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. Our focus in 2021–2023 is the Northeast region of the United States, but we hope to expand the working group in future years. The overall goal is to advance the adoption of rodent IPM at the municipal scale. Objectives for the current funding period (2021–2023) include:

  • identify current challenges and opportunities in municipal rodent management
  • identify the top three to five most pressing research needs in municipal rodent management
  • compile a white paper about the current state of municipal rodent management
  • develop a guidance document to help municipalities create, monitor and manage a rat IPM program
  • develop a strategic plan for the future of the Municipal Rodent IPM Working Group

Project Leaders

  • Matt Frye
  • Ray Delaney
  • Bobby Corrigan
  • Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann

For more information about the Working Group, please contact Matt Frye (mjf267@cornell.edu)

Members

Jesse Allen
Corteva Agriscience

Kelley Altland
Bell Laboratories, Inc.

John Bitner
Cumberland County, PA Vector Control | Pennsylvanian Vector Control Association

Leo Boucher
City of Boston Inspectional Services

Caroline Bragdon
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Gerard Brown
DC Department of Health | Rodent and Vector Control

Patrick Burgess
Bayer US | Environmental Science

Kaylee Byers
University of British Columbia

Alejandro Calixto
New York State IPM Program | Cornell University

Dave Colbert
Xcluder Rodent and Pest Defense | Global Material Technologies, Inc.

Matt Combs
Columbia University

Robert Corrigan
RMC Pest Management Consulting, LLC

Ray Delaney
City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health | Pennsylvanian Vector Control Association

Ed Dolshun
Catchmaster | AP&G Co., Inc.

Mark Ebner
Victor | Woodstream Corporation

Jim Fredericks
National Pest Management Association

Matt Frye
New York State IPM Program | Cornell University

Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann
New York State IPM Program | Cornell University

Chris Geiger
San Francisco Department of the Environment

Paul Geiger
Black Widow Termite and Pest Control Corp.

Mike Goldstein
Victor | Woodstream Corporation

Leah Helms
Seattle & King County Public Health Service | Solid Waste, Rodent, and Zoonotic Disease Program

Chelsea Himsworth
University of British Columbia

Janet Hurley
Texas IPM Program | Texas A&M AgrilLife Extension

Stephen Kells
University of Minnesota

Sylvia Kenmuir
BASF Pest Control

Leah Lamonte
Allegheny County, PA Health Department | Pennsylvanian Vector Control Association

Rebecca Lasko
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Michael Lee
University of British Columbia

Dion Lerman
Pennsylvania IPM Program | Penn State University

Timmy Madere
City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board

Imelda Moise
University of Miami

Scott Mullaney
UNIQUE Pest Management

Jason Munshi-South
Fordham University

John Murphy
Liphatech, Inc.

Jason Myers
BASF Pest Control

Marty Overline
The Aardvark Pest Management

Kris Pape
Seattle & King County Public Health Service | Solid Waste, Rodent, and Zoonotic Disease Program

Michael Parsons
Fordham University

John Phil
Bell Laboratories, Inc.

Richard Pollack
Harvard University

David Power
City of Cambridge Inspectional Services Department

Niahm Quinn
South Coast Research and Extension Center | University of California

Susannah Reese
StopPests in Housing Program | Northeastern IPM Center

Carmen Reichard
Mercer County Regional Planning Commission | Pennsylvanian Vector Control Association

Jonathan Richardson
University of Richmond

Claudia Riegel
City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board

Elton Rogozi
Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania

Trisha Shellenberger
Bell Laboratories, Inc.

Georgianna Silveira
City of Somerville, MA

Shannon Sked
Rutgers University | Western Fumigation

Doug Smith
SenesTech, Inc.