Rodents Are Always Vigilant...
How Vigilant Are You?
By Dr. Stuart Mitchell
Integrated pest management (IPM) is inspection and investigation, pest identification to species, establishing pest threshold levels, implementing two or more control measures (cultural or behavioral, physical, mechanical, and professional products), and evaluation of effectiveness. Effective rodent control requires a combination of actions including surveys, exclusion, and sanitation. Effective rodent control is accomplished through IPM.
ALWAYS have a plan!
- Pest management professionals must always read, understand, and follow the rodenticide product label.
- Conduct a thorough survey of the site to determine the extent of rodent infestation.
- Note and record environmental manipulations to water, food, shelter, space and heat to be put into service to reduce site attraction (post-baiting treatment).
- Environmental manipulations involve water and food source removal, structural exclusion, trash and clutter removal, weed elimination, and existing or potential harborage denials (access to heat).
- Environmental manipulations must not be put into service until after bait acceptance and rodent population reduction.
- Rodent population control using an anticoagulant baiting system should be reached within 30 to 35 days.
- Rodenticide baits and census baits must be used for as long as required to obtain rodent population control and ongoing rodent population monitoring, respectively.
- Relative to the size of the estimated rodent infestation, if bait acceptance is poor, analyze rodent activity and re-site bait placement points.
- A site plan that identifies specific areas of rodent activity and bait placement points must be created.
- Record all bait placement points on a trap line audit as well as the amount of bait placed during each treatment.
- Note activity at each bait placement point (include information on any missing or disturbed baits and treatment progress).
- Deploy, maintain and record site bait placement points so they do not become available to non-target wildlife.
ALWAYS use abundant bait!
- Label directions include instructions regarding the size and frequency of bait placement points.
- Rodent control treatments must be conducted using abundant bait placement points (assuring timely and effective rodent population reduction).
ALWAYS dispose of dead rodents!
- Dead rodent carcasses may carry pathogens and parasites and must be handled using both situ appropriate PPE and a “grip and grab” device.
- Safely dispose of rodent carcasses within biohazard designated bags (and/or per label directions).
- Conduct routine searches for rodent carcasses both during and after the treatment intervention.
- Rodent carcasses may be found for several days and over 300 feet from the baiting site.
Professional rodent control techniques should be designed to eliminate the infestation completely. Surviving rodents will produce a rapid re-infestation as well as increase the chances of downstream rodenticide resistance.