Experts share rodent control tips more PMPs should try

|  March 20, 2019
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We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial board members to share some rodents control tips that more PMP’s should try. Here are some of their responses — including a few extra that didn’t make it into our March print edition.

Stuart Aust: PMPs should get involved in electronic rodent monitoring technology, the new wave of rodent management.

Paul HardyProper identification. Many technicians can’t tell initially which rodent species they need to control.

Frank Meek: Exercise patience. Watch and observe. Spend a little time really analyzing the situation before placing traps or baits. In the end, it will lead to faster capture and control.

Pete Schopen: At Schopen Pest Solutions, we look for all of the typical signs for rodents, including sebum, mouse droppings, and holes in the insulation. But we also use three other indicators during rodent inspections:

  1. Boxelder bug wings will be left behind in great numbers when mice are feeding upon the bodies.
  2. Spider eggs and webs will be thickest near basement entry points that could be big enough for rodents, too.
  3. There can be water damage on the headers and beams in the basement or crawlspace. Many times, you can pull back the insulation and see rotted wood or holes from water damage. These can end up being rodent entry points.

Dr. Stephen VantasselTrap before using toxicants.

Dr. Gary Bennett: Following pre-baiting, setting two traps side-by-side results in better catches.

Doug Foster:

  1. Put new snap traps or mechanical traps in a container with mouse droppings or other used traps to get a mouse smell on them. It’s called “seasoning,” and will improve your trap’s catch rate.
  2. Place traps in shadowy or dark areas of the facility.
  3. Look for unconventional places to set traps, such as drop ceilings, maintenance areas and undisturbed areas.

Ryan Bradbury: When New Jersey required a “call before you dig” before placing into the ground any object greater than two inches, we chose to use pre-mounted exterior bait stations. This saved us time and money, and kept us compliant with regulations. Best rodent decision we ever made.

Michael Broder: For complete rodent elimination, you must find the source. Become a hunter! Track, move, disturb. All the signs are there if you look. Get out of the human world and into the rodent world.

Dr. Faith Oi: Properly place rodent monitoring stations, and follow up to make sure they remain properly placed. I have a collection of pictures of poorly placed stations!

Judy Black: Employ creative snap-trapping sequences. Don’t rely on just a few snap traps placed against a wall, spaced equally 10 feet or so apart. Instead, place three traps in a row, maybe pull the middle one out from the wall, and place some parallel to the wall. Mix things up!

Kim Kelley-Tunis: Use nesting material as a lure for snap traps. Often, technicians rely on food as a way to lure rodents to traps. While this can be effective, it is not always the best option in areas where food is abundant. Food also can be stolen from a trap, allowing the rodent to escape. Using nesting material — string, yarn or even packing peanuts — that can be secured to the snap trap can decrease your odds that the rodent will escape.

Dan Baldwin: Remember that rodents are decision-making animals. They think about the circumstances they face, and make decisions based on what they learn. They play, fight and explore. When inspecting for, and trying to mitigate against, rodents, look at a vulnerable facility holistically to defend against an organism that may be determined to get in and has the intellect and skills to do so. In addition:

  1. Always be on the lookout for natural and manmade rodent reservoirs within 100 feet of the client’s structure.
  2. Design a plan to intercept intruding rodents from reservoirs.
  3. Identify potential harborage areas close to the client’s property, such as landscaping, exterior storage, and areas around dumpsters.
  4. Report and escalate exterior structural and sanitation conditions. If rodents can’t get in, they won’t be a problem.
  5. Identify potential harborage areas inside the building, such as holes in walls and poorly designed or unused equipment.
  6. Report and escalate interior structural and sanitation conditions. If rodents get in, but have no place to hide, they are less likely to become an issue.
  7. Set up a service frequency that correlates to the rodent risk level.

Michael Blankenship: Be detail-oriented. If you conduct a very detailed inspection, your initial service will be pretty straightforward. If you have a very detail-oriented service professional, customers will, in turn, get the service they need and want.

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