Section I. CONTROL OF RODENTS
a. Millions of dollars worth of subsistence are discarded each year because of
insect infestation and damage by rodents. This fact, plus the capabilities of insects and
rodents to transmit disease, makes the control of these pests necessary in order to
provide quality products and adequate measures in preventing disease.
b. Diseases can be spread from their source to man by several means. One of
these is by insects and rodents. The rat, housefly, and cockroach, among others, can
spread disease to man through food. In order to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness,
we must break the chain of infection or contamination. The best way to break this
chain, insofar as insects and rodents are concerned, is to keep them out of our food
establishments. Any establishment may have an occasional pest so we must protect
food and equipment from those that do get in despite our best efforts. It is the continual
presence of insects or rodents that causes the major problems, which results from a
lack of good sanitation and control measures.
c. The reference source for food pest problems is Military Standard 904,
Guidelines for Detection, Evaluation, and Prevention of Pest Infestation of Subsistence.
a. Rodents are a class of mammals characterized by large incisor teeth, well
adapted for gnawing and nibbling. The rodents that may be found in food storage
facilities and food establishments are rats and mice, although sometimes squirrels may
be found. The more general word pest is often used, as it refers to insects, rodents,
birds, or other animals that may render subsistence partially or wholly unusable.
Infestation refers to the presence of pests or their wastes in and around subsistence so
that the product may be rendered unwholesome for human consumption. Pest control
personnel are military or civilian personnel trained and certified or licensed to use or
supply pesticide chemicals. Their services are usually employed on a regular, recurring
b. No single measure will completely eliminate the problem caused by rodents
that invade food establishments and storage facilities. However, when we analyze all
the elements of a rodent control program, we find that the program is composed
basically of three phases: environmental control, chemical control, and mechanical
control. These phases are not separate and distinct. They are integral parts of each
other, and one phase cannot adequately control the problem without the help of the