Rodent infestation poses a serious threat to smallholder farmers in both developed and developing countries where a large proportion of potential crop yield is lost. In Tanzania, the average annual yield loss of rice is estimated to be around 5–12%. Management of rodent pests in Africa relies mostly on the use of rodenticides which, however, are often applied only when damage has already occurred rather than routinely. Rodenticides used in this way are rarely economically and ecologically sustainable for managing rodents in irrigated rice. A “community-based Trap-Barrier-System (cTBS)” provides an alternative novel rodent control approach for controlling rodents in rice fields. This is basically a system where rodents are trapped in a rice field that is planted a short period earlier than the surrounding fields and therefore attracting rodents from a much wider area than the field itself. The system has proved very successful in irrigated rice fields in Tanzania, increasing rice yields in the intervention fields by 40.91%. A single cTBS can confer protection in up to 16 ha of irrigated rice field. Therefore, if scaled up and used widely, TBS has a great potential for managing rodent pests and improving yield in irrigated rice fields.
Part of the book: Pests Control and Acarology