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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Farm pest control issues

Dairy Pipeline: August 2004

Andy Overbay
Extension Area Dairy Agent,
Southwest Virginia
(276) 223-6040 email:

Fall harvests are closing in quickly, but attention is needed to make sure that the crops aren't the only things we bring in for the winter. Rats and mice can introduce many diseases into a cow herd, not the least of which is Lepto. Lepto can cause spontaneous abortions and kidney damage in cattle. Diseases are past to the herd by droppings and urine left in the feed by rodents. Rodents also damage structures, especially electrical wiring, creating a fire hazard. Solutions. Control can be obtained by eliminating tall grass and weeds around the farm, especially near the barns, feed storage, and waste handling facilities. Also, spilled feed or feed left for long periods of time should be removed to lower the availability of food for rodents on the farm. If you choose to use bait to control rodents, here is a neat idea. A piece of 1 1/2" PVC pipe, about 36" long makes a great bait delivery system. Bait placed in the pipe is not exposed for pets or children, and the pipe, placed along a barn wall or near a corner, makes a "good" hiding place for rodents. Rodents are drawn to the pipe for protection are enticed to feed on the bait while in seclusion.

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