Rats & Mice
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
The succesful management of pests requires an understanding of pest ecolgy and habits. The aim of ADC Pest Technicians is to undertake a program of Intergrated Pest Management in the treatment and control of pest problems.
NON-CHEMICAL CONTROL METHODS
In certain situations the use of chemical methods in controlling pests is not permitted or not advisable. Sites or producers holding an organic accreditation are restricted in the types of pesticides approved for use. The use of pesticides, particularly rodenticide baits, in food production areas may present a risk of product contamination or sabotage. In areas where there are protected species of animal or plant life, the use of physical methods of control may be selected in preference to pesticides.
RODENT AND OTHER VERTEBRATE TRAPPING
Spring traps, which are designed to kill the rodent, as well as live traps, are available for rats and mice. Sticky or glue board traps are also available for both rats and mice. Traps are extremely useful in areas where it is not possible to use rodenticides, for example, in sensitive food production areas.
Live catch mouse traps are available in either single or multi catch versions. They can be used as an alternative to toxic baits in high risk/production areas, although the presence of a bait attractant may pose a contamination risk. Cage traps which catch the target animal live are of limited use as a control measure but may be employed when there is a risk to protected species from other methods. Any animal caught should be despatched humanely. Non-target species must be released unharmed.
To avoid causing unnecessary suffering, all traps must be inspected regularly and where these traps are specified, contracts need to allow for this increased level of inspection. This applies to spring and, break-back traps as well as live catch or cage traps because even these traps do not always dispatch the rodent cleanly. The use of pesticides, particularly rodenticide baits, in food production areas may present a risk of product contamination or sabotage.
As a general rule, it is considered good practice to inspect all traps at least once in every 24 hour period. Where traps are placed outdoors, this may need to be increased to at least twice in every 24 hour period for example, in cases where adverse weather or other factors could lead to increased distress.
Cage traps are usually constructed from wire mesh, into which birds are enticed using a decoy, or suitable bait. Once inside, the bird is prevented from leaving by a cone entrance, bob wires or non-return door. It is a legal requirement that birds are caught alive; non-pest species can then be released and the remaining birds can be humanely dispatched. Traps must be visited at least daily to release or dispatch birds. Food and water must be available in the trap to prevent undue stress.
OTHER (NON-LETHAL) BIRD CONTROL METHODS
Traditional anti-perching systems consist of sprung wire or spike systems and are designed to prevent birds from alighting on ledges or similar surfaces. Electric wire systems are also available.UV stable polyethylene or polypropylene netting with an appropriate mesh size for the species concerned:
19mm for house sparrows
28mm for starlings
50mm for pigeons
75mm for gulls
Will provide permanent exclusion from areas such as loading bay canopies. Bird scaring can be effective using either digitally produced warning and distress calls or birds of prey to deter birds from open areas.
The use of insect traps can rarely be relied on as a method of control but can provide evidence of the presence of insect pests andmay in some cases reduce numbers. The main types of insect traps are:
ELECTRIC FLY CONTROL UNITS
(EFK) Flying insects are attracted to the ultra-violet light emitted by the unit and are either trapped on an adhesive board or killed by means of a high voltage electric charge. As UV emission from the unit degrades rapidly lamps should be replaced at between 6-12 months, preferably in spring. EFK units should not be placed:
Outside or by open windows and doors where they will catch non-target species and may attract pests to the site
Beside windows or fluorescent lighting where they will compete with natural sources of UV light
Over food preparation surfaces where there will be a risk of fall-out from the unit
The term “detector” better describes the function of adhesive traps. Insects are encouraged to enter the trap by either a food source attractant or pheromone lure and are held on the adhesive surface.
As with adhesive traps the male insect is attracted by the pheromone released by the lure. Once in the trap the insect may be trapped with an adhesive insert or simply be unable to find its way out. The pheromone is specific to one or a number of related species and acts as an indicator rather than a control method.
CHEMICAL CONTROL METHODS
USE OF PESTICIDES OVERVIEW
While the aim of an intergrated Pest Management programme is to minimise pest risk through proofing, hygiene and enviromental management, there will be occasions when pesticides will be employed to eradicate an infestation on site. The use of pesticides can present a risk of product contamination, risks to health of users and third parties and a risk to the enviroment.
Chemical control of arthropods involves the use of insecticides or acaricides. These are chemicals that kill insects and mites or prevent their development, thus preventing the production of the next generation.
Many insecticides and acaricides are poisons. Therefore their use in public health and industry should be as a last resort after all other methods have been considered. A full risk assessment should be carried out before using insecticides or acaricides.
MODE OF ACTION
Most modern insecticides work on contact with the target organism. The insects have either to be exposed to the pesticide in the air or as a deposit on the substrate. Some insecticides, often those used as baits, need to be ingested by the insect.
Insecticides can be classified by their mode of action. Most insecticides affect one of five biological systems in insects. These include:
the nervous system
the production of energy
the production of cuticle
the endocrine system
The most appropriate application technique must be chosen to achieve a good kill of the target organism while minimising the effect on non-target organisms and the environment.
Spraying is usually the chosen application method where a surface treatment is required. Spraying is also the chosen technique for crack and crevice treatments. Many insects spend the daytime in harbourages, such as cracks and crevices in the fabric of buildings, away from the light. Spraying into these areas takes small but effective doses of insecticide direct to the insects.
An insecticide dust can be used to give a long (residual) period of control in areas not usually entered by humans, such as basements and roof spaces, ducts, cavities and electrical conduits etc.
The use of insecticidal smoke, misting or fogging all fill the space to be treated with small particles of insecticide on a carrier or in the case of a thermal fogger, vaporized insecticide. These formulations are effective against flying insects.
Insecticide baits have a very low mammalian toxicity, making them safer to use where humans and other non-target organisms are present
The use of insecticide baits is becoming increasingly common especially against cockroaches and ants. Insecticide baits have a very low mammalian toxicity, making them safer to use where humans and other non-target organisms are present. Some insects will return to their harbourages having ingested bait and after they have died their carcasses will be consumed by other insects, which are also subsequently poisoned (a domino or cascade effect). Baits are not suitable where a quick kill is required and are therefore usually used combined with other treatments.
Rodenticides usually need to be ingested, that is either eaten in the form of bait or taken into the body via the mouth while grooming.
Rodenticides fall into two categories; acute: these are quick acting and effective but often painful in their action, and chronic: these are slow acting, often multi-feed baits that generally cause minimal pain in their action.