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Forskningsartikel2022Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Fear effects on bank voles (Rodentia: Arvicolinae): testing for repellent candidates from predator volatiles

Villalobos, Adrian; Schlyter, Fredrik; Birgersson, Goran; Koteja, Pawel; Lof, Magnus


BACKGROUND Arvicolinae rodents are known pests causing damage to both agricultural and forest crops. Today, rodenticides for rodent control are widely discouraged owing to their negative effects on the environment. Rodents are the main prey for several predators, and their complex olfactory system allows them to identify risks of predation. Therefore, the potential use of predators' scents as repellents has gained interest as an ecologically based rodent control method. In a two-choice experiment, we investigated the potential repellent effects of five synthetic predator compounds: 2-phenylethylamine (2-PEA), 2-propylthietane (2-PT), indole, heptanal and 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), at 1% and 5% doses, using the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) as a rodent model. RESULTS The compound 2-PEA reduced both the food contacts and the time spent by voles in the treatment arm compared to the control arm. Likewise, 2-PT-treated arms reduced the food contacts, and the voles spent less time there, although this latter difference was not significant. Indole also showed a tendency to reduce the time spent at the treatment arm; however, this result was not significant. Unexpectedly, TMT had the reverse effect in showing attractive properties, possibly due to odor cues from differently sized predators and intraguild predation in nature. We found no dose-related effects for any compounds tested. CONCLUSION Our results suggest that the 2-PEA and 2-PT are both effective odor stimuli for triggering reduced food contacts and area avoidance, and they may be good repellent candidates. We suggest further testing of 2-PEA and 2-PT in field experiments to further determine their dose-efficiency as repellents against rodents in more natural environments.


rodent pest management; repellents; area avoidance; foraging; bank vole

Publicerad i

Pest Management Science
2022, Volym: 78, nummer: 4, sidor: 1677-1685