The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is holding a two-day online course for pest management professionals, municipalities, universities, public schools and food safety personnel involved in rodent control. The event will be held on the Zoom meeting platform from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1-2.
“As the Year of the Rat wraps up, there is no better time to dive into this unique urban rodent management virtual workshop,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, Dallas. “This past year’s pandemic has brought about rodent-control issues and concerns that we’ve never experienced before, and we’re excited to be able to present so many leaders in the IPM field to discuss these issues and the latest technology, studies and solutions to our attendees.”
The cost is $75 and participants are requested to register by Nov. 30 in order to receive the Zoom link in time for the start of the meetings. Class size is limited to 75 people to allow for roundtable discussion at the end of each day.
“We hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to virtually spend two-days with experts from around the world, discussing better ways to understand rodent ecology and integrated pest management,” Hurley said.
There will be a certificate of academy completion available and continuing education units available if participants fulfill the necessary criteria.
On the schedule
Participants will learn about rodent disease, monitoring, trapping, urban rodent surveys and more.
“Our speakers are well known in the field of urban rodentology,” Hurley said. “Dr. Niamh Quinn moved from Ireland to study wildlife including rodents in southern California. Some of her research covers the tracking of bobcats and coyotes, which she will also share on the second half of her presentation.”
Timmy Madere, City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, Rodent Control Board, spent his time during the first months of the COVID-19 lockdown searching for rats in the French Quarter.
“Madere and Dr. Claudia Riegel, director of the City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, Rodent Control Board, used the time during the initial stages of lockdown watching the rats in the area change behavior, and they will share their experiences over the course of the two-day class,” said Hurley.
The use of rodenticides is part of the overall management of rodents, and the program will have a discussion on the changes implemented in California as well as a project in South Carolina, which details how they controlled rodents on an island.
“Sylvia Kenmuir has worked in the pest control industry in California and has gone from being on the front lines of murine typhus outbreaks to watching a law implemented to reduce the use of rodenticides in a large state,” she said. Kenmuir is an industrial entomologist and chair of the West Coast Rodent Academy.
Hurley also said use of remote-sensing technology for rodents is growing, as new products come out every year. The course will focus on some of these products and discuss how participants can utilize them in the workplace.
“Due to COVID-19, IPM and rodent control professionals are facing more and different challenges than ever before,” Hurley said. “If it is because buildings are empty or in use and neighboring buildings are empty, now is the time to learn and understand as much as you can about rodent behavior and removal.”