Federal inspections report rodents, unsanitary worker practices behind egg recall

A report from the Food and Drug Administration reports rodents and unsanitary conditions at a North Carolina egg distributor linked to a major salmonella contamination. It’s a case where lack of integrated pest management had serious health consequences and created food safety issues.

Inspectors found “unacceptable rodent activity” and dirty equipment at the Rose Acre Farms egg operation in Pantego, N.C., during visits from March 26 to April 11, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report. They also noted employees touching dirty floors, equipment and their bodies without washing their hands. Continue reading

Winter is a good time to declutter

by Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife

As November comes to an end, and the weather starts to cool, teachers and staff start thinking about the holidays.  However, what they probably don’t think about is their role in the IPM program. As parties are planned, decorations brought out of storage and cooler temperatures invite open windows it’s also a good time to remind everyone that mice, ants, and other critters are on the move.  This time of year also brings out the clutter bug in all of us, it’s best to keep on top of this behavior then let it take over one’s life. Continue reading

New York City public health team develops indicators for predicting rat infestations

A team of researchers from the New York City Department of Health has developed ways of predicting rat infestations based on the type of neighborhood that people live in.

TV and movies have frequently shown rats in neighborhoods with squalid conditions, in areas near restaurants and near apartment buildings in poor neighborhoods. But these portrayals are based on human perceptions and associations between poverty and pest populations. However, few studies have set out to define factors that could predict where rat infestations would be. Continue reading

Don’t let mice and rats ruin your holiday

From the November Arizona Pest Management newsletter

There are many species of rodents, including ground squirrels, rock squirrels, chipmunks, muskrats, beavers, prairie dogs, gophers, packrats, roof rats and a variety of different mice. But do you know that rats and mice are considered the most successful mammals on Earth? In natural environments native rodents play an important role in the health of the environment, and are a major source of food for many predators and scavengers, including hawks, fox, bobcats, coyotes, snakes and even wolves. Continue reading

Keep Rodents out of Your School – EPA Webinar, January 27

A webinar, “Keeping Rodents out of Your School,” hosted by the EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM), will be held on January 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will present the challenges schools face concerning rodents and an IPM strategy that engages the entire school community to successfully manage rodents. The webinar will feature:

  • Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Corrigan Consulting
  • Claudia Riegel, Director, New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board

A moderated question and answer session will conclude the event.

Continue reading

How to deal with mice

As the weather gets cooler, small mammals such as mice and rats look for warmth, sometimes in your home. The Pennsylvania IPM Program has a great fact sheet on how you can tell if you have mice in your house, along with the best ways to get rid of them. Below is information from the fact sheet, but go to their website if you want a printable copy.

Why Use IPM to Control Mice?

  • More likely to give long-term control
  • Less hazardous to human health
  • Less risk to nontarget organisms
  • More cost effective
  • More site appropriate

Steps to Managing Mice

Step 1: Pest Identification
Find out what kind of pest you have to make sure it is a mouse or a rat, if possible. Mice that infest houses are typically 5–8 inches long, including a long, hairless tail. They have large ears and their droppings are pointed, about the size of a grain of rice. Rats are much larger, 13–18 inches in length, including a short tail. Their droppings are blunt, about the size of a small raisin. Continue reading

Study finds pathogens in NYC’s rodent population

By Timothy S. Paul, 212-305-2676 or tp2111@columbia.edu

In the first study to look at would-be diseases carried by New York City rats, scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified bacterial pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella, and C. difficile, that cause mild to life-threatening gastroenteritis in people; Seoul hantavirus, which causes Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever and kidney failure in humans; and the closest relative to human hepatitis C. Results appear in the journal mBio.

Continue reading