Resistance as a factor in environmental exposure of anticoagulant rodenticides: a modelling approach
Daniells, L., Buckle, A. P. and Prescott, C. (2011) Resistance as a factor in environmental exposure of anticoagulant rodenticides: a modelling approach. In: 8th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, 26-30 September 2011, Berlin, Germany, pp. 58-59. (In Press) (Proceedings of the 8th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference)
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Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) resistance in Norway rat populations has been a problem for fifty years, however its impact on non-target species, particularly predatory and scavenging animals has received little attention. Field trials were conducted on farms in Germany and England where resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides had been confirmed. Resistance is conferred by different mutations of the VKORC1 gene in each of these regions: tyrosine139cysteine in Germany and leucine120glutamine in England. A modelling approach was used to study the transference of the anticoagulants into the environment during treatments for Norway rat control. Baiting with brodifacoum resulted in lower levels of AR entering the food chain via the rats and lower numbers of live rats carrying residues during and after the trials due to its lower application rate and efficacy against resistant rats. Bromadiolone and difenacoum resulted in markedly higher levels of AR uptake into the rat population and larger numbers of live rats carrying residues during the trials and for long periods after the baiting period. Neither bromadiolone nor difenacoum provided full control on any of the treated farms. In resistant areas where ineffective compounds are used there is the potential for higher levels of AR exposure to non-target animals, particularly predators of rats and scavengers of rat carcasses. Thus, resistance influences the total amount of AR available to non-targets and should be considered when dealing with rat infestations, as resistance-breakers may present a lower risk to wildlife.