Effective Rodent Control with Bromadiolone and Vitamin D

Jenn Hoskins
23rd April, 2024

Effective Rodent Control with Bromadiolone and Vitamin D

Key Findings

  • In Punjab, India, a study tested lower-dose rodent baits combining bromadiolone and cholecalciferol
  • The new bait was more effective at controlling rodents in wheat, rice, and sugarcane crops than standard treatments
  • This combination could reduce the risk of secondary poisoning and manage rodent resistance better
Rodent infestations in agricultural settings are a persistent issue causing considerable damage to crops such as wheat, rice, and sugarcane. To combat this, chemical rodent control is often employed due to its practicality and cost-effectiveness. However, the use of these chemicals can have unintended consequences, such as the poisoning of non-target species and the development of rodent resistance to the poisons used. A recent study by researchers at Punjab Agricultural University[1] has explored a novel approach to this problem by testing a combination of two chemicals, bromadiolone and cholecalciferol, in bait formulations at lower doses than what is currently recommended. Bromadiolone is an anticoagulant rodenticide, meaning it prevents the blood from clotting, leading to the death of the rodent. Cholecalciferol, on the other hand, is a form of vitamin D3 that, in high doses, can lead to hypercalcemia, causing organ damage and, ultimately, death. The combination of these two chemicals in bait aims to enhance the effectiveness of rodent control while potentially mitigating some of the associated risks. This study is significant as it is the first to conduct multi-site, multi-crop trials to evaluate the effectiveness of these synergistic bait formulations. The researchers compared the new formulations containing lower doses of bromadiolone (0.0025 and 0.001%) and cholecalciferol (0.02 and 0.04%) against the standard treatments of zinc phosphide (2.0%) and bromadiolone (0.005%). Previous studies have highlighted issues with current rodent control measures. For instance, research has shown that the use of anticoagulant rodenticides like bromadiolone can result in non-target small mammals being poisoned and potentially spreading the poison to predators and scavengers[2]. This is concerning for biodiversity and the health of ecosystems. Moreover, there has been a growing concern about rodents developing resistance to these poisons, with reports from around the world, including India, where no genetic resistance to bromadiolone was found in house rats, despite behavioral resistance observed in feeding and blood clotting response tests[3]. Another study found that adding cholecalciferol to brodifacoum, a different anticoagulant rodenticide, resulted in a significant reduction in bait consumption by Norway rats without compromising control success, even in populations with a high proportion of anticoagulant-resistant rats[4]. This suggests that cholecalciferol could play a role in managing resistant rodent populations while also potentially reducing the environmental impact by lowering the amount of poison needed. The findings of the Punjab Agricultural University study could have significant implications for the way rodent pests are managed in agriculture. If the new bait formulations prove to be as effective as the current standards, they could offer a more sustainable approach to rodent control. By using lower doses of bromadiolone and incorporating cholecalciferol, the risk of secondary poisoning to non-target animals could be reduced, and the issue of resistance could be managed more effectively. The methods used in this study involved assessing the efficacy of the different bait formulations in protecting crops from rodent damage. The researchers would have conducted a controlled release of the baits across various agricultural sites, monitoring rodent activity and crop damage before and after the application of the baits. The success of the treatments would be measured by the reduction in rodent activity and the protection of crop yield. This research ties together the concerns raised in earlier studies about the environmental impact of rodenticides and the challenges of resistance. The innovative approach of combining lower doses of bromadiolone with cholecalciferol could address these issues, offering a more balanced solution to the problem of rodent control in agriculture. As the world looks for more sustainable pest management strategies, such research is crucial in developing methods that are both effective and environmentally conscious.



Main Study

1) Efficacy of combined formulation of bromadiolone and cholecalciferol in reducing rodent population and damage in agricultural crop fields

Published 22nd April, 2024


Related Studies

2) Exposure of non-target small mammals to anticoagulant rodenticide during chemical rodent control operations.


3) Studies on bromadiolone resistance in Rattus rattus populations from Punjab, India.


4) The stop-feed effect of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and the efficacy of brodifacoum combined with cholecalciferol in Y139C-resistant Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus).


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