One of the most important rodent pest management activities involves regular inspection of rodent presence and activities in crop fields and storage areas before embarking on any type of rodent management program. The best time to do so in both fields and storage areas is during the rodent's period of peak activity, often during the dusk and dawn.
The main areas of focus of inspection are those that may provide food, water, or harbourage (vegetation, fences, hedgerows, refuse, wood piles, stone piles, storage areas, animal feed, waterways, garages, cupboards, and closets) and potential entry points (windows, door thresholds, utility lines, rooftops, etc.).
The methods we use (camera trapping, rhodamine dye, CMR, pitfall trapping and tracking tiles) provide useful information on species occurrence for correct taxonomic determination. Photos of the rodents, footprints, droppings, and other indirect evidence could be very useful to compare with taxonomic identification keys for species in the country or local regions. These data could be sent to rodent experts for correct taxonomic identification.
Why correct identification of locally occurring species is necessary? Correct (expert) species taxonomic identification is necessary since it will then be easy to get information from the literature or internet or experts on the species’ key behavioural and biological characteristics. It would help answer vital questions, such as, is it a known pest species or a transient? Is it a day active or a night active species? What does it like to feed on? How and where does it like to shelter? Is it a burrowing or non-burrowing species? When does it reproduce? When does its population increase/decrease? This information is the foundation for building up a successful rodent management strategy.
The Rodent Green team has extensive experience in a diverse range of survey, inspection and management methods. This will be the first step when we embark on an assignment, in collaboration with the client we will fine-tune what type of inspection is needed and specify the proxies to be investigated.