The primary goal of all pest control programs is the prevention and elimination of insects, rodents, free-flying birds, predators (i.e. raccoons and weasels) and other pests. Pests may introduce or maintain disease causing agents on a farm, kill or maim your birds and consume and contaminate animal feeds. Also many pests, like boring beetles and rodents, can destroy barn insulation, chew on electrical wiring and create serious fire hazards.
Good housekeeping and sanitation are central to pest control in all facilities. Chemical and physical pest control measures may be necessary in conjunction with proper sanitation, storage practices, insect and rodent proofing, and a regular maintenance program. An Integrated Pest Management program (IPM) is a requirement for a successful and productive operation. IPM is a system that makes use of several tools to manage pests and lessen their impact on your bird’s health. The first line of defense in an IPM program includes proper facility design and construction, regular facility maintenance, an organized and tidy environment and proper sanitation. Pesticides should be used only as a second line of defense. A facility that relies only on chemical control and does not focus on more basic preventive measures runs the risk of inadequate control, environmental damage, and non-target species effects.
A complete pest control program would have four key elements:
The following are recommended practices relating to pest control that enhance biosecurity on non-supply managed poultry operations:
Feed should be stored in clean, closed bins that prevent access by pests and prevent water and debris from entering.
Watch for droppings, rodent runs, burrows, gnawing marks, odours, and other signs of activity. Obtain baiting stations or traps and choose the bait that is applicable to your problem. Bait stations can be bought from feed supply stores, from rodent control companies, or they can be home-made. The most common one is a simple 18″” × 3″” diameter PVC pipe. Bait stations keep the rodenticides protected from the elements and away from non-target animals. These bait stations should be placed about 20‑60 feet apart (depending on severity of problem) around the perimeter of the building, in the attic, entry rooms, or even near fences. Bring the baits to the rodents! Baits should be monitored for activity and always kept available, dry, and fresh (no moulds, dust, stale bait). Wear gloves when handling them.
Pest control requires an integrated pest-management strategy involving many techniques. The producer’s first objective should be to prevent, or at least greatly reduce, rodent numbers through management programmes that eliminate entrance to the facility, nesting sites for the rodents, food supplies and water. Populations build when food, water and nesting sites are readily available.
Darkling beetles (adults) and lesser mealworms (larvae) have been found to carry Salmonella and other organisms including some viruses. They shed them in their droppings for up to 28 days. Examine used bedding and floor wall junctions for larvae and adult beetles after a flock is removed or pens are being cleaned. If beetles are found, implement appropriate control measures.
Monitor the severity of the fly infestation using sticky tapes, speck fly counting, or baited jug traps. Flies are best controlled through:
a)Proper management of feed, manure, and facilities;
b)Use of beneficial insects (tiny wasps) that feed on immature fly eggs and larvae;
c)Use of chemicals including various fly baits and papers.
Several types of mites can occur in poultry and feed on blood and are found close to the skin. Due to the birds’ feathers, penetration of insecticide to the site of infestation is often difficult. Spraying or direct contact application with a rag is necessary. Chemicals like permethrin (Ectiban), carbaryl (Sevin), malathion (Malathion 50) and dichlorvos (Ravap) have been used successfully.
Control Other Birds
For wild bird control, the following practices are recommended:
No Access By Other Animals
Humane removal of pests is recommended. There are also some mechanical repellants available including irritants, water sprayer, and sound devices. Eraze, Mole and Gopher Bait, Ground Squirrel Bait, and Tomcat are some chemical preparations that can be used.
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