Bug Blog

The Impact Of Mice And Rats On Urban areas

Over the years, there have been several aggressive campaigns designed to get rid of commensal rodents. However, not only did these pests survive the campaigns, their population actually exploded, especially in urban areas. Factors such as high human population density, aging infrastructure, budgetary constraints for the city, sewers, and poor trash management all ensure that despite consistently implemented control methods, rodents will continue to increase in numbers.

Given that rodents reproduce very quickly, spread diseases, and damage property and goods, they are considered a sizable threat in any area, but particularly in urban zones. In fact, in the US alone, rats cause $19 billion per year in damage, which is many times greater than even termites.

Controlling rats and mice in rural and suburban areas is fairly easy, because buildings are far apart, so if you control the rodent population in one, you do not have to worry about reinfestation. In urban areas however, if you have an infestation in an apartment, odds are that the entire apartment building is infested. As such, the risk of reinfestation is very high.

In order to address this issue, pest control specialists are using a technique known as Integrated Pest Management or IPM, which integrates physical intervention, sanitation and monitoring in order to provide long term pest control.

However, in an urban setting, rodenticides can be detrimental, so they are kept as a last resort when implementing IPM, especially when we’re talking about controlling rodent populations in food serving establishments, food stores, or shops that are open to the public. This makes control that much more difficult.

Despite this, rodenticides are still used in a majority of control scenarios in urban areas, but IPM methodology is catching up as an alternative. More and more publications are promoting its use because it is seen as providing a novel non-chemical control path and because it is more humane.

We use multiple methods to approach a mouse or rat infestation. Sometimes, rodenticides make sense, when you can easily find the rodent carcasses after they die for example. In other situations, you want to go with traps, or a comprehensive IPM process. It all depends on the building and the particular details of an infestation. If you would like to find out more about how we handle a rat or mouse infestation, or if you want to set up a pest control appointment, contact us today.