Centre for Eco-friendly Agro-Technologies (CEAT)
Management of Rodent Pests
  • To evolve and develop eco-friendly and novel technologies for rodent pest management
  • To evolve and develop innovative and scientific rodent pest management methods and utilize them through research
  • To increase crop productivity through the adoption of eco-friendly rodent pest management methods
  • To disseminate the developed novel technologies to farming community who are the end users, for adoption in their crop fields in order to save food grains and thereby increasing crop yield for meeting out the demands of the ever-increasing human population
  • To create and sustain pollution free environment for the present generation and posterity.

  • Rodents are economically important organisms and of them some are reported to be serious pests destroying crops, fruit gardens, orchards and stored food grains. Moreover, they cause damage to the properties of various kinds belong to men which result in huge economic losses
  • In India, they are responsible for 10-15% loss to total national produce
  • Rodentia is one of the largest orders of mammals in the world and it comprises of 2277 species in 481genera included in 33 families
  • In India, present checklist reports valid rodent taxa up to subspecies level, includes 103 species and 89 subspecies under 46 genera which belong to 7 families
  • Of them, the following 20 species have been reported to be of economic importance in India
1. Major rodent pests of India
Major groups Common Name Scientific Name
Porcupines Indian crested Porcupine Hystrix indica Kerr, 1792
Squirrels Northern striped squirrel
Southern palm squirrel
Western Ghat squirrel
Funambulus pennanti Wroughton, 1905
Funambulus palmarum Linnaeus, 1766
Funambulus tristriatus Waterhouse, 1837
Gerbils Indian gerbil
Desert gerbil
Hairy-footed gerbil
Tatera indica Hardwicke, 1807
Meriones hurrianae Jerdon,1867
Gerbillus gleadowi Murray,1886
Bandicoots Lesser bandicoot rat
Larger bandicoot rat
Bandicota bengalensis Gray, 1835
Bandicota indica Bechstein, 1800
Rats Brown rat or Norway rat
The House rat
Bruneusculus rat,
Himalayan rat
Wroughton's rat
Soft-furred field rat
Indian bush rat
Short-tailed mole rat
Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout, 1769
Rattus rattus Linnaeus, 1758
Rattus brunneusculus Hodgson,1845
Rattus nitidus Hodgson,1845
Rattus wroughtoni Hinton,1919
Millardia meltada Gray, 1837
Golunda ellioti Gray,1837
Nesokia indica Gray,1830
MiceHouse mouse
Field mouse
Spiny field mouse
Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758
Mus booduga Gray, 1837
Mus platythrix Bennett, 1832
2. Field rodent pests of Cauvery delta
  • In Tamil Nadu, four species of field rodent pests are found in Cauvery delta, "the Granary of South India" They are
  • Lesser bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis)
  • Soft-furred field rat (Millardia meltada)
  • Field mouse (Mus booduga)
  • Indian gerbil (Tatera indica)
    They inflict damage to different stages of various crops of Cauvery delta
3. Commensal Rodent pests
  • House or Roof rats (Rattus rattus)
  • Larger bandicoot rat (Bandicota indica)
  • Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus)
  • House mice (Mus musculus)
4. Pest status of Rodent pests
    Rodents attained pest status for the following reasons viz.,
  • they consume and damage human foods both in fields and in stores;
  • their gnawing and burrowing habits thus destroying many articles (packaging, clothes, furniture and structures like floors, buildings, bridges etc.,)
  • their gnawing habit on electrical cables cause fires and
  • contamination of food products through their urine and faecal droppings thus reducing the sales value and transmitting dangerous diseases to man
5. Rodent borne diseases
    Besides, rodents also pose a serious health risk as transmitters of several diseases to human and domestic animals such as
  • Leptospirosis,
  • Salmonellosis,
  • Trichinosis,
  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome,
  • Hantavirus renal syndrome,
  • Argentine hemorrhagic fever and
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
6. Contamination of food by Rodents