Rodent Control In Livestock Buildings

When you feed animals, having rodents around is a given. Rats, mice and other vermin that get into livestock buildings can compromise the health of your herd. Effective rodent control relies on keeping them out, preventing access to feed, and baiting or trapping.

Bob Pierce is an Extension fish and wildlife specialist at the University of Missouri. He says one of the keys to prevention is to secure tiny openings in the building with mortar or metal flashing so rodents can’t chew through it. But even metal structures aren’t always varmint-proof.

"A common point of entrance in ag buildings, particularly when you have metal buildings are those that are unprotected. The end of metal softening, a lot of times the building isn’t as tight maybe as you think it is, and so those areas need to be looked at," says Pierce. "Block them with mortar or metal, or other types of materials like that to prevent them from gaining access into the walls. When they get into the wall spaces, it’s really tough to control them."

Pierce says one rat can consume 30 pounds of grain in one year and ruin much more. Keep animal feed in metal storage, and livestock feeders should have flat bottoms so rodents can’t hide under or around them. Place snap traps baited with peanut butter along the walls about every ten-feet. If populations are high, he recommends toxic bait with bait stations.

"Which are secure areas where the rodents can feed but keeps the bait safe and fresh, and other animals can’t get into those," he says. "Those are often recommended, particularly indoors when you have rodent problems."

Write down what works and what doesn’t, and check your buildings on a regular basis.

Learn more about rodent control in livestock buildings