Rodent activity can be a year-round experience. Here are a few tips to consider for your next training review program:
- Shipshape: Most rodents enter from outside. Picture your account like a ship on the ocean. Every hole, crack and unsealed space allows water (rodents) entry into the “ship.” Constantly inspect your account for the presence of these entry “leaks.” Actively, or by direction, close these openings to make your ship shipshape and rodent-proof.
- Poop Patrol: Rats and mice leave daily evidence of their presence and activity. Fecal droppings are left along foraging and travel trails. The best option is to remove the droppings each time they are observed — by sweeping or, better yet, with a high efficiency particulate air vacuum. Reoccurring “deposits” are clear indicators that the animals are still present. Move your traps, stations, monitors and/or sensors from non-active areas to increase monitoring pressure until resolution, as indicated by the lack of droppings on further inspection.
- When is a mouse not a mouse? Positive pest identification is a cornerstone of a successful program. What may be reported as a mouse may be the wrong information. Young rats often are confused as mice simply by their smaller size. In rural areas, the species of mice may not be the house mouse (Mus musculus), but perhaps a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) or other Peromyscus species. The behavior, seasonality, feeding preferences and effective trap attractants may be very different from house mice. Identify your captures from traps and sensors to be sure.
- Remove the yuck: Remember to clean, sanitize and disinfect areas of rodent activity. Rodents contaminate surfaces they constantly travel over with urine, feces, cast hairs and saliva. Failure to remediate this contamination is a threat to health and product quality, and a significant audit deficiency.