When temperatures drop, rodents move indoors in search of food, warmth and shelter. Controlling rodents is vital to prevent disease transmission, food loss and contamination and structural damage, and is essential to meet farm assurance standards.
Effective action against rodents helps to protect crop yields and livestock from disease and cross-contamination. It is also vital to maintain a safe working environment for farm staff, protect nearby residents, and ensure food safety standards are met.
But why is it so important to keep on top of any infestations?
Crop and livestock protection: Rodents, such as rats and mice, can cause significant damage to crops and stored grains. They can chew through containers and packaging, contaminate food supplies, and reduce the overall yield of crops. On top of this, rodents can harm livestock by promoting the spread of diseases or preying on young or weak animals.
Disease prevention: Rodents are known to carry and transmit various diseases to humans, livestock, and other animals. Some common diseases transmitted by rodents include leptospirosis, hantavirus, salmonellosis, and plague (yes, really!). Effective rodent control measures can help reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Structural integrity: Rodents are notorious for chewing through anything… Even concrete! They can often be found gnawing through building materials, including electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, and insulation. This can compromise the structural integrity of farm buildings, leading to costly repairs or potential safety hazards.
Biosecurity: Controlling rodents is crucial for maintaining proper biosecurity on the farm. Rodents can act as reservoirs for various pathogens and parasites, which can have significant negative impacts on animal and human health. Implementing rodent control measures can help minimise the risk of disease introduction and spread within the farm.
Financial impact: Rodents can cause financial losses due to decreased crop yields and quality, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and increased vet and medical costs. By investing in effective rodent control strategies, farmers can protect their investments and maximise their profits.
Rodent infestations can be challenging to control, they reproduce rapidly and develop resistance to many conventional pest control methods. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, such as trapping and baiting can often be effective in reducing rat populations on farms. Common signs of a rodent infestation to look out for include droppings, burrows, tracks, nests, gnaw marks and actual rodent sightings!
Fortunately, with good planning and the right products, damaging infestations can be prevented. For more information on how to protect your farm from infestations this Autumn contact us.