October 11, 2018

Protein Production Farm

A field trial at protein production farms in the southeastern U.S. took place to determine if ContraPest, in conjunction with traditional rodenticides (Treatment group), is more effective at controlling rodent populations than traditional rodenticides alone (Control group). In an effort to implement fertility management into existing IPM protocols, both ContraPest and traditional rodenticide bait stations were deployed using a standardized spacing, in this case, every 50 feet. This resulted in a relatively uniform array of bait stations at each farm. Both ContraPest and traditional rodenticide consumption was monitored regularly. Treatment sites, as a whole, experienced continual consumption of ContraPest over the course of the 101-day trial. It was obvious, however, that certain ContraPest stations experienced much more bait uptake than others. Analysis of ContraPest consumption by individual bait station revealed that a very large proportion (93%) of overall consumption across all sites was recorded from just 50% of the bait stations. The accompanying map illustrates this phenomenon at one of the Treatment sites (SenesTech Internal Report).

Urban Residential Area

This disproportionate consumption pattern was also seen during a trial in an urban residential neighborhood in northeastern United States. ContraPest was deployed within a heavy infestation for a period of 19 weeks, and overall consumption was continuous throughout the study. Subsequent analysis revealed a pattern similar to that seen at the protein production farms, as 80% of cumulative consumption occurred at just 50% of the bait stations (SenesTech Internal Report).

Takeaways

Both of these trials have offered a key insight into consumption patterns of ContraPest: rats prefer to eat in specific areas, likely where they feel safe and close to cover. A targeted baiting campaign may offer a more efficient approach to rodent control, as compared to traditional, standardized spacing of bait stations. Strategic placement of ContraPest bait stations at known foraging areas can reduce waste while maximizing the amount of bait uptake and thereby enhancing success. There are multiple methods to locate these foraging areas. Often, a PMP who has worked at a specific location will have valuable insight on where rats typically feel comfortable foraging. Non-toxic blocks can also be deployed in order to find foraging locations. Chew cards baited with peanut butter have been proven to be a valuable tool for locating foraging areas, as they are inexpensive and often will be gnawed on by rats within 24-48 hours.

Site map showing cumulative consumption at Site W. Note large proportion of consumption in concentrated areas.

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