Dr. BobbyCorrigan “Rodent Management Updates”

Posted: December 9, 2014 in New York Pest Expo
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Dr. Bobby CorriganDr. Bobby Corrigan enthralled us all once again with another great presentation. His report on how climatic events affect rodents was fascinating. We know that climate can impact rat populations.   Hurricane Sandy relocated and reduced rat populations. Mild winters usually result in larger populations later in the season due to increased reproductive rates and lower mortality. There are reports around the world of increased rat activity. Could this be due to warmer weather patterns?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how many rats are believed to be in New York City. Some reports indicate there’s 1 rat for every person. According to Dr. Corrigan, that statement cannot be supported. There is no science behind it. We can get a good idea of a rat population within a specific location in a neighborhood through proper monitoring, but a census cannot be determined for an entire city.

Understand that rats can be relatively sophisticated and smart. Recent rodent research indicates that rats regret making bad decisions. They often modify their actions or redirect their travels when faced with an unpleasant experience. Rodent control, therefore, is no longer simply putting out glue boards, baits and traps along walls and waiting to see what happens. Look for clues and be precise in your placements. Sebum (body grease) is a dead giveaway that is often ignored in inspections. Rats leave a sebum trail where they travel frequently. These marks can help lead you to obvious pathways and nesting sites. Look along walls, corners, non-wall trails, squeeze points, ledges and structural lines. Shadows and cave shapes are indicators of comfort zones. It’s about being a detective and investigating the situation. Bobby recommends that we read “Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes and Lead a Better Life” by Maria Konnikova, 2013. Think deeper. Know your prey and its habitat. Be better than the competition.

When performing pest management in general and rodent control in particular, you have to take safety seriously. Ian Lipkin, the virus hunter, published a paper about viruses carried by rats in NYC. Alarming stuff. You need to be careful. Make sure you’re wearing your gloves and respirators. Wash your hands regularly and protect yourself! Be obsessive about keeping your hands clean. You provide a very important public health service to society and you need to take your own health seriously as well.

Ultimately, exclusion is the key for effective long-term pest management. If pests can’t get in, they won’t be a problem. Pest proofing is an art which requires great skill, attention to detail and knowledge of building materials. Invest in exclusion training. It not only works, but also leads to greater profits for your business. Let us know if you’d like to have us present an exclusion workshop.

Dr. Corrigan, as well as other speakers, emphasized the importance of personal safety. Let us know if you’d like to have us prepare a safety workshop as well.

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