Now is the Time for Focusing on Rodent Management

Pest management professionals have always been tasked with knowing the tools available and using them in an integrated way. With public health on the line and Rodent Awareness Week just passed, this is a great time of year to review your protocols and ensure your technicians are ready for the busy rodent season ahead. There is no one-solution that works for every rat or mouse job. Commensal rodents are challenging foes that require problem-solving and informed use of all the tools available to the pest management professional.

Humans have battled rodents forever. Each year, we discover new management tools and tactics. It is important to stay on the cutting edge of these developments. Dry ice and electronic monitoring are two tools that are becoming more established this year. In rare cases, tools are removed from our toolboxes. This year California Assembly Bill 1788 was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on September 29, 2020. AB 1788 specifically bans the use of Second Generation Anticoagulants (SGARs). The law will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Given that SGARs are among the most effective rodenticides professionally available, the loss of SGARs is a substantial blow to pest management professionals’ ability to protect the public health. With modern cases of rodent-borne diseases such as typhus and hantavirus on the rise, the role our industry plays in protecting health and property is becoming more important by the day.

SPECIALIZE IN RODENT SERVICES WITH QUALITYPRO PUBLIC HEALTH

QualityPro has a set of standards and exams designed to help pest management firms design a comprehensive rodent management program and ensure technicians have the knowledge to tackle commensal rodents. The standards are available for all to see at www.npmaqualitypro.org/available-credentials/qualitypro-public-health and the Public Health Core Exam and Rodent Specialty Exam are available for free to all employees of all companies earning or maintaining QualityPro accreditation. Many companies use these resources to bolster their rodent program internally. A few have demonstrated to customers that their rodent service meets national standards by earning the QualityPro Public Health Credential. This credential promotes the best our industry has to offer in protecting public health.

Rodent services certified by QualityPro, or built using the Public Health framework, require thoroughness and full transparency when communicating with consumers. All certified services must be performed by a licensed applicator in states where necessary (in California specifically this requires the Qualified Applicator license—their highest level of training), as well as passing both QualityPro’s nationally-recognized Public Health Core Exam and Rodent Specialty exam to ensure expertise. The area must be mapped out and exhaustive site-specific surveillance must be done before presenting consumers with possible solutions, a quality-assurance plan for actions the technician will take if initial solutions prove ineffective and a service protocol addressing cleanup of rodent evidence.

“Humans have battled rodents forever. Each year, we discover new management tools and tactics. It is important to stay on the cutting edge of these developments.”

Justification must be given for any placement of rodent-control equipment, including mechanical traps and bait stations. To ensure the company is thinking ahead and training employees on thorough inspection, the certified program lists at least 30 conducive conditions the PMP will know to look for to indicate rodent presence. In a certified service, control measures should be justified by documentation of at least two different signs of active infestation of target species or one sign in abundance. Technicians must be equipped and trained to use all necessary equipment, and have a plan in place for regular returns and inspections of any equipment placed around the property to make sure the situation is being properly addressed. A certified service is science-based, effective, commercially viable and allows PMPs to use all the tools available in the most judicious way.

PROFESSIONALIZING THE INDUSTRY WITH QUALITYPRO

QualityPro continues to work to professionalize the industry through accreditation and its service certifications, and to recognize companies for excellence in responsible, science-based pest control that can adapt to each year’s industry developments. Accredited companies take pride in proving their business operations and services are aligned with current regulations and best practices. Their employees go out each day knowing they have passed the national exams that prove they are prepared to provide the essential public health services the public needs. To learn more about how your company can become accredited, or how to certify your company’s services through QualityPro Schools, GreenPro, QualityPro Food Safety or QualityPro Public Health, visit NPMAQualityPro.org today.

QualityPro is administered by the Foundation for Professional Pest Management, an independent organization that has been developing good business practices and standards since 2004. Designed specifically for pest management companies in the U.S. and Canada, we are proud to certify over 500 of the best companies in the pest management industry. QualityPro is endorsed by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). For more information, contact us at QualityPro@pestworld.org.

BY GRIFFIN VOLTMANN, CERTIFICATION MANAGER, QUALITYPRO

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