DTY Rodent Management
Bait Basics: It’s the Point!


Mice and rats may be present wherever food and shelter are. Resources dictate population density. Under favorable conditions, a pair of mice can produce more than 2,000 offspring per year, and a pair of rats 200 per year. With a gestation period of 21 days, populations can explode where control does not exist.

Most pest management professionals (PMPs) have worked with rodenticide products. However, much like a doctor may conduct an exam, diagnose a disease and prescribe a medication treatment, a PMP may conduct an inspection or survey, assess a rodent infestation and prescribe a rodenticide treatment.

Always record quantity of bait and location (bait point).
  • Draw or obtain a site plan identifying pestiferous areas, and keep it on file
  • Maintain a record of all bait points and bait quantities during treatment
  • Note activity at each bait point
  • Note any missing or disturbed baits
Accuracy is important when you’re calculating the number of bait points, and as always, you should read, understand and follow product label directions. Using the correct number of bait points allows more efficient rodent control, once you understand and calculate:
  • Size and frequency of bait points
  • Product directions for bait replenishment
  • Proper disposal of spoiled bait
  • Number of visits to the site
Never leave bait exposed to non-target animals.
  • Bait station design and construction should be appropriate to the environment
  • Bait stations should be robust, and protect baits from dust and rain
  • Bait stations should be tamper-resistant
  • Bait stations should be placed as to not be an attractive nuisance or hazard
  • Bait stations should sufficiently protect bait from non-target animals
  • Bait stations should provide access to bait by rodents
Switch from treatment to census.
  • If risk assessment allows bait points only during rodent activity, records should signify infestation control
  • Toxic bait points should be switched to non-toxic census bait points
  • Maintain a record of all census points and census bait quantities during treatment
  • Note activity at each census bait point
  • Note any missing or disturbed census baits
Collect and dispose of rodent carcasses.
  • Rodent carcasses may carry rodenticide residues, insects and pathogens
  • During bait point treatment, conduct regular searches for rodent carcasses
  • Carcasses may be found up to 300 feet or more from bait points
  • Dispose of carcasses per the product label (recognizing that dead rodents are a significant biohazard)
The public health and economic losses resulting from pestiferous rodents are enormous. Commensal rodent control should be given high priority. Knowing, practicing and understanding bait basics will result in more optimal outcomes. It’s the point!

Stuart Mitchell, DVM, BCE, is an entomologist, veterinarian, and a regular contributor to Pest Management Professional's Direct to You series.

PMP’s Direct To You provides pest management professionals with educational refreshers on timely and critical topics essential to operational success. This content is not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice where you live. Look for the content-rich PMP Direct To You archives at mypmp.net/direct-to-you-archive.

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