Toxic baits are often used to reduce the damage caused by Norway rats and house mice . Bait stations used in rodent control programs increase both the effectiveness and safety of rodent baits (rodenticides). |
Bait stations are useful because they:
* protect bait from moisture and dust; * provide a protected place for rodents to feed, allowing them to feel more secure and consume more bait; * keep nontarget species, including pets, livestock, wildlife, and children away from toxic baits; * allow bait to be placed in otherwise difficult locations given weather or potential hazards to nontarget animals; * help prevent accidental spillage; and * offer the applicator easy access to bait, making it easier to determine the amount of bait consumed by rodents, and to refill.
To protect people and nontarget species, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that a commercially produced bait station meet eight safety criteria before it receives the designation "tamper resistant." Tamper resistant stations must be:
1. Resistant to destruction or weakening by weather. 2. Strong enough to prohibit entry or destruction by dogs or children under 6 years of age using their hands, feet or objects. 3. Capable of being locked or sealed. 4. Equipped with rodent entrances that readily allow target animals access to baits but deny access to larger animals and birds. 5. Capable of being anchored (and must be anchored when used). 6. Equipped with internal structures for containing baits and minimizing spillage and tracking of bait outside of the station or into readily accessible parts of the station. 7. Made of design and color not especially attractive to children. 8. Capable of displaying precautionary statements in a prominent location.
To meet the variety of demands for rodent control, manufacturers have developed designs for several bait stations. The designs are based on whether the station needs to:
* target rats or mice, * contain solid (pellets and block) or liquid bait, * sustain indoor or outdoor use, * resist tampering, * hold traps (snap and glue)
Proper placement of bait stations is just as important as using the appropriate bait. Rats and mice will not visit bait stations, regardless of their contents, if they are not conveniently located in areas where rodents are active. When possible, place the stations between the rodents' food supply and their shelter. Position bait stations near rodent burrows, against walls, and along their travel routes. Look for signs of activity such as droppings, gnawing, tracks, and rubmarks to help identify sites to place bait stations. Rodents usually will not go out of their way to find baits.
If you prefer to construct your own bait station, it is strongly recommended that you consider the safety of nontarget species and strive to meet the federally mandated safety standards. Use sturdy materials to prevent damage to the station. Where children and livestock are present, the station should prevent unauthorized access and/or removal of the toxicant
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