Post-harvest impacts of rodents in Myanmar; how much rice do they eat and damage?

Pest Manag Sci. 2017 Feb;73(2):318-324. doi: 10.1002/ps.4292. Epub 2016 May 10.


Background: We undertook studies on post-harvest losses by rodents in two townships in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar. Farmers harvest their monsoon rice crop and then stack it on levee banks to await threshing 4-6 weeks later. After threshing and drying, paddy rice is stored in granaries. The amount of grain stored in burrows was collected 4 weeks after harvest by excavating burrows. In grain stores, we quantified the weight of grain consumed by rodents for 3-6 months post-harvest.

Results: The dominant species in the field were Bandicota bengalensis and B. indica, whereas in grain stores the dominant species were Rattus rattus and R. exulans. The mean grain stored by rodents in burrows was 1.49 ± 0.9 kg burrow-1 in 2013 and 1.41 ± 0.7 kg burrow-1 in 2014. The mean loss of grain in granaries was higher in Daik U (14% in 2013, 4% in 2014) than in Maubin (8.2% in 2013, 1.2% in 2014). The total amount of grain lost to rodents during piling and storing could feed households for 1.6-4 months.

Conclusion: Post-harvest losses of grain is a significant food security issue for smallholder farmers in Myanmar. Community rodent management and better rodent-proofing of granaries are recommended to reduce losses caused by rodents. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: Ayeyarwady; Bago; post-harvest; quality loss; quantity loss; rodents.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Animals
  • Edible Grain*
  • Myanmar
  • Oryza*
  • Rodentia*