16 January 2019

Poison-resistant rat hotspots identified around Midlands

Press release | PestAware

New hotspots of rats that are resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides have been identified by monitoring carried out at The University of Reading.

Rat mutations

A statement from the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU), who commissioned the study said:

"In East Anglia and West Yorkshire, it identifies for the first time the L120Q gene, responsible for the most severe form of resistance.

"This gene renders first generation anticoagulant rodenticides and two of the second generation groups ineffective.

"It is widespread across the whole of central southern England and also found increasingly outside that area."

They continue:

"Another serious concern is that three different types of resistant rats are now found in West Yorkshire and on the Anglo-Welsh border.

"Also, a worry is the almost complete lack of data from central England."

Advice for people worried about poison-resistant rats

BPCA Technical Manager Dee Ward Thompson said:

"The study highlights the fact that resistance is growing in rat species across a swathe of the country.

"It also reports that rats without the genetic mutation are being killed off by poison, so the resistant species are taking their place, leaving a growing population of resistant pure-breds.

"With their numbers expanding there could be a significant risk to public health if their population is left unchecked, in both urban and rural environments."

Dee added:

"The rise in resistance could be due to a number of factors, but the clear message from BPCA is that, to be effective in tackling this issue, use a professional pest management company.

"Rats must be dealt with by those with the skills required to understand rodent behaviour and their habitat, and who know how to treat any particular strain.

"By employing a member company through the BPCA referral service, you can be sure they’re using a qualified technician who is able to purchase and apply relevant products that can tackle such issues of resistance.

"We’ve established strict criteria to ensure the professionalism of our members so companies carrying our logo will carry out safe, effective and legal treatments."

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Source: PestAware

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