Rat harborage destruction and rat proofing measures, as well as
extermination programs, should begin at the suspected focus of rat infection, working
outward in expanding circles, with emphasis on residual insecticides for prompt
elimination of infected fleas, followed by rodent control measures.
It is very important to eliminate the infected fleas before the instigation of
rodent control measures.
(5) Control measures. The most effective method of rat control is by the
reduction of food and water supplies available to the animals.
For this reason, all possible efforts should be directed toward the
proper handling and disposal of garbage.
Supplemental rat extermination programs should be conducted by
Poisoning and fumigation are more effective than trapping for the
destruction of large numbers of rodents.
Nevertheless, where food is handled or stored, trapping alive is the
method of choice, when compared to poisoning and fumigation, because of hazards
created in using poisonous chemicals around food.
Where access to water can be eliminated, the use of liquid
anticoagulant formulations will prove more effective than baits.
h. Prevention and Control Measures Applicable to the Vehicle.
(1) Fleas. Elimination of fleas in and near buildings and inhabited areas is an
integral part of the control program, and must precede rodent control measures, since
fleas will leave a dead rodent in search of a living host.
Rat harborages should receive special attention. Insecticides with
long-term residual effect should be chosen if possible.
Rodents should be trapped alive then chloroformed to kill both the
rodent and ectoparasites.
Appropriate dusts should be sprinkled around each bait station (when
used) and in runways so that the rodent will get the insecticide on its' fur killing the
ectoparasites on the rodent and in the nest to which the rodent returns.
(2) Contacts. Follow these guidelines:
All contacts of plague patients should be dusted initially with a
suitable insecticide and kept under surveillance for at least 6 days.