ZOONOTIC AND VECTOR-BORNE DISEASE RESEARCH
Rodent-Targeted Insecticidal Bait for Plague Control
Plague has proven to be a problem in the western U.S., and many parts of the world.
This flea-borne disease has been responsible for killing millions of humans over the
centuries. Traditional rodent control has involved blending baits with toxic chemicals
to kill the rodent in question. However, killing the rodent frees up the fleas to find a new
host, and potentially, spread the plague bacteria.
In 1999, Genesis scientists embarked on screening scores of compounds that might
serve as a control agent when incorporated into rodent baits. These compounds were
intended to not only kill the the targeted rodent, but also the fleas it hosts. Some insecticides
are absorbed into the blood, are systemic in nature, and are able to kill blood-sucking
parasites such as fleas. Hundreds of experiments in the lab and field have resulted in
products that can take care of the problem. Solutions solved!