Efficacy of management and monitoring methods to prevent post‐harvest losses caused by rodents

Krijger, Inge M.; Gort, Gerrit; Belmain, Steven R.; Groot Koerkamp, Peter; Shafali, Rokeya B.; Meerburg, Bastiaan G.


The presence of pest rodents around food production and storage sites is one of many underlying problems contributing to food contamination and loss, particularly influencing food and nutrition security in low‐income countries. By reducing both pre‐ and post‐harvest losses by rodents, millions of food‐insecure people would benefit. As there are limited quantitative data on post‐harvest rice losses due to rodents, our objectives were to assess stored rice losses in local households from eight rural communities and two rice milling factories in Bangladesh and to monitor the effect of different rodent control strategies to limit potential losses. Four treatments were applied in 2016 and 2017, (i) untreated control, (ii) use of domestic cats, (iii) use of rodenticides, (iv) use of snap‐traps. In total, over a two‐year period, 210 rodents were captured from inside people’s homes, with Rattus rattus trapped most often (n = 91), followed by Mus musculus (n = 75) and Bandicota bengalensis (n = 26). In the milling stations, 68 rodents were trapped, of which 21 were M. musculus, 19 R. rattus, 17 B. bengalensis, 8 Rattus exulans, and 3 Mus terricolor. In 2016, losses from standardised baskets of rice within households were between 13.6% and 16.7%. In 2017, the losses were lower, ranging from 0.6% to 2.2%. Daily rodent removal by trapping proved to be most effective to diminish stored produce loss. The effectiveness of domestic cats was limited.