Are UK farmers contributing to the spread of ‘super rats’?

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A recent survey from pest control solutions company BASF has revealed that more than three quarters of UK farmers are unaware of rodenticide issues in their surrounding areas. 

The research, which aimed to gain a better understanding of the current rodent control measures and rodenticide usage on farms, found that 88% of respondents were not sure if rodent resistance to certain baits had been reported in their region.

One third of farmers also said they were not aware that rodenticide resistance was even an issue to consider when choosing the best bait to use on their land – a concerning figure when more than 90% of farmers said they used rodenticides on their farm in the past year.

With that, the research suggests that farmers could be unknowingly contributing to the spread of ‘super rat’s: resistant to baits containing first generation anticoagulants and second-generation anticoagulants, containing difenacoum and bromadiolone as the active.

Key account manager at BASF, Helen Hall, said: “The issue of rodenticide resistance is problematic for many farmers, who may be unknowingly contributing to the pest problems on their farms, with rats potentially going on to spread disease to workers and livestock, destroy equipment or property, contaminate feed, and ultimately cost farmers a lot of money.”

“While these traditional difenacoum and bromadiolone baits should control non-resistant rodents, the growing populations of ‘super-rats’ will be unaffected by these traditional poisons and will continue to reproduce, thus breeding more rats with the mutated gene and creating an even wider issue of resistant rodents throughout the area.”

To help raise awareness of rodenticide resistance and encourage best practice across UK farms, BASF has launched a new digital portal offering farmers an interactive rodent control training programme.

The Real Results Virtual Farm CPD portal, which has been developed in partnership with experienced industry instructor and rodent infestation problem-solver, Oliver Madge, guides users through various modules exploring different areas of rodent control, before completing the CRRU-recognised exam for the Safe Use of Rodenticides.

Visit BASF’s Real Results Virtual Farm and begin the course at:

To find out if you are in an area of known rodenticide resistance, visit:

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Journalist. Graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English and Art History. When not working I can be found riding my horses on the Ashdown Forest, reading, shopping, or cooking!