Municipal Rodents

Rat under rocks in urban setting

As creatures that “live in man’s parallel universe, surviving on the effluvia of human society (Sullivan, 2004),” rats are a common, yet despised part of urban life. Their notoriety has made them popular media topics, from “rats gone wild” to “Pizza Rat.” In most cases, urban rats are viewed as the problem, and action is taken to manage pest numbers with minimal attention given to their ultimate cause. Meanwhile, these pests are more accurately considered symptoms of sanitation problems, and are the result of human behaviors and practices that provide food, water, and shelter to the rats.

For large municipalities, rats are a persistent problem that can cause loss of business, structural damage, food contamination and spread pathogens—posing potential public health risks. To combat rat problems and respond to resident complaints, municipalities undertake large-scale management. Interestingly, despite the shared challenges of developing and executing these programs, to date there has been no formal coalition dedicated to advancing the science and implementation of municipal rodent management. With funding from the Northeastern IPM Center Partnership Grants Program, the Municipal Rodent IPM Working Group will address this need at a time when new challenges in rodent management continue to emerge.

The Municipal Rodent IPM Working Group includes representatives from academia, industry (manufacturers, consultants, applicators), and several municipalities. The Working Group’s goal is to advance the adoption of rodent IPM at the municipal level.

Project Leaders

  • Matt Frye – New York State IPM Program at Cornell University
  • Ray Delaney – City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Health
  • Bobby Corrigan – RMC Pest Management Consulting, Inc.
  • Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann – New York State IPM Program at Cornell University


Working Group Participants (Google sheet)

For more information about the Working Group or to join the Listserv, please contact Matt Frye (


Meeting Notes