a. There are several measures that can be taken to guard against rodent
infestation. Rodents can be physically prevented from entering food storage facilities by
closing off any openings. Structural harborages, such as double walls, must be sealed.
Pest-proofing should include sealing of openings the size of a quarter or a nickel. The
hiding places of rodents should be destroyed. This may preclude the stacking of crates
or boards alongside walls and impose strict standards around dumpsters and garbage
cans, as well as the general area maintenance. It is also important to eliminate all
available sources of food and water for rodents by adherence to strict sanitation
practices, such as immediately cleaning up food spillage, daily sweeping of floors, and
hygienic practices in the employee locker areas. Poor storage practices can be
eliminated. This includes following standard stacking procedures that will preclude
crushing or other damage to containers. The mishandling of subsistence when it is
being moved or rearranged, such as improper stacking or tossing the product around,
should be avoided. Mechanical damage by forklift may also easily occur. New stocks
of susceptible subsistence items should be isolated from old stock to prevent cross
infestations. Poor product rotation allows insects to complete their life cycles, not only
causing heavy damage but also attracting rodents. The need exists for an ongoing,
regular pest management program by qualified pest control personnel.
b. The first of the three phases is environmental control. The best way to control
rodents is to institute basic sanitation measures in and around the storage areas. This
includes proper storage and disposal of refuse so as to deny a harborage in which
rodents live and breed. Rodent proofing of buildings is also of significant importance. It
includes installation of screens and door flashings, heavy mesh wire for vents and
windows, and coverings for pipes and wires: all to prevent the entry of rodents into the
c. Some interesting and significant facts about rats which should be kept in mind
when rodent-proofing buildings are:
Rats can enter holes as small as 0.5 inch in diameter.
Rats can climb both vertically and horizontally.
Rats can climb pipes up to 4 inches in diameter.
Rats can jump 3 feet high from a flat surface.
Rats can jump 4 feet horizontally.
Rats can jump 8 feet from an elevated position.
Rats can fall 50 feet without injury to themselves.