Rodent Solutions's Posts (28)

About one-third of 1751 genes studied in the first comprehensive survey of the mouse genome are essential to life, according to research by an international collaboration including the University of California, Davis, Mouse Biology Program. Mutations of these genes cause death at the embryo stage. Many of them have counterparts in the human genome, so understanding why these genes are so vital could help prioritize human genes for study.

"This is the first comprehensive survey of its kind, and it shows that one-third of the mouse protein-coding genome is essential to life," said Kent Lloyd, professor of surgery at UC Davis and director of the Mouse Biology Program and the NIH-funded Knockout Mouse Project. "This begins to inform what may be happening in people."

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, which includes UC Davis researchers, is generating and characterizing "knockout" mutations for all of the protein-coding genes in the mouse genome. The consortium aims to discover new functions for the roughly 20,000 genes mice share with humans, providing tools for investigating human disease.

The new study reports the results of the first 1,751 genes characterized by the consortium, finding that nearly one-third are essential for life. These include 410 that are fully lethal when mutated, and an additional 198 for which fewer than half of the expected number of mutants were identified, meaning that only a few variations of the gene lead to viable offspring.

Using high-resolution 3D imaging and automated, computational analysis of the images, the researchers established for each gene both the time of embryonic death and why the embryos died, shedding light on the function of these genes.

High-resolution computed tomography image of a 9 1/2-day-old mouse embryo. Using advanced imaging techniques, an international team including UC Davis researchers has been able to work out the function of hundreds of genes that are essential to develop a live mouse. Because these genes have human equivalents, they could be used to home in on important genes to study in human diseases.
Credit: Doug Rowland, UC Davis.

Human counterparts are candidates for precision medicine

Many of these genes have counterparts in the human genome, and these genes are thus strong candidates for undiagnosed human genetic conditions.

"Where we don't know the cause of disease, they may not have a full knockout, but a variant that doesn't work quite right," Lloyd said.

The mouse data could help prioritize genes to study through the national Precision Medicine Initiative, he said.

The knockout mice generated are available to other researchers who may be investigating particular pathways or disease phenotypes.

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium includes: the Knockout Mouse Project, a consortium led by UC Davis; a similar consortium led by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, as well as international partners. All three U.S. organizations are funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Source: ScienceDaily.com 

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Instead of building a better mouse trap, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a better mouse cage. They've created a system called EnerCage (Energized Cage) for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wirelessly powers electronic devices and sensors traditionally used during rodent research experiments, but without the use of interconnect wires or bulky batteries. Their goal is to create as natural an environment within the cage as possible for mice and rats in order for scientists to obtain consistent and reliable results. The EnerCage system also uses Microsoft's Kinect video game technology to track the animals and recognize their activities, automating a process that typically requires researchers to stand and directly observe the rodents or watch countless hours of recorded footage to determine how they react to experiments.

The wirelessly energized cage system was presented this month at the International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) in Orlando, Florida.

The Georgia Tech EnerCage is wrapped with carefully oriented strips of copper foils that can inductively power the cage and the electronics implanted in, or attached to, one or more animal subjects inside the cage. The system can run indefinitely and collect data without human intervention because of wireless communication and power transmission.

"It's always better to keep an animal in its natural settings with minimum burden or stress to improve the quality of an experiment," said Maysam Ghovanloo, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who developed the EnerCage. "Anything that is abnormal or unnatural may bias the experiment, no matter what experiment in any field. That includes grabbing the animal to attach or detach wires, change batteries or transferring it from one cage to another."

Ghovanloo uses four resonating copper coils to create a homogenous magnetic field inside the cage. The built-in closed loop power control mechanism supplies enough power to compensate for all freely behaving animal subject activities, whether they're standing up, crouching down, or walking around the cage. The small headstage for the animal is also wrapped with resonators to deliver power to a receiver coil.

The Kinect is suspended about three feet above the cage. It has a high-definition camera, an infrared depth camera, and four microphones to record and analyze the animal behavior. It can capture both a two-dimensional high-resolution image of a rat's location and a three-dimensional image that would identify its body posture.

"We're building computer algorithms to determine if the animal is standing, sitting, sleeping, grooming, eating, drinking or doing nothing," said Ghovanloo. "We're hoping to reduce the expensive costs of new drug and medical device development by allowing machines to do mundane, repetitive tasks now assigned to humans." The Georgia Tech team is working in partnership with Emory University, hoping to impact the clinical efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS). A growing number of clinical trials are using DBS to treat disorders of the central nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to the clinical efficacy of DBS remain largely unknown, however.

Emory's Donald (Tig) Rainnie and his research team use freely moving rodent models to examine the effects of DBS on neural circuits thought to be disrupted in depression. They have tested the EnerCage system.

"The requirement to use a tethered headstage to record neural data and apply the DBS has hindered progress in this field," said Rainnie, a researcher at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. "We provided critical feedback, via beta testing of the EnerCage system, on how to maximize the utility of the system for different behavioral applications. We found a key advantage of the EnerCage system is that it will allow researchers to conduct chronic DBS and track associated behavioral changes for days, if not weeks, without disturbing the test animals."

Until now, Rainnie says, that hasn't been possible, and it is key to understanding the long-term benefits of DBS in patients.

The next steps at Georgia Tech are designing EnerCage-compatible implants, such as one for delivering drugs, and expanding the system to a network of dozens of cages that can collect data from multiple animals at the same time.

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Rodent-Proofing Your Premises

Rodent-Proofing Your Premises

Everyone strives for a Rodent-free home.

Rodent-proofing your home, apartment, farm or other buildings involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive - mainly their food, water and harborage. Once you know the problem areas, follow the four major steps below to reduce or eliminate these conditions.

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home or Other Buildings

1. Remove Sources of Food & Water
Improving sanitation conditions is one of the best ways to prevent and to get rid of rodent problems. Rats and mice are opportunistic feeders that will eat any food discarded by humans. Eliminating their food and water is critical to controlling them.

Outdoors:
Pick up trash and discarded food.
Keep tightly sealed lids on garbage cans.
Store pet and bird food in sealed containers.
Get rid of standing water by filling holes or unlevel places in the yard where puddles might form or by eliminating standing water in buckets, pools, or other containers.

Indoors:
Clean up spilled food in cupboards and on floors.
Keep counters and food preparation areas clear of food at night.
Keep all food packages tightly sealed.


2. Get Rid of Rodent Habitats

Outdoors:
Remove clutter and debris.
Keep grass, shrubs, and other vegetation around your home trimmed.
Trim overhanging trees that cause shadowy areas where rodents feel protected.

Indoors:
Clear out boxes and other clutter in basements and storage areas.
Store materials off the floors on shelves, wherever possible.

3. Keep Rodents From Entering Cracks & Crevices 

Rats can fit through an opening about the size of a nickel. Mice can squeeze through an area smaller than a dime. Call Rodent Solutions to seal your home and prevent rodents from entering.  


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Rodents may be in your garage, attic, closets, cabinets, tool shed or yard. It’s a busy time for pest control companies and rodenticide sales. But nature can control rodent populations, if you let it. In the natural environment, there is balance. Every creature is prey to some animals and predator to others.

Raptors – owls, hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures – are rodents’ natural predators. You should not spend money on poisons and put desirable wildlife, pets and children at risk of accidental poisoning. Let the birds of prey naturally remove rodents for you.

Most raptors use the same nest for many years and some even pass from one generation to the next. Bald eagles are known to have used the same nest as long as 35 years. That makes them an excellent long-term control for rodent populations in the immediate area.

During breeding season, a family of five owls can eat as many as 3,000 rodents! Remember that poisoned rodents can poison the predators, scavengers and pets that eat them!

Even though the state Department of Pesticide Regulation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have restricted public access to the most dangerous rodenticides, all rodenticides – including the types still available to consumers – are poisons that can kill wildlife, pets and children.

Unfortunately, even after stricter regulations on rodenticides were enacted, wildlife continue to be exposed to second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum and difethialone). Licensed pest control companies and agricultural producers are still free to use them. If consumers hire pest control companies, they should know that the materials the firms use could poison local wildlife. Only consumers can ensure that it doesn’t. The most effective pest control does not involve chemicals, but sanitation and exclusion.

Like most animals, rodents will congregate and multiply where food is available and they feel safe. The easiest way to discourage them is to remove or modify anything that could make them comfortable. Sanitation is the first step to controlling rodents. For example:

Keep your home and yard neat and clean. Don’t give rats places to hide.
Remove objects and plants that rodents can hide under, such as wood piles, debris, construction waste, dense vegetation and ground-covering vines like ivy.
Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees as soon as possible.
Secure your garbage in a tightly sealed can.
Seal water leaks and remove standing water that can attract unwelcome animals, breed mosquitoes and waste water.

Contact Rodent Solutions to remove mice and rats from inside the building and seal the entries they used to get in: openings where cables, wires and pipes enter buildings, and cracks or holes in the foundation, walls and roofs. Rodents can squeeze into holes as narrow as ½ inch diameter! 

We offer poison free solutions.  Find out more at http://rodentsolutioninc.com/why-choose-us

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Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency in the body's energy supply chain is a key driver of the aging process.

Now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that supplementing healthy mice with a natural compound called NMN can compensate for this loss of energy production, reducing typical signs of aging such as gradual weight gain, loss of insulin sensitivity and declines in physical activity.

"We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice," said Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, a professor of developmental biology and of medicine. "This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice. Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age."

Imai is working with researchers conducting a clinical trial to test the safety of NMN in healthy people. The phase 1 trial began earlier this year at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo.

With age, the body loses its capacity to make a key element of energy production called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). Past work by Imai and co-senior author Jun Yoshino, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine, has shown that NAD levels decrease in multiple tissues as mice age. Past research also has shown that NAD is not effective when given directly to mice so the researchers sought an indirect method to boost its levels. To do so, they only had to look one step earlier in the NAD supply chain to a compound called NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide).

Scientists have shown that supplementing healthy mice with a natural compound called NMN can compensate for this loss of energy production, reducing typical signs of aging such as gradual weight gain, loss of insulin sensitivity and declines in physical activity.
Credit: © Irina K. / Fotolia

NMN can be given safely to mice and is found naturally in a number of foods, including broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame and avocado. The new study shows that when NMN is dissolved in drinking water and given to mice, it appears in the bloodstream in less than three minutes. Importantly, the researchers also found that NMN in the blood is quickly converted to NAD in multiple tissues.

"We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues," Imai said. "Our data show that NMN absorption happens very rapidly."

To determine the long-term effects of giving NMN, Imai, Yoshino and their colleagues studied three groups of healthy male mice fed regular mouse chow diets. Starting at five months of age, one group received a high dose of NMN-supplemented drinking water, another group received a low dose of the NMN drinking water, and a third group served as a control, receiving no NMN. The researchers compared multiple aspects of physiology between the groups, first at 5 months of age and then every three months, until the mice reached 17 months of age. Typical laboratory mice live about two years.

The researchers found a variety of beneficial effects of NMN supplementation, including in skeletal muscle, liver function, bone density, eye function, insulin sensitivity, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels. But these benefits were seen exclusively in older mice.

"When we give NMN to the young mice, they do not become healthier young mice," Yoshino said. "NMN supplementation has no effect in the young mice because they are still making plenty of their own NMN. We suspect that the increase in inflammation that happens with aging reduces the body's ability to make NMN and, by extension, NAD."

In skeletal muscle, the investigators -- including the study's first author, Kathryn Mills, the research supervisor in Imai's lab -- found that NMN administration helps energy metabolism by improving the function of mitochondria, which operate as cellular power plants. They also found that mice given NMN gained less weight with aging even as they consumed more food, likely because their boosted metabolism generated more energy for physical activity. The researchers also found better function of the mouse retina with NMN supplementation, as well as increased tear production, which is often lost with aging. They also found improved insulin sensitivity in the older mice receiving NMN, and this difference remained significant even when they corrected for differences in body weight.

In a paper published earlier this year in Cell Reports, Yoshino and his colleagues revealed more details of how NAD works in influencing glucose metabolism and the body's fat tissue. In that study, the mice had a defect in the ability to manufacture NAD only in the body's fat tissue. The rest of their tissues and organs were normal.

"Even though NAD synthesis was stopped only in the fat tissue, we saw metabolic dysfunction throughout the body, including the skeletal muscle, the heart muscle, the liver and in measures of the blood lipids," Yoshino said. "When we gave NMN to these mice, these dysfunctions were reversed. That means NAD in adipose tissue is a critical regulator of whole body metabolism."

Added Imai, "This is important because Jun showed that if you mess up NAD synthesis only in fat tissue, you see insulin resistance everywhere. Adipose tissue must be doing something remarkable to control whole body insulin sensitivity."

During the long-term NMN study in healthy mice, Imai also said they monitored the animals for any potential increase in cancer development as a result of NMN administration.

"Some tumor cells are known to have a higher capability to synthesize NAD, so we were concerned that giving NMN might increase cancer incidence," Imai said. "But we have not seen any differences in cancer rates between the groups."

The phase 1 trial in Japan is using NMN manufactured by Oriental Yeast Co., which also provided the NMN used in these mouse studies. Outside of this clinical trial, high-grade NMN for human consumption is not commercially available. But there's always broccoli.

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Wildlife Assistance/Nuisance Wildlife

Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

Generally if you find a baby animal it is best to leave it alone. Often the animal is not orphaned, and the parent may be out getting food for the animal, or watching the baby. Never pick up baby animals and remove them from their natural environment!  To report an injured or orphaned wild animal, contact any of the FWC's 5 regional offices for a list of wildlife rehabilitators or consult one of the rehabilitators on this list.

Additional information about reporting injured manatees or sea turtles is on our website.

Nuisance Animals

Nuisance wildlife is wildlife that...

  • causes (or is about to cause) property damage,
  • presents a threat to public safety, or
  • causes an annoyance within, under or upon a building.

Human activities can attract certain wildlife species looking for an easy high-calorie meal or shelter under a convenient structure. Unfortunately this can bring them into conflict with the interests of people, and the wildlife can be considered to be a nuisance.  Most wildlife/human conflicts can be resolved by removing the attractant.  If removing the attractant is not feasible or has been tried and is not working, other measures to remove nuisance wild animals can be taken. Trapping a nuisance animal should be a matter of last resort.  Before removing an animal, please read the nuisance wildlife regulations and information.

Wildlife that cannot be taken

The taking of nuisance alligatorsdeerbearsbatsbobcats, most migratory birds, their nests or eggsturkeysbobwhite quail; or state-listed or federally listed species of special concern, threatened or endangered species is prohibited or may require additional permits.

Protected and regulated species

You can learn more about the rules regarding wild animals online.  Most regulations for wildlife are found in Ch. 68A of the Florida Administrative Code.

Nuisance Alligators

Alligators are considered a nuisance when they are more than four feet in length, and are determined to be a threat to the welfare of the public, or the public's pets, livestock, or property. Only a licensed nuisance alligator trapper may capture or remove an alligator. More information about living with alligators is available on this website.

If you need to report a nuisance alligator, call toll-free, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

You can find more information about Nuisance Alligators online.

Nuisance Bear

If a bear is seen around your neighborhood, it is important to immediately discourage repeat visits. What you can do is determine if there are any attractants in your neighborhood that will cause the bear to return.  If you have unsecured garbage, pet food, barbecue grills, or other food items available in your yard, you should secure those items as soon as possible. A nuisance bear is one that looks for handouts, hangs around because it thinks food is available, or becomes aggressive, etc.  More information about living with bears is available on this website. If you have a nuisance bear in your neighborhood or on your property, please contact your local FWC regional office or call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Nuisance Deer

White-tailed deer will occasionally cause damage to cultivated crops.  For small gardens, this situation often can be improved by installing an inexpensive electric fence.  When it is not possible to install an electric fence or deterrent fence, and under special restrictions, deer causing damage to crops can be harassed (scared) with a gun and light at night, when authorized.  Find out more information on the Gun and Light at Night Permit.

In cases where a Gun and Light at Night Permit is not eliminating the depredation or is not feasible, and in situations where deer are causing extreme damage to a crop, contact your local FWC regional office to request a Depredating Deer permit for temporary relief.

Protected Fish and Wildlife

A FWC permit is required for take of any state listed species. Protected fish and wildlife include those species listed as endangered, threatened or species of special concern. FWC rules prohibit activities that may have a negative effect on protected fish and wildlife without a permit.  More information about living with wildlife is available on this website.

Rabid Animals

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is agency primarily responsible for rabies response, prevention, treatment and control.  If you suspect an animal of having rabies or if someone has been bitten, contact the local County Health Department.  Public health staff will investigate animal bite reports.  The DOH can request help from the Sheriff's office, Animal Control or the FWC, but their staff will make that decision. View the listing of Florida County Health Departments at www.doh.state.fl.us/chdsitelist.htm.

For more information about rabies control and prevention in Florida, visit the DOH on the Web at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html.

Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Problems

In the spring, bird species around the state start to build nests. Occasionally, this nesting behavior comes into conflict with human activities. Nuisance bird issues are not as easy to mitigate as nuisance mammal issues. Most birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Joint state-federal permits are issued under very limited circumstances to keep or remove native wild birds or their eggs or nests. For information on Migratory Bird and Eagle Permits, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

For more information contact the FWC's Division of Habitat & Species Conservation, Species Conservation and Planning Section. Often, nesting birds will use the nest for only a month or so before their young are ready to go. It is usually advisable to leave these birds alone until they are done with their nesting cycle.

Migratory nongame birds that cause damage to trees, crops, livestock or wildlife, or that are concentrated in such numbers that they are nuisance, may be taken with permits issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by calling 404-679-7070.  Blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds and American crows can be taken without permits when they are causing damage.

You can find a comprehensive list of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

Information about dealing with problem ducks or geese is available on our waterfowl website.

If you are experiencing a problem with roosting vultures, please contact USDA Wildlife Services APHIS Wildlife at 352-377-5556 or toll free at 866-487-3297 for assistance in scaring off the birds.

Dealing with Aggressive Raptors

Birds of prey, also called raptors, include hawks, eagles, falcons and owls. Each spring and summer, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) receives reports of raptors diving at people. These incidents, which are usually caused by hawks, have happened in both urban and suburban areas. Most of these events occur during the nesting season and near an active nest where there are chicks or eggs.  The raptors dive at people who come too close to the nest. The birds view those people as threats to the nest and the babies.  In many cases, the birds dive at people but don't make contact. However, there have been injuries from these birds when they do make contact. Reports show that the birds may dive at people as far as 150 feet away from their nests.  To learn how to handle this situation, read our guide to dealing with aggressive raptors.

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Why Hire Us?

After a professional inspection, we didn't feel that there was evidence that the rat infestation was originating from the outside of a customer's home. We recommended a vapor test by the top leak detection company in our area Specialized Plumbing Technologies before they hired us to trap. The customer stated that her plumbing was working fine. I convinced her to trust me after a lengthy conversation and showing her diagrams. If I was telling her to spend money outside of my company, I was sure. This is what was found inside her wall. It was a completely destroyed plumbing vent pipe allowing rats from the sewer into her walls over and over. Our construction background is another thing that makes us different from our big box franchised competition and helped not waste this customer's money with never ending trapping. Make sure you always hire a rodent company with construction experience/education in their background.

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The team is hard at work this morning performing an attic restoration on a Sarasota home that had a raccoon infestation.

Three juvenile raccoons and two adult raccoons were removed from the Sarasota attic.  The raccoons made several different latrine areas in the attic putting the health of residents at risk from the dangers of raccoon roundworm (See our“Health Risk” page for more details) .  The good news is, we were able to get their homeowners insurance to cover the entire process!  An attic decontamination involves a three step process.  First we remove all the raccoon feces contaminated attic insulation.  Second we spray the entire attic with an enzyme treatment to neutralize any remaining health risks.  Finally we blow in new fiberglass insulation to a value of R-30. We perform attic restorations to protect homeowners from the dangers of raccoon roundworm and rodent feces.  Please visit our “Attic Restoration” page or call us for more information on the process.

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Rodenticides: Background & Hazards

Rodenticide_Hazards_Landing

 

Rodent Control

The first line of defense against rodents should be exclusion and trapping. These methods do not pose a poisoning risk to children, pets and wildlife. If you plan to use rodenticides, be sure to follow all label directions.

Remember, removing rodents with traps or poisons will not keep rodents out of your property in the future. To permanently keep rats and mice out of your home or business, you will need to prevent access by sealing all possible entry points. It is equally as important to eliminate rodent attractions such as food and water by keeping food in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers and repairing leaky pipes.

Rats and mice have been living with humans for centuries, and humans have been working for just as long to keep them at bay. Rodents such as gophers, moles, voles, and squirrels are also viewed as pests in some settings.

Poisons have been used as rodent-control measures for many years. Before the 1940s, rodenticides contained heavy metals such as arsenic and thallium or poisons such as strychnine and red squill. Most of these chemicals are no longer used as rodenticdes with the exception of strychnine, which is currently registered for use only below-ground as a bait application to control pocket gophers. For more details, see US EPA’s RED Facts on Strychnine.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the first kind of anticoagulant rodenticides known as first-generation rodenticdes were developed. This class of rodenticides work by disrupting the normal blood clotting or coagulation process so that dosed individuals or animals suffer from uncontrolled bleeding or hemorrhaging. Anticoagulant rodenticides that are in wide use today are members of a more potent class of anticoagulants known as second-generation rodenticides. The following section provides a more detailed comparison between first and second generation rodenticides.

Other rodenticides are non-anticoagulants and work in different ways. Non-anticoagulant rodenticides in use include bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide.

Using rodenticides for control is frequently the cause of unintended consequences, from the stench of rodents decomposing in the walls to poisonings of non-target organisms. Primary poisoning can result from wild birds, pets, or even children eating baited rodenticides, while secondary poisoning of birds and mammals (including dogs and cats) can accompany the ingestion of poisoned rodents.

Anticoagulant Rodenticides

First-Generation Anticoagulants

First-generation anticoagulant rodenticides listed in the table below require rodents to consume the bait for several consecutive feedings for delivery of a lethal dose. There are three US EPA-registered first-generation rodenticides, including warfarin (also used as an anti-clotting drug for coronary artery disease), chlorophacinone, and diphacinone. The first-generation compounds are excreted fairly rapidly by mammals, usually within a week. However, the use of any rodenticides pose a poisoning risk to children, pets and wildlife.

First-Generation Rodenticides
Types
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Risk
Secondary Poisoning Risk
Chlorophacinone Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Low (birds), High (mammals)
Diphacinone Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Moderate (birds), High (mammals)
Warfarin Anticoagulant, multiple dose treatment Moderate to high Low (birds), Moderate (mammals). Highly toxic to cats. Moderate (birds and mammals)

Second-Generation Anticoagulants

The second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are substantially more potent than the first-generation compounds, and a lethal dose can be ingested in a single feeding. Included in this class of rodenticides are the compounds difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone. SGARs are not excreted easily, persisting in bodily organs such as the liver. Some SGARs are especially problematic to birds and mammals. For instance, brodifacoum and difethialone pose the greatest potential risks to avian predators and scavengers that feed on target or nontarget animals poisoned with bait.

EPA studies indicate that the first-generation anticoagulants are less hazardous than the more highly toxic and persistent second-generation anticoagulants. SGARs compounds described in the table below are much more likely to poison predatory wildlife that eat live or dead poisoned prey and have a higher risk of severe poisoning for children, pets, and other non-target wildlife.

Second-Generation Rodenticides
Types
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Risk
Secondary Poisoning Risk
Brodifacoum Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds and mammals) High (birds and mammals)
Bromadiolone Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Moderate (birds), High (mammals) Moderate (birds and mammals)
Difethialone Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds), Moderate (mammals) High (birds), Moderate (mammals)
Difenacoum Anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Moderate (birds), High (mammals) Moderate (birds), Data gap (mammals)

 

Non-Anticoagulant Rodenticides

Non-anticoagulant rodenticides, including bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide, are US EPA-registered and frequently used in controlling pest rodent populations. The potency of these rodenticides is highly variable, with rodent mortalities typically occurring on the order of several hours to days following ingestion of a lethal dose. These rodenticides belong to three different chemical classes that differ from one another as well as the anticoagulants in their mode of action, or anatomical change leading to rodent death.

As a neurotoxicant, bromethalin poisons the central nervous system and ultimately causes respiratory distress following ingestion of a single dose. Cholecalciferol, the biologically active form of vitamin D, is completely nontoxic in small amounts, but massive single doses or prolonged low level exposure can prove toxic. Ingestion of excessive amounts of cholecalciferol induces hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels), which ultimately results in heart problems and kidney failure. Zinc phosphide, which functions to liberate toxic phosphine gas upon interaction with stomach acid, is highly toxic and can lead to rodent mortality within hours of ingestion. Unfortunately, zinc phosphide can also poison birds, such as hawks and owls, following ingestion of treated baits.

Non-Anticoagulant Rodenticides
Type
Acute Oral Toxicity
Primary Poisoning Potential
Secondary Poisoning Potential
Bromethalin Non-anticoagulant, single dose treatment High Low (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)
Cholecalciferol Non-anticoagulant, multiple or single dose treatment High Low to moderate (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)
Zinc Phosphide Non-anticoagulant, single dose treatment High High (birds and mammals) Low (birds and mammals)

For more information on different types of rodenticides, see the National Pesticide Information Center’s (NPIC) fact sheet.


For more resources on rodent control, see the National Pesticide Information Center.For more information on different types of rodenticides, see the National Pesticide Information Center’s (NPIC) fact sheet.

References

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Hey guys! The party is up here!

This raccoon made his way into a Sarasota/Bradenton area attic through a roof joint.  The customer snapped this picture and sent it to us before we arrived.  The raccoon chose to make his way out of the attic temporarily through the soffit and ended up taking a dip in the customers pool before leaving through an open screen door.  We later were able to catch him and relocated him so he would no longer feel the need to invade their space.

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The Safe Rodent Control (SRC) Coalition

About_pg_Collage

Living Rodent-Free While Keeping Families, Pets, and Wildlife Safe

The Safe Rodent Control (SRC) Coalition promotes resources to help you manage rodents safely, effectively, and affordably without the harmful impacts of chemical rodent control methods. SRC is a resource center supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders striving to protect children, pets, and wildlife from exposure to rodenticides.

SRC is committed to providing information on safe, cost-effective rodent control solutions and the risks of rodenticide use

SRC focuses on the following key areas:

  • Real Life Solutions: An easy-to-follow guide of best practices in safe rodent control solutions – from excellent exclusion tactics to an overview of the most effective, affordable traps.
  • Rodenticides – Know the Science: Our resources include the latest and most comprehensive scientific reports and fact-sheets on the risks of using rodenticides in your home or business.
  • At Risk – ChildrenPets & Wildlife: An in-depth, science-based outlook on how chemical rodent control methods put children, pets and wildlife in danger; including up-to-date poisoning data.
  • Stay Informed: From the history of rodenticides to a regulatory overview, learn everything you need to know about the past, present and future of rodenticide use.
  • The Coalition: An alliance of non-profit organizations, municipalities, businesses, scientists, and others dedicated to safeguarding your family and pets, and vulnerable wildlife through safe rodent control measures.
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Rodents Wired to Infest Vehicles

The National Pest Management Association explains why rodents invade cars

 FAIRFAX, VA – Many causes are possible when vehicles experience problems, but it might surprise motorists to learn that a rodent infestation could be one of them.  According to the National Pest Management Association, several innate factors drive rodents under the hood, leading to car damage, particularly during wintertime.

“Vehicles possess the ideal attributes that attract rodents in winter, including shelter and built-up warmth from commutes,” says Michael Bentley, Ph.D., a staff entomologist at NPMA. “Rodents hate being out in the open where they are vulnerable to predators, so when they see a car holding freshly generated heat that also offers protection from the great outdoors, they are drawn to it for cover.”

Entering into cars is easy — a mouse, for example, can squeeze through openings as small as a dime. Once inside, any crumbs the owner leaves behind, or other chewable items, will hold rodents’ attention, and that includes wires.

“Rodents are instinctively avid chewers. About three percent of their daily activity is just gnawing on objects like wires,” says Bentley. “Unfortunately, cars have an abundance of materials that rodents enjoy chewing through.”

Changes in car design may also attract rodents. Recently, numerous consumers have reported experiencing rodent infestations in their cars, attributing them to the materials manufacturers are using in their eco-friendly models, such as soy-based wiring, which is especially appealing to a rodent’s palate.

Costly car repairs aside, rodents can also have negative effects on human health. They can, for example, cause respiratory issues, including asthma and allergy symptoms.

To eliminate the likelihood of rodents infesting a vehicle, keep trash in tightly closed containers and seal up points of entry into the garage. Drivers should also regularly look under the hood for gnawed materials, nests, droppings and frayed wires.

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/press-releases/rodents-wired-to-infest-vehicles/

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Rodent Control Strategies

Rodent Control Solutions

Rodent Solutions highly recommends that you do not attempt rodent removal.  Hiring a licensed and insured professional is the safest and most effective way to remove rodents and protect against re-entry.  This information is provided as an effort to support safe rodent control.  If you have a rodent or pest problem contact Rodent Solutions at (941) 704-0063 for a professional pest inspection!

 Got Rats And Mice?

Use exclusion and sanitation tactics to get rid of rodents in a safe and cost-effective way. The most effective long-term solution is to keep rodents out in the first place. Measures such as sealing entry points prevent rodents from entering buildings and help you avoid a full-scale invasion.

Follow the tips in the sections below and you will be one step closer to keeping your home permanently free of rats and mice.

The Basics On Rodent Control

Rats and mice are not only a nuisance but can also cause property damage and transmit diseases. You’ll know they’ve arrived if you see rodent droppings near a food source or shredded fabric or paper. If you identify rodents, there are several steps to take to ensure permanent removal of these pests.

Removing rodents with traps or poisons will not keep rodents out of your home in the future. To permanently keep rats and mice out of your home or business, you will need to prevent access by sealing all possible entry points. It is equally important to eliminate rodent attractions such as food and water by keeping food in tightly sealed containers and repairing leaky pipes.

Common Sources of Food and Water

  • Food in unsealed containers such as bags of chips, rice, cereal, crackers, flour, and other non-perishables.
  • Pet food and water left out overnight or in a bag rather than in a secure container.
  • Fruits or vegetables in open bowls left outside of refrigerator.
  • Leaky pipes or faucets throughout the house.
  • Open trash and compost containers.

Common Rodent Access Points

  • Holes near cabinets, closets or doors leading to outside or crawl spaces.
  • Holes around sink or appliance pipes.
  • Cracked foundations in the basement or unscreened ventilation holes in the attic, especially in older structures.
  • Holes around windows or doors.
  • Missing screens in vents or crawl spaces under buildings.

Once you have blocked the access points and removed sources of food and water, you’ll need to eliminate the remaining rodents. The following sections offer an overview of different treatment options and serve as useful guidance for keeping your home or business permanently free of rats and mice.

 Guidelines To Maintaining A Rodent-Free Home

Three Guiding Principles:

Prevent!
Identify!
Treat!
Seal entry points to prevent rodents from entering your home or business. Be sure to use 1/4" x 1/4" metal mesh to seal off existing entry points. For more tips on how to exclude rodents and what type of materials to use, visit University of Florida's Non-Chemical Rodent Control page. Look for signs of rats and mice such as rodent droppings round food, kitchen corners, inside cabinets or under sinks. Remove rodents by using snap or electronic traps. Be cautious with live traps as rodents might urinate which increases the risk of spreading disease. In addition, some states prohibit releasing rodents into the wild.
Remove rodent attractions such as food or shelter by ensuring that food is securely stored and that surroundings are clean. Also, look for nesting material such as shredded paper or fabric. Install barn owl nesting boxes to naturally control rodents.

Outdoor Recommendations: 

  • Don’t plant ivy — it provides shelter and a food source for rodents: snails and slugs. Ivy on walls can form “rat ladders” to windows, attics and other interior spaces.
  • Keep compost piles as far away from structures as possible and grass cut to no more than two inches tall.
  • Maintain at least a 2 foot space between bushes, shrubs, fences, and buildings. Also, remove tree limbs within 3 feet of a structure or roof.
  • Avoid having a birdfeeder since it provides a source of food for rodents.
  • Keep outdoor grills and cooking areas clean.
  • Keep firewood off the ground and as far away from structures as possible to mitigate shelter opportunities.
  • Use city-issue plastic trash bins. If cracked or missing a lid, contact the Department of Sanitation for a replacement.

Indoor Recommendations:

  • Encase all food items such as breakfast cereals, chips, and crackers in containers.
  • Opt for garbage bins and compost containers with a top that seals tightly.
  • Rinse food and beverage containers before discarding or recycling.
  • Clean your garbage and recycling bins frequently.
  • Do not leave pet food or water out overnight.
  • Maintain stove tops clean and free of food scraps.
  • De-clutter your home of papers, fabric, and any similar materials that attract rodents for nesting.
  • Repair leaky pipes.
  • Seal entry points around cabinets, interior walls, attic, and crawl spaces with steel wool, caulk, or 1/4″ x 1/4″ metal mesh.
  • Maintain attic, crawl spaces, and cabinets near sinks clean and free of moisture.

Promote Natural Predators

Natural predators such as snakes, hawks, and owls can help to control rodent populations by feeding on rats and mice. Barn owls are efficient hunters and a family of barn owls can eat as many as 3000 mice per year. To encourage barn owls to nest and stay in your area, consider installing a nesting box. Strategic placement of nesting boxes combined with the use of traps and other preventative measures will go a long way to managing your rodent problems.

For more information on installing and maintaining nesting boxes, visit the Hungry Owl Project or theBarn Owl Box Company. Please note that the Hungry Owl Project strongly urges that NO rodent poisons be used indoors or outdoors while encouraging owls to your property. Using rodent poisons could kill an owl if it feeds on a poisoned rodent.

Treating Rodent Infestations

If you confirm that rats or mice are present in your home, you will need to use a combination of preventative measures and treatment options to get rid of them. The preventative measures include, removing food, water, shelter, and access to your home. This section will focus on the treatment options available and provide an overview of traps.

Summary of Rodent Control Recommendations

Rodent_Control_Summary

Types of Traps

Benefits of Using Traps

Using traps instead of rodent poisons gives you clear confirmation of a captured rodent and allows you to better gauge the effectiveness of treatment. You are also able to dispose of rodents immediately rather than dealing with the foul odor of rotting carcasses from poisoned rodents inside your walls or otherwise out of reach. Most important, using traps allows you to avoid rodenticides, which pose a greater threat of exposure to children, pets, and non-target wildlife, including natural predators.

 

Traps
Description
Snap Trap This is the oldest type of trap and uses a spring-loaded bar to kill a rodent on contact. Some modern snap traps prevent risk to children and pets by enclosing the device in a plastic box. 
Electronic Trap This battery-powered trap delivers an electric shock that kills rodents quickly. This is a newer type of trap, and models are available for both rats and mice.
Live-Animal Trap This is a catch and release system that avoids killing a rat or mouse. Some states prohibit releasing rodents into the wild. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that captured rats or mice might urinate and increase risk of spreading disease.
Multiple-Catch Live Mouse Trap This is a catch and release system that allows for capture of multiple mice. See warnings for the live animal trap above.
Glue Trap Glue traps are not recommended because the adhesive plate that is used to capture rodents can also trap birds, baby animals, lizards, and even pets. These traps also cause undue suffering to rodents. The CDC warns that captured rats or mice might urinate and increase the risk of spreading disease.

Enclosure boxes are plastic boxes that can fit a single snap trap, sometimes more, in order to provide an additional layer of protection for kids and pets. These boxes also hide the dead rodent, making for easier disposal of rodent, and can be re-used.

When using traps, take the following safety steps:

  • Always read and follow the label instructions on the rodent control product.
  • Be sure to place traps in locations where children and pets cannot access them or place traps in safety enclosure boxes.

Cleaning up after trapping rodents

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following safety tips:

  • Use gloves when disposing of dead rodents, nests, or any nesting material.
  • Spray the dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant solution and allow them to soak for 5 minutes before disposing rodent or materials in a secure plastic bag.
  • Spray and wipe up the area surrounding dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant.
  • Place the plastic bag with rodent or nesting material into another plastic bag along with any wipes or rags that were used to sanitize the surrounding area.
  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Review all your options before deciding on a treatment plan. If you decide to work with a pest control professional, be sure the company uses proper Pest Management techniques.

Achieving Success

Preventing and treating rodent infestations requires a combination of eliminating access points rats and mice might use to enter your home, removing food sources and shelter that attract rodents, and using traps to get rid of existing rats and mice in or around your home.Using a multi-tactic approach to manage rodents decreases the risk of dealing with future infestations since a significant piece of the puzzle is adopting preventative measures such as blocking access and eliminating food and water sources that attract rats and mice.

 

Rodenticides

Rodenticides consist of different types of poisons used to kill rodents. Rodenticide baits can be lethal for any mammal or bird that ingests them and are not only poisonous for rodents. As a result, all baits pose a high risk of poisoning for non-target animals that might eat the bait or consume a poisoned rat or mouse.

If you choose to use rodenticides, you should be ready to deal with these potential consequences:

  • Rodents are likely to die in locations where they cannot be retrieved. The smell of a dead animal will persist for several weeks to several months.
  • If you or your neighbors have cats or dogs, they may die or become acutely ill from eating poisoned rodents.
  • Predatory birds like hawks, eagles and owls, and mammalian predators such as foxes and coyotes may die from eating poisoned rodents or a rodenticide bait.
  • Children are at risk of accidental poisoning since they might mistake the rodenticide bait for candy or food.

If after assessing the risks to children, pets, and wildlife of using rodenticides, you still determine that rodenticides are necessary, take these precautionary steps to reduce risk:

  • Always read and follow the label instructions on the pesticide product. The label is the law and you could be liable for any damage resulting from not following the label instructions.
  • Use only US EPA approved products that are sold and used with tamper resistant bait stations to protect children, pets, and wildlife. See US EPA’s list of rodenticide bait station products here.
  • Indoors, only place rodenticide bait stations in locations that are completely inaccessible to children and pets—inside walls, under heavy appliances, or in enclosed crawlspaces.
  • To protect wildlife, consumer-use rodenticide bait products must not contain the second-generation anticoagulants (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone) as active ingredients (US EPA).
  • Once all signs of rodents are gone, remove bait stations promptly by placing in a secure plastic bag.
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Pets And Rodenticides - Keep Pets Safe

The best way to prevent an accidental rodenticide poisoning is to eliminate the risk of exposure in the first place. Many safe and cost-effective solutions can ensure that your home remains rodent-free and that your pets stay safe. 

Tips on Protecting Pets that Spend Time Outdoors

  • Ask immediate neighbors if they use rodenticides and offer alternative solutions. If they do use rodenticides, ask them if they use tamper-resistant bait boxes. However, tamper-resistant bait boxes will not protect pets from secondary poisoning.
  • For dogs, make sure your fencing does not have gaps that make bait stations in neighboring yards accessible.
  • For cats, consider installing a fence that is specific for cats to decrease odds of your cat consuming poisoned rodents from neighboring yards. However, be aware that a poisoned rodent may enter your yard and poses a threat to any animal that consumes it.
  • If you have had issues with neighbors complaining about your pet, stay alert and try to maintain an open dialogue. If you observe strange behavior from someone or find suspicious food products, contact your vet or ASPCA at (888) 426-4435. Also preserve a sample of any suspicious-looking material for authorities to test.

Risks_Pets_Collage

If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to rodenticides, take immediate action and contact your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435*

Pets And Rodenticides

Dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals are all too commonly exposed to toxic rodenticide baits. Sadly, these chemicals make the top-ten list of toxins responsible for pet poisonings, according to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The US EPA states that more than 100 pet deaths are reported each year from exposure to rodenticides.

Rodenticides are not only poisonous for rodents. Rodent baits can be lethal to any mammal or bird that ingests them or feeds on a poisoned rodent. That’s why controlling rodents with rodenticide baits puts pets at high risk of becoming ill or dying – either through direct ingestion (primary poisoning) or by eating poisoned rodents (secondary poisoning).

Safeguarding your home from rats, mice, and other rodents doesn’t require the use of potentially hazardous poisons. Safe, effective, and affordable solutions can help you rodent-proof your home while ensuring the health of your pets.

The following sections offer an overview of how rodenticides work, how pets are exposed, emergency measures if a pet is exposed, and methods to prevent poisonings.

Rodenticides

Rodenticides can often be lethal to dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Depending on the product’s active ingredient, some baits can pose a higher risk to specific animals.

Rodenticide_Attribution_Genista_Flicker

Rodenticides vary by type and potency and are grouped by how they work. For example, anticoagulant rodenticides work by preventing the blood from clotting. Therefore, poisoned mammals (or birds) die by bleeding out. Find out more on different types of rodenticides from the National Pesticide Information Center’s (NPIC) fact sheet. It’s important to understand the risks of different rodent baits since some may be more lethal to your pet than others.

There is a further distinction between the first type of anticoagulants developed and newer types. First-generation anticoagulants are metabolized more rapidly and are less acutely toxic than the newer, more potent second-generation rodenticides (SGARs), which are largely responsible for pet poisonings. Treating pets poisoned by SGARs is also more difficult and expensive, and pets must be under veterinary supervision for a longer period of time. So, while all baits pose a high risk of poisoning, SGARs are more toxic and have a higher risk of poisoning for pets and other non-target animals that feed on poisoned rodents.

Your Pet’s Exposure To Rat And Mouse Poison

Don’t underestimate your dog or cat’s ability to access rodenticides baits that are placed in seemingly secure, out-of-reach locations. The misconception that your pet will not be able to find or chew through a secure bait station results in thousands of pets being poisoned every year, averaging over 100 pet deaths annually. Additionally, many rat and mouse poisons are formulated with food grade ingredients meant to attract rodents that can also end up attracting curious dogs, cats, or other animals.

Sick_puppyXSmall

For pets that spend unsupervised time outdoors, it’s important to be aware that they can be exposed to rodenticides if neighbors or others use rodenticides to control rodents. Additionally, dogs and cats are sometimes intentionally fed rat poisons by people intent on harming a particular animal.

It’s important to always be aware of the risks, even if you don’t use these chemicals.

Pet Poisonings

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a rodenticide, the ASPCA recommends first calling your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at (888) 426-4435.

ASPCA also recommends the following:

  • If you see or know that your pet has ingested rodenticide or has consumed a poisoned animal, take your pet to local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic.
  • If your pet is exhibiting severe symptoms such as seizures, unconsciousness, or breathing difficulties, call ahead and take your pet immediately to an emergency veterinary clinic.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center may apply a $65 consultation fee to your credit card.

Additional Suggestions:

  • Have the rodenticide package or name of the active ingredient handy to relay this information to the vet or animal poison control operator.
  • If you suspect that a pet has swallowed a rodenticide, check their mouth for bright colors as these poisons sometimes have indicator dyes that leave a stain around the mouth or in stool or vomit.
  • Also pay attention to changes such as loss of appetite or lethargy.

Common Symptoms

University of Illinois’s College of Veterinary Medicine identifies a range of symptoms that can appear in your pet. These symptoms may include lethargy, depression, weakness, trembling, drunken walk (ataxia), abnormal eye movement, paralysis, increased water intake, increased urination, bloody urine or a bloody nose, and gastrointestinal problems.

Source:

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Perched among the branches and needles of California's redwood forests are nestled wayfaring hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus). A migratory species capable of traveling hundreds of miles, hoary bats may wander throughout western North America before settling into California's north coast...to sleep.

While it's not unusual for some species of bat to migrate or other species to hibernate, it is unusual to find a species of bat that does both. Hoary bats are one of North America's largest bats at 5 inches in length and also one of the continent's most distinguished with its frosted fur for which it takes its name.

Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station have documented the first recorded evidence of hoary bats going into a state of torpor, or hibernation. Published earlier this month in Scientific Reports and just in time for National Bat Week, Oct. 24-31, "First Direct Evidence of Long-distance Seasonal Movements and Hibernation in a Migratory Bat" reports newly discovered behaviors in hoary bats.

"It's commonly assumed that species that migrate do so to reach areas that allow them to continue feeding and remain somewhat active throughout the winter," said lead author Ted Weller, an ecologist with the Forest Service. "But our findings surprised even our own research team by showing that hoary bats spend much of the winter in hibernation."

In September 2014, Weller and his colleagues tagged several bats within Humboldt Redwoods State Park with GPS tracking devices and another group of bats with a device that monitored light levels, body temperatures and activity, which allowed them to understand how bats responded to varying weather conditions.

"While such tracking and monitoring technology has existed for a while, it hasn't been until somewhat recently that these units were made small enough to be affixed to animals of this size," Weller said.

A month later, two of the GPS-equipped bats were recaptured and their data downloaded. One of the bats met the expected behavior of "site fidelity," with its longest single-day trek being about 4 miles from the initial capture site. The second bat was surprising in that it had produced multiple single-day treks ranging from 30 to 45 miles. However, it was the third bat recaptured several months later that produced the most intriguing behavior.

For the month of October, Bat VHF5 flew more than 600 miles, making a loop into southern Oregon, then into interior California, then over to the Nevada-California border, and then back again into interior California.

"It's hard to determine what led to such a journey," Weller said. "Was he seeking favorable temperatures and humidity for roosting and foraging? Was he trying to intercept females to mate with as they migrated to their wintering grounds?"

The monitoring devices attached to the other group of bats also offered new insights into the species. Two bats from that group were recaptured in spring, with one of the bat's devices having captured 224 days of data. Based on lowered body temperatures and inactivity, that bat exhibited the signs of being in a torpor state from November 2014 through April 2015, including a 40-day stretch without flying.

Which again leads researchers to the question: Why would a species capable of migrating hibernate? The answer could lie within the bats' roosting habitat.

"Hoary bats roost outside in trees as opposed to inside caves," Weller said. "It's possible that hoary bats are evolved to hibernate, but would freeze if they did so in their northern summer territories."

The Redwoods, in particular, are ideal in that they offer an environment with lots of shelter, cool temperatures and plenty of moisture to reduce the risk of dehydration.

Similar to other migratory species, understanding seasonal movements and wintering habits are essential for conservation efforts. And because most bat research is confined to summer when bats are most active, these findings are especially useful.

"This research has provided us with a valuable look into the lives of hoary bats rarely before seen, and until now, never before documented to this extent," Weller said. "Knowing more about their lives outside of the summer months will help us better understand what steps might best promote their conservation."  Source: /www.sciencedaily.com  This is a Hoary bat. Photo Credit: Ana Davidson

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Rodenticide Risk for Wildlife

Risks for Wildlife

Rodenticides are designed to kill mammals such as rats and mice. It should therefore come as no surprise that these products commonly poison non-target wildlife species. Numerous studies have documented harm to mammals and birds. Other vertebrate species, such as reptiles and amphibians, are also at risk. Most rodenticides work by disrupting the normal blood clotting or coagulation process so that dosed individuals suffer from uncontrolled bleeding or hemorrhaging. This hemorrhaging can occur spontaneously or from any cuts or scratches. Because internal hemorrhaging is difficult to spot, often the only indication of poisoning in exposed wildlife is that they are weak or listless. Signs of bleeding from the nose or mouth may be visible on occasion. Affected wildlife may be more likely to crash into structures or moving vehicles or to be killed by predators.  This makes these poisonings even more difficult to document.

Wildlife poisonings have been documented in over 25 wildlife species including: San Joaquin kit foxes, Pacific fishers, golden eagles, bald eagles, bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, gray foxes, red foxes, Cooper’s hawks, red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, kestrels, barn owls, great horned owls, long-eared owls, western screech owls, spotted owls, Swainson’s hawks, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, turkey vultures and crows.

Primary exposure and poisoning

Non-target wildlife species are often attracted to rodenticide baits. These are formulated to be tasty and alluring. This exposure can be reduced through a more careful placement and use of tamper-proof bait stations. Loose bait, whether pellets or poison grain, present the highest risk, the latter being particularly attractive to seed-eating birds and to many small mammal species.

Unfortunately, bait stations cannot stop all routes of exposure. House sparrows have been seen entering bait stations in urban environments. Other wildlife species may disturb and attempt to break in to bait stations. Cockroaches and other invertebrate species enter bait stations to feed. They are not affected by anticoagulant products but scatter bait material and carry the poison in their own bodies raising the potential for secondary poisoning.

Secondary exposure and poisoning

Rats and mice that feed on these baits can take several days to die. The poisoned rodents become increasingly weak, making them easy prey for predators.  Hungry raptors or other wildlife can receive a lethal dose when they feed on the poisoned rats and mice. This is tragic not merely because hawks, owls, foxes and other animals are dying, but because wildlife predators provide us with valuable rodent control services – unless of course we kill them first.

The biggest-selling rodenticides are of the so-called ‘second-generation’. These include compounds such as difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone and difethialone. Second-generation compounds were designed to kill rodents after a single feeding on bait. They are much more persistent than the first-generation compounds (warfarin, chlorophaninone, diphacinone) and clear very slowly from the body. In addition, second-generation rodenticides tend to be much more acutely toxic to non-target wildlife.

As a result, the second-generation compounds are much more likely to poison predatory wildlife that eat live prey or carrion – whether targeted mice and rats or other species. These compounds are causing innumerable casualties among owls and hawks, bobcats, fishers and other predators. Rodenticides may now be the single most important source of mortality for some wildlife species. Where second-generation compounds are used, entire food chains are contaminated. Residues are even detected in species that typically feed on birds rather than on rodents.

Distinguishing Between Exposure And Impact

Because food chains are contaminated with rodenticides in most inhabited parts of the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find owls, red tailed hawks or other birds of prey that do not carry residues of one or several rodenticide products. Many mammalian predators like foxes and fishers show similar levels of exposure to rodenticides.

Rodenticide residues tend to accumulate in the liver. This tissue can be used to monitor exposure in wildlife populations.  As one might expect, there has been a lot of discussion about how to interpret tissue concentrations in wildlife species.  Also, a number of important scientific questions remain on possible effects of low-level residues in livers such as the following:

  • What important physiological processes are impaired by low level rodenticide exposure; for example, a link between disease (mange) and rodenticide exposure has already been documented in mountain lions.
  • Whether exposed wildlife are more likely to hemorrhage than animals who have not previously been exposed to rodenticides following re-exposure with the same or different rodenticide products.

Finally, surveillance networks are reporting an increasing number of wildlife fatalities with an apparent rodenticide involvement, whether large carnivores or birds of prey. Diagnosis can sometimes be difficult, especially when the individuals have been struck by moving vehicles or have experienced other forms of traumatic injury.

Use Of Rodenticides For Conservation Purposes

Despite the known harms to wildlife of rodenticides use, rodenticides have played an important role in controlled restoration programs to reduce or eliminate non-native rodent species. These controlled restoration programs are conducted by wildlife experts as a last resort and usually occur on islands where native seabirds or their young and eggs are taken by mice or rats or where rodent invaders are completely changing the natural environment of these fragile places. The terrain on these islands is often difficult, making other control methods impossible. Complete eradication is necessary for a program to be successful.  Impacts on desirable species are often seen in these eradication programs. This is weighed against the long term benefits of rodent eradication in terms of preserving natural biodiversity and protecting what are often rare and declining species. Permitting systems are in place to try to ensure the minimum amount of unacceptable impacts.

References

 

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Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City's concrete jungle, and some now have a practical purpose: They're helping curb the city's rat population.

A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. The goal is to return them to their home territory, but some end up in areas rife with rats.

Feline rat patrols keep watch over city delis and bodegas, car dealerships and the grounds of a Greenwich Village church. Four cats roam the loading dock at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where food deliveries and garbage have drawn rodents for years.

"We used to hire exterminators, but nature has a better solution," said Rebecca Marshall, the sustainability manager at the 1.8-million-square-foot center. "And cats don't cost anything."

About 6,000 volunteers have completed workshops where they've learned proper ways to trap cats.

The program is run through the privately funded Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters. It estimates as many as half a million feral and stray cats roam New York's five boroughs.

The life of a street cat is a tough one. Some are former pets, abandoned by owners. Plenty die of disease and malnutrition or are hit by vehicles. Others ingest poisoned cat food — set deliberately to get rid of them, cat advocates say.

Many of the animals are displaced as a result of New York's development, with new construction creating perilous conditions for those that once inhabited the city's nooks and crannies, from vacant lots, decaying factories and empty warehouses.

One colony of two dozen cats living in a lot on Manhattan's West Side are about to be displaced by construction on a new $3 billion office tower. A City Council member is working with residents and developers to make sure the creatures are moved to a safe location.

The Javits Center's quartet of cats — Sylvester, Alfreda, Mama Cat and Ginger — were lured to its 56 loading docks about two years ago with pet food brought by animal-loving employees. On a recent fall morning, Sylvester stationed himself next to a commercial truck, ready to pounce if needed.

The cats are predators but don't necessarily kill rats. Instead, experts say the feline scent and droppings repel the rodents.

"A mother rat will never give birth near a predator because the cats would eat the babies," said Jane Hoffman, president of the mayor's alliance.

The cat population is controlled through spaying and neutering, provided free of charge by the Humane Society of New York and the ASPCA. In most cases, adoption is out of the question for feral cats because they are just too wild to be domesticated.

Thanks to the volunteers, says Marshall, "we're protecting wildlife in the city, and the cats get a second chance at life." Source: http://abcnews.go.com

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