Science and Environment

Eliminate rats, stop leptospirosis


MANILA, Philippines - Leptospirosis cases have been on the rise since typhoon Ondoy hit the country last September. 

As of this writing, 167 people have already died from this dreaded disease brought upon by soil and floodwaters that have been infested with the urine of rats.

Leptospirosis is an infection that is caused by direct contact to the urine of an infected animal. Rats are said to be the chief carriers of this disease that lead to far more serious health conditions like meningitis, inflammation of the nerves, and gravely affect such organs as the liver, lungs, kidneys and the heart. 

These rodents likewise carry other life-threatening diseases like Salmonella Enterica Serovar Typhimurium, Murine Typhus and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).

“We could all take an active stance in protecting our families and communities against Leptospirosis by directly addressing the root cause of this problem — rats,” says Mari-Gail Lasam-Cruz, marketing manager for Bayer Advanced Racumin in the Philippines.

Educating communities

Every year, Bayer Advanced Racumin conducts a “Rat Attack” campaign wherein it educates people from different communities across Metro Manila and other parts of the country on how to effectively control the rat population. It has two parts: a community-based information campaign drive on the health risks caused by rat infestation and an organized rescue of these communities to help control these unwanted and dangerous rodents.

Educational leaflets and Racumin products are distributed to the selected community in an effort to jumpstart rodent control in the community.

The science behind effective rat control

“During our visit, we emphasize to people the importance of commitment, continuous vigilance and community involvement in helping address the rat problem. We give them lectures about rats’ eating habits, how they reproduce at such a fast rate, and other simple, yet very vital information that would help them deal with their rat problems,” says Cruz.

One of the things that the lectures emphasize is that rats are intelligent and highly adaptable creatures. This is the reason why the threat of contracting leptospirosis may be found not only in dirty floodwaters, but in the soil as well. Rats, like people, after all, also flee to higher ground during the flood.“This is also the reason why rats have outwitted snap traps, glue boards, zapper traps and most recently instant-kill rat poisons which all proved unsuccessful through the years,” Cruz explains.

Learn to outwit rats, counter their bait shyness

Bayer Advanced Racumin has found a way to address this problem— counter “bait shyness.”“The main reason why most rats learn how to outsmart other products is that they can immediately observe the effect they have on poisoned rats,” explains Cruz. Racumin has a delayed killing action, it takes effect after a couple of days so that rats would not know that it was actually the product that killed their fellow rodents. It contains coumatetralyl, a potent active ingredient that causes rats’ demise. Racumin Paste also contains Bitrex, which lessens its palatability to other creatures while being practically irresistible to rats. If you have a mice problem instead of a rat problem, Racumin Ready-Made Bait takes advantage of mice’s nibbling behavior and love for cereals to lure them to their demise. Racumin Tracking Powder, meanwhile, helps detect the presence of rats. Rats will lick the Racumin Tracking Powder that stick to their fur and get a lethal dose while leaving marks that can help you find out where they nest.

Practice good housekeeping and sanitation

Cruz also points out that one of the main reasons why rats come into our homes and our communities is that we sometimes we leave food and garbage lying around. “Keeping our homes and communities clean deprive these pests the food, water and harborage they need. Rats have already done so much damage to our properties, let us not let them threaten our health and the health of our loved ones as well,” she says.










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