Rat infestation in crops has been dealt with the crudest method of hunting and trapping to reliance on natural enemies to application of rodenticides and the present approach of IPM by combining baiting with biological control by a suitable predator. Sustainability is the key feature where rat pest is kept below the carrying capacity of the habitat avoiding harming nontarget animals and preserving the environment. Combining rodenticides with predators calls for a balancing act whereby the latter is not exposed in as much as possible to intoxication by the former through secondary poisoning. Long-term exposure to the first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (FGAR) has given rise to bait resistance, prompting the formulation of highly toxic second-generation rodenticides (SGAR) that may overcome resistance in rat but lead to bioaccumulation of rodenticide residues in the predator leading to lethal or sublethal effects on the latter, which defeats the purpose. Therefore, the choice of rodenticides and applications may bring out the desired effects for a sustainable rat control programme in combination with predators as natural enemies. This paper reports on a number of studies to achieve sustainable rat control programme by combining available rodenticide formulations with the natural propagation of barn owls Tyto javanica in oil palm plantation in Malaysia.
Part of the book: Owls