RODENT CONTROL STRATEGY

Hi all. Today’s topic is the most crucial part, RODENT CONTROL STRATEGY. Please note that rodent control strategy must be developed based on the particular situation you are dealing with. For instance, it is easy to control one or two rats in a garage, but eliminating rats from an entire neighbourhood is much more challenging! Rodent control can also be very sophisticated, especially around food handling facilities where there are strict baiting restrictions and limitations. Rodent control is also considered as a community problem. As the source of rodent is usually outdoors and rodents can range quite long distances, effective control necessities that the whole community work together to control them, as well as eliminate sources of food, water and shelter.

The key to long-term rodent control is to eliminate:

FOOD

SHELTER

This means there must be a good sanitation program – both indoors and outdoors including:

  • Eliminating access to food
  • Removing all rubbish
  • Eliminating clutter
  • Controlling weeds
  • Eliminating breeding sites and hiding places
  • Involving surrounding neighbours

The best way to control rodents is to prevent them from entering structures. It is therefore a good strategy to rodent proof a building, in order to:

  • Stop rodents from entering a building
  • Deny rodents access to food
  • Reduce access to nest sites

When rodent proofing, all potential rodent access points should be considered:

  • Seal all gaps and opening greater than 2 cm
  • Seal all service pipe and wiring penetrations
  • Fix broken windows, warped doors, and unscreened vents
  • Reduce gaps beneath doors
  • Fit metal guards around outside pipes
  • Secure roof materials and vents to ensure no gaps

Success largely depends on the quality of the inspection. Signs of rodent inspection include:

Droppings

Runways, tracks, and rub marks

Gnawing damage

Burrows

Urine stains and smell

Noises at night

INSPECTION

Below is the rough guide to help you estimate the level of rodent infestation.

  1. Low – Signs and sightings of rodents are few. None or small amount of bait consumed.
  2. Medium – Rodent signs are found but not in abundance. Small amount of bait consumed.
  3. High – Rodent signs are fresh and found in abundance. Large amount of bait consumed

RECOMMENDATION

Once the inspection has been completed, it’s time to inform and involve the customer as they are also part of the long-term solution. The customer has an important role to play.

  1. Inform the customer what you have found. Provide the customer with a copy of your inspection report and explain the findings.
  2. Provide documentation if necessary. Some customers may require copies of certain documents, such as
  • Product labels
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • Inspection reports

3. Explain what the customer needs to do. Typically the customer needs to address some points in order for your management strategy to work best:

  • Improve sanitation
  • Reduce clutter
  • Seal crack and crevices
  • Stored food in closed containers
  • Empty rubbish frequently
  • Reduce harbourages and available food sources

MANAGEMENT

The main management methods for rodents include:

  1. Rodent proofing
  2. Trapping
  3. Rodenticide

A combination of treatments will normally give the best results. Each situation being different, what combination is used depends on the expertise of the applicator.

Trapping

Using rodent traps is one of the most effective control methods. In general, traps are useful against small infestations and for maintenance programs, but you need a lot of traps.

Advantages

  • Alternative to chemical
  • Quick results for small infestations
  • Allow immediate disposal of dead rodents (eliminating potential odour concerns)
  • Provide a good monitoring tool

Disadvantages

  • Labour and time-consuming for large infestations
  • Less cost-efficient compared to baiting
  • Trap avoidance or fear of traps
  • Some traps can cause injury to people, pets or wildlife
  • Do not always provide a human way of killing a rodent

Rodenticides are also a common and effective control method.  In general rodenticides are useful against small and large rodent infestations, but require careful use, as well as time to kill the rats (up to 10 days). There are 3 types of rodenticides:

  • Baits – Baits are the ones most commonly used, and come in various forms, such as blocks, pellets, lose grains, liquids and pastes.
  • Tracking powders – Rodenticide tracking powders can provide control in situation where baits are not well accepted due to plentiful alternative food sources. Rodents pick up the powder on their feet and fur, and when they groom themselves, ingest the powder.  
  • Fumigants                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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