Volume 5, Issue 4      October - December, 2017

Grain losses caused by the commensal rodents in rural Pothwar, Pakistan

Muhammad Mushtaq*, Surrya Khanam

Department of Zoology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Commensal rodents are serious pests of household food storage items and cause significant losses to the farming community in many parts of the world including Pakistan.  The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of damage caused by the commensal rodents in various types of household structures in rural Pothwar. Losses were calculated on the bases of average population of rodents per structure, amount of cereals consumption by rodents and the average amount of food, a rat consumes in a day. Regression of daily captures on cumulative captures suggested a population of 1,060 rodents (3.02 per structure) from 350 structures (houses, shops and farm houses) of 12 sampled villages of Pothwar. Results on the grain losses caused by commensal rodents reflected that 9700.24 kg of wheat and other cereals were annually lost due to rodent’s consumption, from all the sampled structures, from an average village of Pothwar. In addition, sufficient amount of food items were contaminated by the rodent urine and / or feces and thus are unavailable for human use and may cause health issues.

Keywords: Cereals, Grain losses, Commensal rodents, Rural Pothwar.

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