With plenty of rodent baiting going on wherever grain is being stored at this time of year, Geoff Booth says that Selontra® Soft Bait Rodenticide can help farmers solve an under-recognized problem: the accidental poisoning of cats, dogs and livestock.
“The tradition is that we have a bit of a helicopter approach to spreading bait,” explains Geoff, BASF’s Territory Manager for Otago and Southland. He thinks that has led to an ‘insidious’ problem that bait users are largely unaware of. “If a dog or cat has been out the back and eaten a poisoned rat, the farmers don’t know what’s happened. Farmers don’t generally get an autopsy on dead dogs.”
Selontra cuts the risk of accidental poisoning in two ways. “Your primary poisoning risk is massively reduced by the way Selontra is presented,” Geoff explains. “It must be used in a lockable bait station to ensure non-target animals can’t get at the bait.
“Then Selontra is metabolized really rapidly, so the risk of secondary poisoning is also much less. Even if pets and livestock do come into contact with the carcasses, they shouldn’t be affected.”
The amount of grain in storage has been rising because the dairy boom in Southland has coincided with a renewed focus on grain feeding. Add in all the grain stored by cereal growers after harvest and poultry and pork farmers, and Geoff believes it’s time to take a more strategic approach to rodent control.
“When you are choosing a bait, you’ve got to give really good thought to its safety profile as well as its effectiveness.”
Geoff says Selontra has been taken up enthusiastically by professional pest controllers and used in such sensitive locations as wildlife reserves. He thinks that endorsement by the experts should encourage more farmers to give it a try.
While he sees protecting non-target animals as the key reason to make the switch, he says Selontra offers at least two other big benefits. “It’s also more cost-efficient because there’s no wastage. Rats will store and stockpile anticoagulants, so you can go through bait without getting control. But Selontra has a stop-feed action: after 24 hours, they’ll have a lethal dose and stop eating. So that also helps you get a bit of a handle on how big the rat population is and how quickly you’re getting control.
“At a time when safety issues are becoming more of a focal point, Selontra is a solution farmers can confidently rely on to do the job properly and do the job right.”