Gerbils are one of the grain producer’s biggest enemies, but they can be managed effectively with the right methods without harming the environment. However, there are many ways in which legal rodenticides are abused and illegal pesticides harm the environment and its numerous gerbil predators.
Producers need to take note of the following:
- The scattering of zinc phosphide bait on the soil surface is ineffective and creates the risk of birds and other mammals picking up the bait and being poisoned.
- The scattering of wax-block bait or paste bait on the soil surface is also ineffective, as the sun can destroy it.
- It is illegal to mix bait yourself with carbofuran and grain, and it is also extremely dangerous.
- It is illegal to use rodenticides that are not registered for gerbils.
- Treating seed with carbofuran is illegal and it is also ineffective for controlling gerbils.
- It is illegal to treat seed with zinc phosphide and creates the risk that the seed will not germinate.
Rather do the following:
- Use only rodenticides registered for gerbils.
- Always place bait directly in the burrows and then seal the burrows, or place bait in plastic pipes close to the nests.
- Use natural rodent control by encouraging owls and raptors with suitable poles and hatching boxes.
Contact CropLife South Africa for a complimentary, complete gerbil management programme at firstname.lastname@example.org