In his presentation to a packed audience at Disinfestando 2013 in Rimini, Italy, Dario Capizzi from the Regional Park Agency of Rome, announced details of a forthcoming study designed to evaluate the level of rodenticide anticoagulant resistance in Italy. To date, there is no scientific data available in Italy on this issue.
Reports from practical pest controllers of poor control with the established range of rodenticides are widespread throughout Italy – in particular with bromadiolone when used for both Norway rat and house mouse control. Anecdotal reports of rodenticide resistance go back as far as the 1980s, yet to date, there has been no scientific attempt to quantify the problem.
As Dario explains: “For a market as large as Italy, it is strange there is no knowledge of the problem.” Likewise there is little, or no, recorded information in secondary poisoning with rodenticides in birds of prey. Whilst Dario suspects there may be some problem cases, the world at large in Italy seems to be both unaware and unconcerned.
Quite a difference to the position found within the UK. Another fundamental difference between the UK and Italy is the fact that the black rat (Rattus rattus) is the number one target rat, with the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) of secondary importance. To date, the majority of resistance testing has been performed on the Norway rat, begging the question – are the genetic mutations so far recorded for Norway rat going to be similar for the black rat?
Using the same DNA sequencing technology as developed by researchers in Germany, led by Dr Hans Joachim Pelz and used within the UK (click here to see), Dario announced that up to 100 tails, of both rats and mice, are to be collected in four or five study areas throughout Italy. The DNA testing is to be undertaken by colleagues at Rome University.
The project protocols are currently being drafted and it is proposed that funding is to come from ANID – or to be more precise – the rodenticide manufacturers within ANID.