats and resistant organisms are simply following the rules of evolution; the best-adapted individuals survive and pass their resistance on to their offspring, Incorrect usage of rodenticides can actively increase resistance.
The availability of these products to the general public is believed to have contributed to the spread of resistance throughout the U.K.
Many professionals feel that rodenticides shouldn’t be available for use by untrained members of the public, Pest Controllers have to produce evidence of qualifications and training to suppliers when ordering products.
Another problem is that amateur users are less likely to interpret safety instructions on correctly and are less likely to understand how to use the products to best effect.
Personally, as well as the Issues already mentioned I feel that the sale of products to amateur users devalues The Industry and disregards our role in contributing to safeguarding public health.
Obviously, SGARs are not selective and precautions need to be taken to minimise the risk to non-target species and it is when this does happen, for example if rodenticide is eaten by a vole that in turn is caught and eaten by a kestrel that the rodenticides enter the food chain and the problem of ‘secondary poisoning’ occurs.
The Campaign for responsible rodenticide use (CRRU) (Cavalry Pest Solutions are registered CRRU Supporters) has produced the CRRU Code, a 7 point strategy to minimise risks to the environment and non-target species. The CRRU also developed ‘Wildlife Aware’ Accreditation in conjunction with BASIS-PROMPT. (At Present, The only Pest Controller registered in the Wigan Borough as being ‘Wildlife’ Aware Accredited is Elliot Lowe, Senior Pest Control Officer at Cavalry Pest Solutions.)
Last year,The Health & Safety Executive invited a number of stakeholders from across the country, representing pest control, gamekeepers, environmental organisations to a meeting to discuss the way forward for the use of SGARs in The U.K. (Cavalry Pest Solutions were one of the stakeholders invited to the meeting)
Proposals have suggested that a Stewardship Scheme headed by the CRRU is the preferred option, further meetings with stakeholders are to be held next year.
New Video on YOU TUBE from Cavalry Pest Solutions Focus on Rodents - Gnawing
One of the great things about being a Pest Control Officer is that no two days are ever the same, The endless variety brings fresh challenges and you never know what unusual surprises are waiting just around the corner.
I had such a situation earlier this week when a local pet shop phoned Cavalry Pest Solutions and asked could someone call in.
When I arrived, the owner asked me to wait whilst he went to fetch a container with an unidentified spider in it.
Looking at the specimen, I could understand the Owners concern as this spider looked somewhat similar to some of the more dangerous species such as the Black Widow and the brown recluse, neither of which are naturally native to the u.k
Correct Identification of species is all the more difficult when in the field and it’s important to have this service carried out by a professional company such as Cavalry Pest Solutions.
I identified the Spider as a Species of False Widow,Steatoda grossa.
The False Widow Spider, one of a small number of species that are found in britain may have hitched a ride on a delivery, although it has become more frequent in the south-east and is probably spreading north, with records as far north as the Orkneys.
Most reported Spider Bites are attributed to False Widows,but these claims are difficult to substantiate and may be exaggerated by the media.
Being bitten by a spider is unlikely in this country in normal circumstances, and the effect of a bite is unlikely to be worse than being stung by a wasp or bee. A more serious problem is only likely to arise in the event of an allergic reaction or if the person is already compromised by other health issues.
Flooding creates many problems and brings with it a host of health and pest-related risks.
Rodents that are displaced from their natural habitat are forced to seek alternative foodsources and shelter.
Flood damaged properties provide an easily accessible and attractive harbourage for rodents who can cause damage by gnawing and spread disease through their faeces and urine. The bacterium responsible for leptospirosis that is typically found in Rat urine may be introduced into floodwater thus increasing the possibilities of infection. Other diseases that are spread by rodents include E.coli and salmonella.
Standing water,waste and sewage that remain after the flood water subsides provide an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes and flies which can be responsible for further risks to human health.
If you have any pest related problems due to flooding, it is advisable to contact a professional pest management company such as Cavalry Pest Solutions.
Always ask if the company is a member of a trade organisation such as The NPTA (National Pest Technicians Association) and if their Pest Control Officers are members of a registered scheme such as The BASIS-PROMPT Professional register for Pest Controllers.
Cavalry Pest Solutions can also offer specialist cleaning and sanitisation services following a flood, making sure that the bacteria and viruses that are left behind are dealt with promptly, efficiently and safely.
At 2 am GMT on the last Sunday in October, clocks move back by one hour for the end of British Summer Time and as the nights start drawing in and winters approach starts to bring a drop in temperatures,many of you will discover the rodent problem that you didn’t know you had!
Summer may have been a total washout in some respects but Rat numbers have been on the rise thanks to favourable conditions such as moderate temperatures from early spring and plentiful food sources.
During the summer months, Rodent colonies can increase in size almost right under our feet, taking advantage of cover provided by summer foliage but it’s the seasonal drop in temperatures that force rodent populations to seek shelter and warmth, leading to infestations that seem to have appeared overnight!
The economic situation has influenced rodent population increases as well and there has been a rise in DIY rodent treatments which in most cases only serves to make the problem worse.
If you have Rat or Mice problems, obtain the services of a professional Pest Control Company such as Cavalry Pest Solutions. Experience, knowledge and an understanding of rodent biology and behaviour is essential in getting to the root of these types of infestations and dealing with them effectively.
Welcome, Finally, at last to the Cavalry Pest Solutions Blog! If you’ve not actually meant to arrive here, That’s fine because unfortunately No-One is immune from the threat of Pest Infestation.
It’s my intention that this blog be Informative, Educational and of practical benefit to those of you who have Pest Problems.
Dedication, Passion and Integrity aren’t words that you normally hear to describe a Pest Control Business, but as time goes on, you’ll find, as many Customers have that these words are a key element to Cavalry Pest Solutions which allows us to provide a standard of excellence to our customers, from start to finish! Whether it’s Rats, Mice, Fleas, Cockroaches, Bedbugs or Bats, Our customers come first, It’s as simple as that!
I won’t slate other companies either, It’s not my style and I don’t feel the need to, Our results speak for themselves…..