Identification and IPM are essential for proactive rodent control
By Chris Keefer, Technical Services Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
There are three primary commensal rodents that Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) deal with on a regular basis: the house mouse (Mus domesticus), the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), and the roof rat (Rattus rattus). As a PMP, it is imperative to be able to distinguish between the three rodents, so that a proper Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan can be developed to deal with the specific rodent infestation.
Each of the three rodent species has different appearances and behaviors:
- The house mouse:
- Has a small head and small feet, compared to a young rat
- Can live up to one year and is sexually mature at one and a half months
- Has a gestation period of approximately 19 days, and can have as many as eight litters per year with seven young per litter
- Average daily range 10-30 feet
- The Norway rat:
- Has small ears and eyes, a blunt nose and a tail that is shorter than the head and body
- Can live up to five years and is sexually mature at three months old
- Has a gestation period of approximately 22 days, and can have as many as seven litters per year with up to 12 offspring per litter
- Average daily range 50-300 feet
- The roof rat:
- Has large ears and eyes, a pointed nose and a tail that is longer than the head and body
- Can live up to three years and is sexually mature at three months
- Has a gestation period of approximately 22 days, and can have as many as six litters per year with eight young per litter
- Average daily range 100-300 feet
As with any pest infestation, developing an IPM plan for rodent control is recommended. A thorough, sustainable IPM plan should follow these basic guidelines:
- Inspection for the pest (rub marks, gnaw marks, urine stains, droppings, tracks, etc.)
- Identification of the pest
- Development of a plan of action, including a diagram outlining where to use traps, where to use bait and areas to be sealed
- Implementation of the IPM plan
- Evaluation of the plan’s success, making changes as necessary
- Depending on the severity of the infestation, evaluation could be done within 2-3 days to a week of the initial treatment. Success is based on the customer, who usually requires 100 percent control.
Sanitation, exclusion, mechanical control and chemical control should also be kept in mind through the entire IPM planning process. If rodents are discovered and chemical control is necessary, Talon® Ultrablok rodenticide from Syngenta Professional Pest Management provides effective rodent control with an active ingredient, brodifacoum, in a highly palatable formulation using the latest advancements in food science.
By following a plan and being knowledgeable about the pest at hand, you can keep your customers’ structures rodent-free all year long. For more information about rodent control, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.
Bennett, G. W., J. M. Owens, and R. M. Corrigan. 1997. Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations. Advanstar Communications Inc., Cleveland, OH.
Conover, M. 2002. Resolving human-wildlife conflicts. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL.
Ebelling, Walter. 1975. Urban Entomology. University of California Division of Agricultural Sciences. Los Angeles, CA.
Mallis, A. 1990. Handbook of Pest Control. Franzak and Foster Co., Cleveland, OH.
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