Farmers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Control Practices of Rodents in an Agricultural Area of Taiwan

Ian Nicholas Best*, Pei Jen Lee Shaner, Kurtis Jai Chyi Pei, Chi Chien Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rodents threaten agricultural industries and food security on a global scale. Rodent management practices routinely involve the use of chemical products, mainly anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). An understanding of farmer rodent control behaviors is crucial in order to implement management changes to more environmentally friendly practices. In this study, we surveyed farmers in an agricultural area of northwestern Taiwan on their knowledge, attitudes, and control practices for rodent pests. From our survey sample of 126 farmers, rodents were perceived to be the most problematic for vegetable crops, followed by rice, and then fruit. Farmers in the oldest age group and those that perceived rodents to cause extensive damage to their crops were found to have the most negative attitudes toward the pests. One-third of the farmers in our survey stated they currently use rodenticides, with crop type, perceived problems caused by rodents, and attitudes toward rodents found to be important explanatory variables. Our results indicate that the use of rodenticides is reactive; farmers are more likely to apply the chemical products if they perceive rodents to cause damage. Additionally, cost–benefit assessments are likely important in governing rodent control behaviors; farmers may be more inclined to use control products that are subsidized by the government, which include ARs, when they observe damage to their crops inflicted by rodents. We also describe how ecologically based rodent management (EBRM) practices could be feasible and sustainable alternatives to rodenticide use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1169
JournalAgronomy
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • control
  • ecologically based rodent management (EBRM)
  • knowledge
  • rodenticides
  • rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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