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Protect bottom bales from rat attack


Baiting the lower layers of round bale silage stacks is the best way to protect them from rat attack, according to Dr Jonathan Wade, technical director for UK rodenticide manufacturer PelGar International.

Rats love to burrow and nest in the bottom of silage bales tearing their way through the plastic and settling inside. This lets in air which causes spoilage and encourages moulds that can contain listeria bacteria, which will make livestock ill if they eat it. This is why it is so important to protect the bottom two layers of a stack by baiting.

Dr Wade advocates the use of Roban place-packs or sachets at the junction of the bales as the stack is being built, as this is the only chance to bait evenly across the site.

On the next layer one sachet every second junction is enough, unless future infestations are expected to be high, in which case every level of the second layer should be baited.

For a stack 20 bales long, five bales wide and four bales high use 72 sachets on the bottom layer and 20 on the second, advises Dr Wade.

The outer packaging of PelGars sachets is waterproof, yet completely edible by rodents. Any uneaten bait should be removed as the bales are used, and disposed of according to label guidelines.

Many farms ran out of silage this year due to the long, hard winter, and the late spring is going to reduce yields from first and second silage cuts, says Dr Wade.

When stocks are short it is even more important to protect the quality and quantity of silage that has been made, so keeping rats out of stacks becomes an even greater priority.


Protect silage bales from rats.  Place Roban packs or sachets between bales at ground level and at every second junction on subsequent levels.

More information from:

Dr Jonathan Wade, PelGar International, tel: 01420 80744,

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