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A strategy for rodent-free premises

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Rodents are highly reproductive animals. A population of 1,250 rats may be produced by a single pair of rats in a year. They are known for their abilities to swim, climb and dig burrows, can survive without food for three days and resist thirst for 4-6 hours.

Rachit Agarwal, Director, Truly Pest Solution Pvt Ltd makes the case for a comprehensive approach to making and keeping a facility rodent-free.

In the Indian subcontinent, three major species encountered are Norway rats (Rattus Norvegicus), house mouse (Mus Musculus) and roof rat (Rattus Rattus). All these species have an approximate life of one year.

Rodents are responsible for the contamination and destruction of foods and fabrics, damaging structures, causing fires by gnawing on wires and carrying various disease-causing pathogens via their bodies, parasites and excrements. They can be vectors of various diseases that are transmitted through airborne particles, bites of fleas that infest rodents, rat bites and rodent urine.

Integrated Rodent Management is defined from the pillar of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Through IPM, a facility is divided into three zones:

  1. Red zone: Critical areas of manufacturing spaces or residential living i.e. inside the manufacturing facility, storage warehouse, kitchens etc.
  2. Yellow zone: The most important part of the program, comprising the boundary of the structural premises.
  3. Green zone: The area outside the premises i.e., the natural habitat of the rodent.

Combining all the above zones, a defence system may be created to avoid the entry of rodents in the Red Zone.

Common signs of rodent infestation:

  • Droppings

  • Sounds

  • Urine

  • Odours

  • Nests

  • Gnawing

Steps of IPM

In order to have good results, it is also important to identify the type of rodent and their behaviour, and conduct all the following steps of IPM:

  1. Inspection: The root-cause analysis of the rat infestation should be carried out for the complete premises.
  2. Identification: Of the species, infestation levels, breeding and resting areas. Sanitation issues should be pointed out.
  3. Determination: A complete action plan should be created to reduce the infestation levels. This may include the use of chemicals and trapping methods, depending on the zones.
  4. Prevention: Further been divided into three steps:
  5. Exclusion: Elimination of harborage such as garbage area, storage area and dustbin area. Sealing of structural defects to avoid further entry.
  6. Sanitation: Sanitation efforts require the customer’s cooperation. Thorough cleaning up of useless materials and things, storage areas and garbage etc is necessary to not attract rodents.
  7. Elimination: Placing of traps and cages to finally eliminate the population.
  8. Communication: Discussion on sanitary issues, monitoring the environment, exclusion and control methods should be carried out. This is also a way to educate and train the client, helping them to successfully implement rodent management systems. For a long-term solution, all the steps must be followed.

 

 

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