Rodents are one of the most common urban pests in industries such as food, construction, pharmaceuticals, among others, as well as in environments such as houses, warehouses or other places where there are stored products.

Their presence is indicated by several characteristic signs including sounds, droppings, urine, stains, trails, tracks, gnawing, burrows, nests, and food caches.

Although in certain circumstances rodents are animals of great importance to man, contributing to his well-being through seed dispersal, water infiltration and consumption of harmful insects; their control is necessary since they are also responsible for problems such as the transmission of diseases, damage to equipment, buildings or electrical cables, which represents millions of losses on a global scale.

To help you in your work in rodent control, we show you 5 best practices for a systemic application, well planned and dedicated.

Identify the Type of Rodent You Are Facing

There are about 539 species of rodents in the world, of which only 8 are considered as pests in stored products and 4 as pests in general. The 4 genera of rodents recognized in Latin America are Rattus rattus (Black Rat), Rattus norvegicus (Norway Rat) and Mus musculus (Domestic Mouse) of the Muridae family.

Identifying the biology of these species will help you determine the best method of control, as each has characteristics and abilities that can be combated in different ways.

For example, the Norway Rat is agile and can easily hide in sewage systems, it also has the ability to travel through pipes without breathing, which facilitates the transport of diseases. On the other hand, the House Mouse can penetrate small holes and fall from heights of 2.5 meters without causing damage, which will make it difficult to locate.

The method you choose should take into account their weaknesses and use them to prevent an increase in the population of the subjects before they continue to reproduce.

Carry Out a Permanent Rodent Control Program

When conducting an environmental assessment, it is important to keep two important considerations in mind:

When rodents are in a place where food, delicate objects or other items are stored, the goal is to minimize damage. The number of dead is not an important factor, if not to stop the living individuals because they will continue causing material damage.

Although the extermination of rodents is impossible, an efficient control system can be carried out to keep the population to a minimum and in this way there are no relevant economic damages.

The foregoing shows that it is necessary to have a permanent control program, since a single application will not be of much use, since rodents have a high reproductive capacity in very short periods of time. Also keep in mind that if the population has reached high levels, it will be too late to set up this program.

Have More Than One Rodent Control Method

Although rodent control techniques vary between different sectors, and each one has its own preference, reality indicates that a single technique is not adequate in most cases and a combination of these is generally required to achieve an efficient result.

The different methods can be classified into three general categories: physical, biological and chemical:

Physical methods: This is one of the oldest and most popular methods. It consists of the use of traps to catch rodents and although it does not imply a great cost at the material level, it does in terms of time and labor. The results in terms of rodent population reduction are virtually nil.

Biological methods: It is one of the topics of greatest interest among researchers, since it involves using methods such as the introduction of predators, diseases or parasites, habitat modification, genetic manipulation and resistant varieties of crops to end the rodent population. However, most of these solutions have flaws in theory or practicality and are not reliable for people's health.

Chemical methods: Through studies, it has been proven that the most effective method is the use of rodenticides, divided into two categories: acute or fast-acting and chronic, which act slowly after several doses. Its presentation can be in baits, cereals or other materials.

Choosing between these methods depends on the initial evaluation and the previously established control plan.

Follow the Safety Measures Before, During and After an Application

Safety is an important factor regardless of the application method you choose. Always keep in mind the following tips to maintain a safe environment during your work:

  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and special clothing for the application
  • Always remember that any toxic product must be out of the reach of children, pets or subjects vulnerable to the action of control methods.
  • Carefully follow the detailed instructions on product labels.
  • Do not smoke or eat while working with chemicals; wash your hands with soap and water after handling them.
  • Burn bags or packages that have contained rodenticides.
  • Deeply bury rodents killed by rodenticides to prevent them from being eaten by other animals.

Remember that the most important thing when carrying out rodent control is to preserve life and reduce damage to people, pets or material to a minimum.

Prevent Re-invasion

Rodents can enter through a variety of entrances to homes, warehouses, or other structures where products are stored; Windows, doors, pipe entry holes, tunnels made by rodents themselves are some of the most common pathways. Openings as small as 1.25 cm are suitable for entry by rats, while openings as small as 0.62 cm are suitable for entry by mice.

Within the permanent control program, it is important to include the prevention of re-invasion of rodents and the use of different construction materials to prevent their passage. The hygiene of the places where there was previously an invasion will also be a decisive control weapon.

Taking the above practices into account will help you do a professional job and keep rodent infestation to a minimum. Always remember to use products that help you guarantee the health and well-being of your customers.