Assessment of Bait Preference of Different Food Materials as a Bait by Selected Rodent Species (Rattus Rattus and Bandicota Bengalensis)
Rice is world’s second most important cereal crop following corn and it is a major crop cultivated in many countries including Sri Lanka. Loss of grains occur through various means including pests. Among them, rodents cause significant damage to a wide range of crops including rice throughout the world. Bandicota bengalensis is the most abundant species in rice fields and Rattus rattus species is the most common type of house rats. Trapping is a common strategy used for scientific studies as well as for controlling them. To achieve a better trap catch it is essential to identify the most preferred baits for rodents. Therefore, in this study thirteen food commodities were evaluated to be used as baits and experiment was laid down in a CRD design with 3 replicates. Fifty rats from each species were introduced into cages and their consumption of different food materials was recorded separately after 24 hours from the rat introduction based on the remaining food mass. Same procedure was repeated again. The results indicated that R. rattus preferred to eat roasted coconut, cooked raw rice, ripened banana, and cooked parboiled rice whereas B. bengalensis preferred to eat short grain paddy rice, cooked raw rice and short grain raw rice. Findings can be used to develop successful rodent baited traps based on the available rodent type in future rodent management practices.
Keywords - Baits, Rodent Control, Grain Losses, Bandicota Bengalensis, Rattus Rattus,