If youre interested in rodent control and, lets face it most pest professionals will spend a fair proportion of their time dealing with rodent problems, then there are three workshop sessions in the afternoon of PestTech that should be well worth hearing.
Beginning at 13.15 in the Crows Nest suite, Dr Dougie Clarke from the University of Huddersfield will be updating us on progress with the rodenticide resistance ‘rats’ tails’ project. Speaking to Pest+this week, Dougie explained how the project is being expanded to encompass counties rather than those specific transepts that it started with.
Readers may recall that there were some very particular geographical locations that the project wanted to look at so, if you were working outside these, then you simply couldn’t get involved. But that’s changing, so, if you are at all concerned about resistance, go along to the session and find out how you can now take part and if you are in the right county send in your rat’s tails. This is essential research and if the project doesn’t get enough support from pest controllers i.e. enough rats’ tails to analyse, then we are in danger of losing the benefit of all the work put in so far.
Having listened to the ”rats’ tails” report you might want to stay on as Professor Jane Hurst from the University of Liverpool will follow Dougie at 13.45 with a presentation on some exciting new research into the scent signals of mice and rats. Jane and her team at Liverpool are working with scientists from the Hertfordshire-based agricultural research organisation, Rothamsted Research, to investigating the scent signal mechanisms that rodents use to navigate around their habitat, communicate with each other and reproduce, with the aim of finding ways to use these signals to monitor and manipulate rodent behaviour.
This £4.7 million multi-disciplinary research programme to address the global challenge of rodent control is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Rodents are a serious threat to global food security as well as a public health pest. Globally just a 5% reduction in the damage that rodents cause to cereal harvests could help feed one third of all undernourished people worldwide.
Still sticking with rodents Dr Alan Buckle from the Rodenticide Resistance Action Group (RRAG) follows Professor Hurst at 14.30 with anticoagulant resistance in the house mouse as his topic. Readers of Pest magazine will already have seen the article on resistance in house mice in our current edition but it is always useful to hear something ‘direct from the horse’s mouth’ – Dr Buckle is the author of the new RRAG guidelines on this topic. So make the most of the chance to hear from one of the country’s leading rodenticide experts and go along and ask your questions.