mechanical traps are available. The type used most frequently is the snap trap that kills
the rodent. The following procedure should be used in preparation and placement of
(a) Bait the traps with the food that has attracted the particular rodents
present in the area. Good baits are oily foods such as bacon and peanut butter, cereals
such as oatmeal and cream of wheat, and fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes
do not make good bait.
(b) Place the traps along the runs created by the rodents or at the
entrance of the burrows and harborages. Position the traps so that the rodents can
approach them from both directions.
(c) Sprinkle a light dusting of an approved insecticide powder around
each trap for the purpose of killing the parasites as they leave the dead rodent.
Otherwise, parasites that transmit diseases will leave the dead rodent and find a new
host, perhaps a soldier.
(2) Chemical control. Chemical control achieved through the use of
poisonous bait stations may be the method of choice except in the areas where food is
handled or stored. Unit personnel, including the field sanitation team, must never use
poisonous bait in food areas. If this becomes necessary, the work will be performed by
personnel who have had specialized training. Several doses and eight or nine days are
required for this bait to kill a rodent. The following procedure should be used in the
preparation and placement of poisonous bait stations.
(a) Obtain the necessary number of rodent bait containers of the
disposable type. If these containers are not available, make bait boxes. The most
effective bait box is made by nailing together four boards that are five inches wide and
18 inches long, thus forming a rectangular structure with the ends open. The rodent
bait containers or boxes make the poison accessible to rodents but inaccessible to most
other domestic animals.
(b) Place four to eight ounces of bait inside each container.
(c) Position the bait stations along the runs or at the entrance of
burrows and harborages with both ends accessible to the rodents.
(d) Sprinkle a light dusting of insecticide powder around each bait
station so that the rodent will get the insecticide on its fur. The insecticide will kill the
disease-transmitting parasites on the rodent and in the nest to which the rodent returns.
d. Rat-proofing. Rat-proofing consists of constructing buildings or altering their
construction so that rats cannot enter. It also includes eliminating a potential shelter for
them within the building. It is obvious that this is a difficult task in the field since
buildings are normally improvised. Tents cannot be effectively rat-proofed; therefore,
maximum effort must be placed on environmental control.