Thursday, December 12, 2013

Forget the rats...fix the problem

Sometimes pest problems can be so daunting that it's easy to overlook the obvious solution. This was the case for many private and governmental PMPs in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, the obvious didn't escape the attention of Claudia Reigel, with the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board.

Reigel was recently featured in a National Public Radio (NPR) piece on the huge city rat problems after the hurricane.  While the city and many PMPs were scrambling to dump enough rodent bait in bait stations and sewers to plug the Mississippi levees, the problem wasn't getting better.

Reigel's solution was simple in concept.  "Forget the rats; fix the problems!"

By problems, of course, she meant the overgrown vegetation, poorly sealed buildings, overflowing trash dumpsters other sanitation lapses. In other words, integrated pest management (IPM).

As the story correctly points out, consistently successful pest control has to start with making the environment less hospitable to pests. And for some pest problems, until we do this, all the pesticide in the world isn't going to make a big difference.  This is not to say that rodenticides (or any pesticides for given pests) shouldn't be used; but they should be used in the context of changing the pest's environment.

New Orleans' rodent problems, I'm sure, haven't gone away. And they didn't improve overnight either. But the improvements are tangible, according to Reigel.  Maybe there's a daunting pest problem you're facing right now. The answer could be to "forget the pest for a moment, and fix the problem".

1 comment:

Jerry Swoboda said...

Thanks Mike. great info! i will incorporate into our rodent control programs. Nice ammunition!