Almost no animal has been a greater object of vilification by humans and more eradication efforts than rodents. This webinar provides a discussion on human issues with rodents, characteristics and behavior of rodents that help provide insights on how to effectively manage them, management methods, and the methods’ welfare impacts.
Leading the presentation is the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) Senior Director of Urban Wildlife Programs, John Griffin. John consults and trains animal care and control professionals, law enforcement, wildlife responders, and state and municipal agencies and oversees efforts focused on implementing humane and effective approaches to resolving wildlife conflicts.
Specifics of the session covered:
- The concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) where methods employed are based on humaneness, effectiveness, and ability to get to the root cause to get to the objective of long-term prevention.
- Human’s long-standing issues with rodents and the efforts to eradicate them throughout history.
- A study conducted in the 1940s that emphasized the importance of reducing trash and food attractants in controlling rodent populations.
- How ineffective control efforts using rodenticide and lethal trapping result in boomerang/rebound effects.
- The different rodent species, their origins, and the common ones that humans get into conflicts with.
- Distinguishing the Norway rat, Roof rat, and house mouse from each other based on their features, characteristics, and behavior.
- The gnawing ability of rodents – the reason behind it, the bite force, the materials that they can bite through, and how to effectively prevent rodents from accessing food and spaces by gnawing.
- Rodent diet: Their food and water requirement, preference for foods, and foraging habits.
- Rodent breeding and reproduction facts that provide context on how rapidly their population can grow.
- Other distinct qualities of rodents that allow them to access human space as their agility and ability to get into tiny openings as small as a dime for mice and as small as a quarter for rats.
- How effective conflict management involves a holistic approach that addresses the main tenets of removing access to food and denning and loafing spots.
- Guidelines when reducing rodent conflicts within a building and in yards or community spaces that emphasize removing access to food and denning areas, implementing mechanical and cultural approaches, sealing openings, using repellents, proper garbage disposal, and regular inspections.
- Examples of repellants and exclusion products to address rodent infestation.
- Factors to take into account in shelters and animal control facilities – what puts them at higher risk of rodent infestation and how to design a management plan.
- Considerations when developing a rodent management plan – from assessment and choosing the rodent control methodology to employ – to surveillance and adaptive management.
- Some of the challenges and mistakes that typically come about in rodent management.
- How control methods vary in animal welfare impact, examples of the different control methods including alternate forms that control fertility, and the different types of rodenticides and how they cause death.
- Studies that outline the animal welfare impact and assess the humaneness of rodent management approaches.
- How rodent management methods take a toll on other wildlife as rodenticides are disbursed to non-target species and impact animals that prey on rodents.
- Considerations when releasing captured rodents for better survivability.
Questions from webinar attendees are about:
- Using dogs to “hunt” rodents.
- Why sticky taps and rodenticides are still being sold despite their welfare impact.
- Whether pest block foams are harmful to rodents.
- Effectiveness of sound-based repellants.
Other Webinars with HSUS
- Feb 16: Solving Problems with Canada Geese
- April 11: Community Policing Lessons for Animal Protection
- April 27: Solving Problems with Deer
- May 25: Community Engagement and De-Escalation for Animal Service Professionals
- July 20: Cats and Wildlife
- Sept 28: What to Do about Conflicts with Rodents (this webinar)
- Jan 25, 2024: In It for the Long Haul: Combatting Compassion Fatigue and Enhancing Resiliency for Animal Welfare Professionals
Resources and Handouts
- “I enjoyed how articulate and well-spoken the presenter was. He made the content easy to follow and kept me engaged. That is not always an easy task during these CEU courses. Thank you!” — Douglas
- “Difference between black rat and Norway rat, the difference between house mouse and native /deer mouse Interesting fact that feeding birds can attract rodents, never thought about that, always just thought just dirty conditions and access to food was the main source. Good fact to know that can tell people when they complain about mice getting into their cars, They might keep the bird feeder area cleaned up and not store the bird seed in the car. Very helpful webinar. Thank you.” — Suzanne
- “Lots of new and informative information on rodents.” — Jared
- “Received a lot of information to give to people calling me with questions they wanted to do with rodents in their house especially with all coming. A lot of good non-toxic methods of control.” — Jennifer
- “I liked seeing life cycles. Would be interested in more in-depth info on deterrents but haven’t looked at the handouts yet. Thank you for coming up with safe and humane solutions. — Sharron
- “A multi-pronged approach is necessary, with buy-in from all people in the affected area. The evaluation of the suffering of various methods of control was insightful in helping to determine approaches to lethal control.” — Taku
This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.
Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues.