Pesticides alternative strategy for Removal of Animal (Sciurus carolinensis, Apodemus sylvaticus, Grey squirrel, Wood mouse)

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Subject Keywords
Pesticides, Chemicals
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Alternative Strategy
Five repellents that were of low toxicity or derived from foodstuffs were investigated for their ability to deter feeding by wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus L.) and grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin). In experiments in controlled conditions, when given the option of feeding on unlimited amounts of untreated wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), or wheat treated with aluminium ammonium sulphate, sulphonated fish oil, denatonium benzoate, ziram or capsaicin, all the repellents tested initially deterred feeding, although in one experiment mice showed some habituation to the repellents after 4 weeks. Capsaicin was the most effective treatment, and aluminium ammonium sulphate the least effective, possibly because it did not stick to the wheat grains. When ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) seed were treated with combinations of aluminium ammonium sulphate, sulphonated fish oil or denatonium benzoate, compared to the freely available untreated seed, mice were deterred by any treatment containing aluminium ammonium sulphate, with effectiveness again declining after 4 weeks. When a mixture of broadleaved tree species were sown on farmland, coating seed with aluminium ammonium sulphate or sulphonated fish oil had no effect on seedling emergence. Capsaicin derived from chilli peppers (Capsicum sp.) showed the greatest potential as a repellent in our work, but no repellent product containing this active ingredient is currently approved for plant protection uses in the United Kingdom. Given its relatively low cost, the use of aluminium ammonium sulphate, a non-toxic repellent based on an approved food additive, which is available formulated as a registered plant protection product in the United Kingdom, may be worth considering for direct sowings where predation pressure from mice is predicted to be particularly high, or where tree species with very palatable seed are being used, to complement other predation mitigation strategies.
Alternative Type
Specific strategy
Pest Type
Alternative Trial
Coverage Country
United Kingdom
Active Ingredient