Rodent Season Forecast 2016

What’s the forecast for the upcoming rodent season? According to noted rodent expert Dr. Bobby Corrigan, commercial clients can expect a rodent “surge” as these unwanted visitors look to gain access to your facility in search of food and water.

The Pacific Northwest and Inter-Mountain regions’ dry, hot summer has depleted naturally occurring food and water sources and this will cause rodents to explore their surroundings more aggressively in search of these necessities.


“Like humans, rodents look for relief from the elements and associate cooler locations with water sources,” says Corrigan. “For example, the shady side of a warehouse will likely see more rodent activity than one with constant sun.”


How can commercial clients mitigate the rodent threat? Corrigan recommends the following strategies that are not difficult, costly or time-consuming.


Google It – Pull up Google maps and review the area surrounding your facility to identify conditions that are conducive for rodents and rank them one to four. Is there are body of water (i.e. creek, retention basin, pond, etc.), heavy vegetation, agriculture fields or a rail line? These areas can provide rodents with food and water, ease of movement and make ideal harborage locations.


Do The Pilot Walk About – Just like an airplane pilot, walk around the outside of your facility and review the potential threats you identified on Google maps. Also look for sanitation, structural and cultural issues that need correction.

Harvest Information – If your facility is located in a rural agriculture area know when fall harvest season starts. During harvest rodents, particularly mice, living in fields will be displaced in large numbers and will be looking for a new place to call home. And due to your facility’s proximity to the field that home could be within your walls. Make sure your facility is sealed up tight and your sanitation protocols are followed closely during this period.

Corrigan stresses that the key to achieving your facility’s rodent management goals is not always solved by adding more bait or trapping stations.

“Spend more time inspecting and correcting conditions that attract rodents and allow them to establish harborage locations or gain access to your facility,” says Corrigan. “The time invested up front will pay dividends down the road.


Signs of Rodent Infestation

Here are some telltale signs that rodents may be present in your facility:

Rodent Droppings. Rodent droppings and urine are some of the first signs you have rodents. Look for rodent droppings near areas where food sources are available including shipping pallets, storage areas, and dumpsters and recycling bins. The droppings sort of look like a fat piece of rice and are usually black in color and ¼ to ½ inch long.

Chewed Electrical Wires. Rodents will chew almost anything and electrical wires are a popular “snack.” In fact, almost 40 percent of structural fires of unknown origin are due to rodents chewing through electrical wire insulation.

Entrance Points. Openings as small as ¼ to ½ inch in diameter provides rodents an entrance into a structure. Remember to look high and low for openings including the foundation, around doors and window frames, loading dock doors, HVAC vents and along the roofline.

Unexplained Damage. Rodents are prodigious gatherers of “stuff” when building a nest. They will chew on product packaging, carpet and upholstery to obtain nesting materials, and have been known to chew through screens to gain access to a structure.


Rodents: Rats & Mice