Saturday, July 20, 2024
General Agriculture

Economic Importance of Rodent Pests and Rodent Species of Post-Harvest Importance

There are three major reasons why rats and mice are considered pests:

They consume and damage human foods in the field and in stores. In addition they spoil it in stores by urine and droppings reducing the sales value.

Through their gnawing and burrowing habit they destroy many articles (packaging, clothes and furniture) and structures (floors, buildings, bridges, etc.). By gnawing through electrical cables they can cause fires.

They are responsible for transmitting diseases dangerous to man.

It is impossible to put an exact estimate on these losses, but it is obvious that the damage caused by rodents is enormous.

Diseases transmitted by rats to man pose a serious public health problem in tropical countries. Apart from causing human suffering, they are responsible for financial losses incurred through work-days lost and additional medical bills.

While this topic is not directly related to post-harvest problems, it bears relevance to post harvest rodent control. As rodent pests in stores and households are controlled the rate of disease transmission will be reduced.

Just as it is difficult to put exact figures on losses caused by rodent pests, it is not easy to estimate the exact benefits of rodent control. However, it is apparent that rodent control is mostly if not always cost effective.

Read Also : The Different Types of Snail Food / Snail Feed

Rodent Species of Post-Harvest Importance


There are more than 4000 species of mammals, of which about 1700 are rodents. The rodents’ family MURIDAE contains the most species, of the genus Rattus. However, not all the 1700 rodent species are pests.

About 150 species have been defined as pests at some localities to some crops at some time or another, but only 20 could be termed important. Very few species indeed are regularly described as pests in the literature.

In connection with post-harvest losses, the number of species occurring in and around human habitation drops to below ten.

Of these, three species are found throughout the world: the house mouse (Mus musculus), the house or roof rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (R. norvegicus).

The multimmate rat (Praomys natalensis) and the spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) are found in Africa; while the Pacific rat (R. exulans), and the bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis).

Read Also : Economic Importance of Fish and Fish Products


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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