Rodent control

Project Details

  • Project Lead: Kim Wolfe, Research Development Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture
  • MBFI Location(s): Johnson Farm
  • Start Date: August 2015
  • Status: In progress

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The objective of this project is to lower NPG and RGS populations at Johnson Farm to a level that will not significantly impact research projects conducted at this site. This will be done through a variety of methods including trapping, shooting and an artificial nesting structure for raptors. Action thresholds and economic analysis will also be completed. 





This project is a companion project to the evaluation of forage species that can maintain forage production and quality during frost and snow conditions conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba. The study site is an open area, with large paddocks of tame pasture in the surrounding area. Parts of the study site were broken and reseeded in June and August of 2015.


There is an extensive and well established population of Richardson Ground Squirrels (RGS) and Northern Pocket Gophers (NPG) in and surrounding the study area. Previous effots to control these species in 2015 included lethal control by trapping between July 17 and August 12. Control rates were far below anticipated levels1. 


High population levels of burrowing rodents can cause significant physical and economic damage to forage crops. Pest rodents should be managed through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. IPM is a decision-making process to manage pests. IPM starts with identifying pests correctly and monitoring the pest populations and damage they cause. Then pest numbers are forecasted and action (or economic) thresholds are determined (when and how to control the rodents). Finally, combinations of treatment methods (cultural, mechanical, biological, pesticide use) are utilized to provide acceptable pest management strategies to prevent damage and control nuisance rodent numbers.