A resetting toxin device (the “Spitfire”) has been designed that delivers a toxic paste to a rat’s ventral surface when it passes through a tunnel. The rat grooms off the paste and ingests the toxin. The system was assessed in cage trials and one field trial. The purpose of the cage trials was to investigate whether a range of toxins can be delivered by the Spitfire to rats (Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus), namely 0.55% sodium fluoroacetate (1080), 0.2% brodifacoum, 15% cholecalciferol, and 12.5% zinc phosphide.
The effectiveness of Feracol®, a possum control paste bait containing 0.8% cholecalciferol, as a rodenticide has been assessed in cage and field trials. Caged rats were provided with toxic bait in choice and no-choice tests. Feracol® was readily eaten when presented as the sole food source or with other food, and was effective at killing rats in both situations. Wild-caught and laboratory rats (n = 35), comprising both ship (Rattus rattus) and Norway rats (R. norvegicus), were presented with 30 g of Feracol® alone or with an equivalent toxic bait over 48 h.