Rodent Information and Control
40 Years of rat control in Budapest: The importance of sewer treatment for effective rat control in urban areas
- INTRODUCTION: Rats proliferating in urban areas may spread infectious diseases, cause considerable economical damages or through the reaction they provoke, may annoy inhabitants; therefore, their control is indispensable. The question remains: where exactly should control be carried out to obtain appropriate results?
- "However, all too often, strategies for rat control are based on complaints by residents and treatment is adapted only for above-ground premises. (10) If there are defects in the sewers and drains, regular movement of rats between ‘sewers and drains’ and above-ground areas without being noticed, is highly possible. In other words, previously treated above-ground areas may suffer re-infestation originating from the sewage and drainage systems, which serve as reservoirs for the rat population."
- "It was also reported that when treatment of the sewer system infestation was carried out at the same time as the surface treatment, this reduced the rat population to a small fraction of its original size, and the recovery of the rat population was significantly slower. (9) Therefore, combining control operations in both above-ground area and sewer and drain systems can be considered as essential in order to avoid re-infestation and achieve good results"
- "Problems caused by rats should not be viewed as only belonging to affected premises and individuals, but they should be seen as a community problem that needs to be addressed at a community level. Therefore, in order to obtain appropriate results in urban environments, or rather to achieve a rat-free city, the above-ground area and sewage and drainage systems must be treated simultaneously. The application of a well-prepared control strategy in cooperation with the local community is also essential."
Illinois Department of Public Health Prevention & Control: Municipal rodent Management
- To be effective, such large-scale rodent control operations require a detailed but concise plan, one that melds technical pest management expertise with interagency cooperation and public relations.
- People are very concerned about rodent control – and with good reason. Rodents consume and contaminate food with their fur, urine and feces. Rat burrowing causes streets and structures to collapse. Their constant gnawing damages property. This has caused power outages, Internet blackouts, computer crashes, fires and human deaths. It is estimated that 25 percent of all fires attributed to “unknown causes” are probably started by rodents gnawing on gas lines, electrical wiring and matches.
Rodents also carry disease. A few centuries ago, 25 million people died of “black plague” – a disease carried by rats and transmitted to humans by fleas. Today, plague still occurs, even in this country, along with other rodent-borne diseases including leptospirosis, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, rat bite fever and food-borne diseases. Rat bites threaten human health. Thousands of people are bitten each year. Many more are exposed to rodent dander, fur, urine and feces, found in nearly all inner city dwellings. About 20 percent of inner-city children become sensitized to rodent allergens and may develop asthma.
- Today, communities of rats exist within and beneath cities, traveling sewers and utility lines from building to building, only occasionally noticed by their human counterparts. Each rat colony has its own territory, which can span an entire city block and harbor more than 100 rats.
- Baiting rodents with rodenticides is another effective means of control. Often, baiting is the most efficient and timely way to eliminate large numbers of rodents. The main disadvantage is that rodenticides are toxicants and must be used carefully to avoid harming people, pets and other non-target animals. As with all pesticides, precautions (and associated risks) must be taken when using rodenticides. All rodenticide product labels emphasize that baits must be secured in tamper-resistant stations or placed in areas (crawlspaces, attics, sewers) inaccessible to children and non-target animals.
- The city’s water/sewer authority is responsible for inspecting and perhaps managing rodents in sewers.
- In the end, the key to a successful municipal rodent management program is to form a task force, to coordinate city departments and to formulate a robust rodent management plan that can be expanded and contracted as needed in response to variations in rodent infestation levels. Such a plan successfully balances program costs with public awareness, health risks, regulatory enforcement, abatement, maintenance and, especially, sanitation. [NOTE: This wording is almost identical to that in the Halifax report - see above]
Evaluation of a Neighborhood Rat-Management Program - New York City, December 2007 - August 2009
- The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a pervasive urban rodent that can carry a variety of pathogens transmissible to humans, bring stress to residents of infested neighborhoods, damage property, and cause financial loss (1–4).