Fluorescent non-toxic bait as a new method for black rat (<i>Rattus rattus</i>) monitoring

  • R. Aulický Crop Research Institute, Drnovská 507, Prague 6, Czech Republic.
  • M. Fraňková Crop Research Institute, Drnovská 507, Prague 6, Czech Republic.
  • P. Rödl National Institute of Public Health, Šrobárova 48, Prague 10, Czech Republic
  • B. Eliášová Departments of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, Prague 2, Czech Republic.
  • D. Frynta Departments of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, Prague 2, Czech Republic. Email: frynta@centrum.cz
  • V. Stejskal Crop Research Institute, Drnovská 507, Prague 6, Czech Republic

Abstract

The detection of synathropic rodents may be difficult since they are animals with nocturnal activity. Methods of their detection and monitoring rely mostly on indirect signs of their activity such as the presence of faeces, urine, consumed foods and damaged materials. Our experimental hypothesis was that the production of fluorescent faeces - following consumption of fluorescent bait - may be used for rodent monitoring. For this purpose we studied the production of fluorescent faeces, temporal dynamics and detectability in wild black rat (Rattus rattus). Wild black rats were individually housed in experimental cages with the wire-mesh grid floor and faeces were collected in short-time intervals. The peak of fluorescent activity in faeces was detected 10-20 hours after bait ingestion. We found that there is only relatively short delay between bait consumption and defecation and fluorescent faeces are easily detectable at distance using an ultraviolet hand lamp. Thus, this method can contribute to effective monitoring of rodent pests.

Keywords: Rattus rattus, Fluorescent bait, Monitoring, Rodent control
Veröffentlicht
2010-09-20