2021 Texas Rodent Academy to be held Dec. 14-15


December 1, 2021

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Gabe Saldana

Jose Dolagaray of Arrow Exterminators (left) and Larry King of MosquitoNix Pest Control search a drainage pipe for signs of rodent pests during a past Texas Rodent Academy at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. (Photo: Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife)

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research Center will host two educational opportunities in December.

Texas Rodent Academy

The 2021 Texas Rodent Academy hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will take place Dec. 14-15 in Dallas, Texas.

The two-day course is designed for integrated pest management (IPM) professionals and those who handle pest management in their work for municipalities, universities, public schools and food safety personnel.

The cost is $200, and the academy is limited to 50 participants, according to a news release. Tuition for the academy covers course materials and meals.

Registration is now open.

The event will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center.

There will be a certificate of academy completion available for student who pass a final exam as well as Structural Pest Control credits for participants who request them and fulfill the necessary criteria.

“We are so pleased to be able to welcome IPM professionals to this in-person and hands-on rodent management workshop,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension IPM specialist in Dallas, Texas. “Over the past two years, we’ve seen buildings and businesses closed for periods of time. Combine that with changing behavior patterns and alternate food sources for rats, and we’ve witnessed problems and issues we hadn’t experienced before.”

Hurley said in a news release that the goal of the Texas Rodent Academy is to provide a highly focused and standardized approach to managing rodent populations through IPM. After completing the course, participants will be able to manage rodent populations more efficiently due to an improved understanding of the biology, behavior and habitat of rodents.

Participants will also learn about contributing factors to infestation, effective ways of evaluating site-specific responses and strategies, and effective communication strategies with the public to achieve lasting change and improvements.

“We’re excited to be able to present so many leaders in the IPM field to discuss these issues and the latest technology, studies and solutions related to pest management,” Hurley said in a news release.

In addition to Hurley, urban rodentology speakers will include Niamh Quinn, Ph.D., human-wildlife interactions advisor, South Coast Research and Extension Center, University of California, Irvine; Claudia Riegel, Ph.D., City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, Rodent Control Board director; and City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, Rodent Control Board member Timmy Madre.

Topics covered at the Texas Rodent Academy include:

  • Health significance of rodents.
  • Rodents and allergens.
  • Biology and behavior of rodents.
  • Overview of IPM.
  • Pesticide labels and federal regulations.
  • Exterior bait boxes – what, where and how?
  • Alternative tools & techniques for rat control.
  • Mouse Integrated pest management in apartment/private homes.
  • Rodent control.

Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress for being outdoors. Participants will be broken up into smaller groups for outdoor learning, which includes:

  • What to look for at site-specific inspections.
  • Bait station, snap traps, exclusion.

Pests of Concern seminar


A training on pests of concern will cover cockroaches and other nuisance insects and rodent on Dec. 16 in Dallas. PHOTO: TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE

The Pests of Concern seminar will cover some of the most common pest problems institutions and foo processing facilities encounter.

The seminar will be on Dec. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research Center in Dallas, Texas.

Preregistration is required and is now open.

The cost for the seminar is $50, which includes training materials, refreshment, a continental breakfast and lunch.

Participants will receive six hours of educational instruction and continuing education units (CEUs) for Texas registered sanitarians, code enforcement officers, animal control officers ad Texas Department of Agriculture public health vector control category license holders. While license numbers must be provided to receive CEU, this event is open to anyone wanting to learn more about his topic.

“Many insects, other arthropods and certain rodents can impair the health and quality of life of people living in and visiting Texas,” Hurley said in a news release. “To create effective and safe control programs for these pests, it is important to understand their biology and their roles in causing and transmitting diseases.”

The training is designed for public health officials, code enforcement officers and those who work in and around public places. The integrated pest management, IPM, workshop includes lectures and hands-on activities to help participants better understand rodent, cockroach and fly ecology, and what to look for on public health inspections.

Hurley said in a news release that participants will have a chance to look at insect specimens under microscopes and there will be time to meet with some pest control vendors to see what types of products are available for use and what they should be used for.

The training will cover a wide-range of pest-related topics, which will be presented by leaders in their field. At the conclusion of the speakers, participants will have the opportunity to walk over to the center’s IPM House to learn what to look for in homes and businesses.

detailed schedule of the training is available online.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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