Reducing hazards when treating rodent infestations


December 21, 2023

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Urine, feces, grease marks, volatile fatty acids, bodily secretions, odors, bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, fleas, ticks, lice and mites — all of these are potential hazards when dealing with rodent infestations. That’s because rodents leave behind a plethora of potentially harmful pathogens, ectoparasites, and many forms of organic filth such as soiled insulation, drywall, carpets and other contaminated materials in their wake.

In integrated pest management (IPM), much of our focus centers on corrective actions after the invading pest has been removed or evicted. However, action also can be taken to reduce microorganisms on surfaces, ectoparasites that hitchhike into the structure, and the inevitable organic waste that builds up while rats, mice and other pests are actively infesting and moving throughout the structure.

It can take considerable time to reduce and eliminate cosmopolitan populations of rodents. In the meantime, they will continue to deposit urine, feces and other bodily secretions, as well as spread potentially harmful pathogens every day — even as you work to find the winning combination of chemical and physical interventions. Using disinfectants or sanitizers during each service to eliminate listed microorganisms throughout active infestations can help reduce the potential spread of microorganisms during this period.

A combination disinfectant/pesticide formulation can be especially useful to eliminate ectoparasites and microbes listed on the product’s label simultaneously.

When it comes to dealing with issues stemming from organic matter such as urine, body secretions and oils, adding bio-sanitation liquids and foams during active infestations can help reduce and prevent the buildup of organic contamination on surfaces where the product has been applied. It also can neutralize and degrade volatile odors at their source.

About the Author

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Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE, is national director of technical services at Nisus Corp.

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