Trapping to Estimate Rodent Populations: A Demonstration Project
The protocol used to estimate the number of rodents in a swine facility is from the Pennsylvania Egg Quality Assurance Program (PEQAP). The protocol has been adjusted for use with swine facilities. An infrared camera was used to see the rate of infestation. By using both methods to estimate the severity of the problem, the confidence of the protocol was raised. Dr. Karsten, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Sciences at Kirkwood, stated that mice were very seldom seen. Evidence of mouse droppings and chewing on paint sticks was observed. At the Kirkwood facility no mice were filmed with the infrared camera and no mice were trapped. At a producer’s farm, the manager stated that mice are seen during the day and he stated that the feeders show signs of mouse droppings. When the lights are turned on, many mice are scrambling to hide. The infrared camera filmed up to seven mice per feeder. Fortythree mice were trapped at day 3 and 29 more by day 7, for a total of 72 mice trapped. Estimating rodent infestation with the Tin Cat rodent traps appears to be an effective estimation method. The Mississippi State visual estimation is a good indicator for assessing a need to check for rodent infestations. The “Robo-Rat” works for visual evaluation, but is not a practical on farm tool for assessing rodent populations.