Enhancement of poison bait acceptance through taste additives in short-tailed mole rat, Nesokia indica (Gray) infesting datepalm orchards in Nok-kundi and Mashkale in province Balochistan, Pakistan
This study was planned to enhance the poison bait acceptance in short-tailed mole rat, Nesokia indica (Gray) by using different food additives. Chemical control is the most effective method for rat control but only difficulty is that rodents shy rapidly the poison bait. To overcome the drawback of bait shyness and to save food from rodents, led to the development of highly palatable formulation using taste additives (bait enhancers). Ten taste additives namely dates, egg, milk powder, brown sugar, yeast, glycerin, animal fat, fish meal, sunflower oil and minced meat were incorporated 5% by weight individually in a bait base made of broken rice and wheat flour. Under no-choice test, rats showed more preference to date additive bait as compared to other additives. Under paired choice test (two feeds), baits with date, animal fat and milk powder were more preferred. Similar trends were recorded in multiple feed choice tests. Date additive bait, which showed the most preferred from choice tests significantly, enhanced the acceptability by 69.21% and 62.09% of bait containing brodifacoum and bromadialone. The study revealed that the addition of 5% date in poison bait can be useful in enhancing bait acceptance by rats, reducing colossal losses to date-palm.
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