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Monday, February 13, 2017

Cats, dogs teaming up is best way to keep rodents away.

Dogs and cats may be longtime enemies but when they team up can help control rodents and prevent damage to crops.The findings are published in the online journal PLOS ONE, and show that farmers trying to keep rodents from eating their crops and for homeowners trying to keep the nuisances at bay and from spoiling food and potentially spreading disease should have dogs and cats on the farm. Farmers should consider cats and dogs as a way to discourage rodent pests in areas where they store their crops.The team of researchers conducted their experiment in four agricultural villages in Swaziland, but their findings apply globally. To test whether cats and dogs would keep rodents away, researchers selected 40 homesteads. The homesteads housed six to 10 people and included more than one buildings. Researchers divided the homesteads this way: Dogs at one group of 10 homesteads; cats at another group of 10; cats and dogs at another group of 10; and neither dogs nor cats at the final group of 10. The researchers also studied the fear factor in the rodents,as they wanted to know if the rodents were afraid to forage with cats and dogs at the homestead. The researchers found that the presence of cats and dogs at the same homestead significantly reduced foraging activity and increased the amount of fear displayed by rodents. This is a simple but effective effort at managing rodents in and around homesteads.