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Population dynamics of synanthropic rodents after a chemical and infrastructural intervention in an urban low-income community

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  • Adedayo Michael Awoniyi
  • Cristina Venegas-Vargas
  • Fabio Neves Souza
  • Caio Graco Zeppelini
  • Kathryn P Hacker
  • Ticiana Carvalho-Pereira
  • Catarina Lobo Marins
  • Mayara Carvalho de Santana
  • Arsinoê Cristina Pertile
  • Michael Begon
  • Albert I Ko
  • Peter J. Diggle
  • Mitermayer G Reis
  • James E Childs
  • Eduardo Mendes da Silva
  • Federico Costa
  • Hussein Khalil
Article number10109
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/06/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Synanthropic rodents are ubiquitous in low-income communities and pose risks for human health, as they are generally resistant to control programs. However, few or no studies have evaluated the long-term effect of chemical and infrastructural interventions on rodent population dynamics, especially in urban low-income communities, or evaluated the potential recovery of their population following interventions. We conducted a longitudinal study in a low-income community in the city of Salvador (BA, Brazil) to characterize the effect of interventions (chemical and infrastructural) on the dynamics of rodent population, and documented the post-intervention recovery of their population. We evaluated the degree of rodent infestation in 117 households/sampling points over three years (2014–2017), using tracking plates, a proxy for rodent abundance/activity. We reported a significant lower rodent activity/abundance after the chemical and infrastructural interventions (Z = −4.691 (p < 0.001)), with track plate positivity decreasing to 28% from 70% after and before interventions respectively. Therefore, the combination of chemical and infrastructural interventions significantly decreased the degree of rodent infestation in the study area. In addition, no rodent population rebound was recorded until almost a year post-intervention, and the post-intervention infestation level did not attain the pre-intervention level all through the study. Moreover, among pre-treatment conditions, access to sewer rather than the availability of food was the variable most closely associated with household rodent infestation. Our study indicates that Integrated Pest Management (IPM)-approaches are more effective in reducing rodent infestation than the use of a single method. Our findings will be useful in providing guidance for long-term rodent control programs, especially in urban low-income communities.