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think it’s because they are feeding on dog food that has been fortified with vitamin K and it’s counteracting the rodenticide bait I have been applying. What do you think?


poisoning with anticoagulant baits, since vitamin K3 is not as effective at reversing the acute effects of anticoagulants. However, the levels of vitamin K in processed pet foods are typically not high enough to counteract the effects of anticoagulant baits. At best, increased levels may slow the onset of lethal symptoms, but the end result will be the same. I do suspect however that the rodent’s diet may have


Q A


something to do with the challenges you are encoun- tering with your control efforts. The abundance of competing food sources may be limiting the effectiveness of your baiting program. If you haven’t done so already, make recommendations to your client about promptly cleaning up spilled food. If they don’t already have a deep cleaning schedule, suggest that they develop a plan to periodically disassemble shelving and clean food debris that may have become hidden inside or underneath. Additionally, you should consider a trapping


program to “knock down” the population quickly. Traditional snap traps are one of the most effective ways to remove large numbers of mice in a short period of time. Consider placing multiple snap traps in all of the areas that droppings or mouse activity has been observed. In public areas of the store, you may need to wait until after hours to place the trap then remove them early the next morning. Remember to use plenty of traps. If there are 100 mice in the ac- count and you only place 50 traps, the best you can do is catch 50% the first night. You might also consider baiting the traps with non-food items that might be attractive as nesting material like a small bit of yarn or a cotton ball. As for food baits, try using their normal food (dog chow) and some novel baits, like chocolate, peanut butter or anything else that the mice may not have encountered recently.


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You are correct; vitamin K1 is a treatment for anticoagulant poisoning. Vitamin K1 is the preferred method of treatment for


I have been battling a mouse infestation inside a pet food store for months and I don’t seem to be getting control. I


won’t let me use bait in her home for fear of a mouse dying inside a wall void and causing an odor. What can I do to convince her that rodenticides are ok to use?


a rodent to get thirsty, go outside seeking water, and consequently die outdoors. Instead, rodents, including rats and mice, will typically return to their nests to die. If the nest is inside a wall void or underneath a cabinet, the rodent will die in the house. If the rodent is entering the home for food, then returning to its burrow or nest outside, it will most likely die outdoors. As you know, in pest management, there are always exceptions to the rules. I once received a phone call from a customer who observed a mouse stagger to the middle of the dining room floor before expiring, in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. The bottom line is this: you never know where the rodent’s final resting place will be. Having said that, the risk of a dead mouse odor


Q A


is real, but it’s a minimal risk. Consider that typi- cal pest management firm controls hundreds, if not thousands of mice during the course of a year. How many of those result in an odor complaint? Only a small percentage, right? However, the probability of a dead mouse causing an odor in a home increases as the rodent population in the structure increases. This is caused not only from mice consuming baits, but also because over time mice will expire from natural causes too. Let your customer know that the prob- ability of a bad odor is low if a problem is dealt with early, ignoring the problem will only increase the likelihood of bad odors in the future.


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I applaud your efforts to dispel a time- honored myth about rodenticide baits. You are right, anticoagulant baits do not cause


Ever since I explained to my client that rodenticide baits do not cause mice to leave the structure to seek water, she


MARCH/APRIL 2011 PESTWORLD 25


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