Rodent Pest Management by Ishwar Parkash

Bibliographic Information:
Title: Rodent Pest Management
Editor: Ishwar Prakash
Edition: Illustrated
Publisher: CRC Press
Length: 491 pages
Size: 17.7 MB
Language: English

Rodents have been dreaded animals since the Vedic times. An indication of the ravages
done to granaries by these animals is found in one of the oldest (about 3000 B.C.)
Man's early efforts to control rodents are also evident from the pottery remains of mouse
traps dating from the Turanian civilization. However, serious thought was given to rodents
as carriers of diseases only during the early part of this century when rodent research
concentrated around epidemiological aspects, as was particularly warranted by the spread
of the bubonic plague. Rodents have been considered as serious agricultural pests only since
the Second World War. Drs. Dennis Chitty and H. N. Southern compiled research, carried
out in the U.K., on biology, behaviour, and toxicology in their three-volume treatise: Control
of Rats and Mice, published in 1954. Although this compendium was largely restricted to
commensal rodents such as Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus, and Mus musculus, it did
succeed in creating interest among scientists to carry out more intensive work to achieve
better success in the control of a large variety of rodent species. However, it is only recently
that rodent pests have received the proper attention of agriculturists as serious threats to
standing crops—probably as a result of the inordinate global increase in the human population
thus necessitating increased production of food grains. In the past few decades larger areas
have come under the plough, more irrigation facilities have been created, and high yielding
varieties of crops are being raised. In a way, however, the agricultural revolution has created
a more conducive environment for the survival of field rodents and their ravages have become
even more revealing.
As a direct consequence of the challenge posed by field rodents, research for ensuring
the protection of standing crops took shape. In several countries organizations were established,
and a few nations launched national programs for rodent pest management. During
the last few decades, scientists have shifted their emphasis from "eradication" to "control",
and, more recently, to "management" of rodent pests based on ecological principles.
The rodenticides industry has not lagged behind. The acute toxicants are being replaced
by anticoagulants, and now by the fast-acting second generation anticoagulants. The baiting
system is also changing from mixing the poison in food baits to the use of wax blocks.
International organizations have also been taking greater interest in rodent pest problems
and a number of seminars and training courses have been organized. Certain nations possessing
the know-how of the latest proven technologies have come forward to assist the
developing countries in standardizing technologies for minimizing losses due to rodents.
All these research efforts have created a great deal of knowledge about rodent pests, but
the information is scattered in various periodicals and proceedings of workshops and seminars.
It is time to compile the information in a single place. The objective of this multiauthored
the compendium is, therefore, to bring together the State of Arts Reports in one place,
written by specialists in various fields of rodentology, and to suggest future lines of research.
It is also felt that this work on rodent pest management will trigger more research effort for
the benefit of mankind and help certain countries and organizations in revitalizing serious
work in this field which, it appears, has dampened during the last few years.

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