New Research Shows Greater Rodent Threat

Nov 16, 2015, 12:01 PM by User Not Found

Clark Commercial Blog – October # 2 – Rodent Management

Rodents make up 43 percent of all mammals on the planet and yet despite their large footprint across the globe these highly capable animals prefer to remain in the shadows and be secretive with their actions.

The threat of a rodent infestation in commercial accounts, especially in food processing, storage or transportation facilities, must be taken seriously by facility management and their pest management provider. The stakes are simply too high to gamble on.

Clark Pest Control and RK Pest Management teamed up to host the first IPM in Food Plants Seminar in Sacramento for pest management and food industry professionals interested in learning about the future of integrated pest management practices in food plants.

Dr. Bobby Corrigan of RMC Pest Management Consulting, one of the world’s leading rodentologists, shared with attendees recent research findings revealing the extent of the threat rodents pose to food safety.

“Previously it was thought once mouse droppings became hard with age that they were no longer a threat to transfer harmful bacteria but that has changed,” said Corrigan. “New research has shown that droppings as old as 86 days can still transfer salmonella and this means there can be a risk of contamination even without an active infestation present.”

Secretive, smart, destructive and prone to infesting hard to access areas in commercial facilities, rodents are a worthy adversary for food plant managers and pest professionals. In order to design, implement and maintain an effective rodent management program in a food plant both parties must equally share in the responsibility.

Corrigan cited research from Dr. Michael Doyle of the University of Georgia that determined a single mouse can urinate up to 3,000 times in a 24-hour period. That adds up to more than 20,000 urine incidents in one week.

And mice aren’t using the restroom but instead might be urinating on bags of ingredients, food preparation surfaces and machinery, inside packaging and on the floor and drop ceilings spreading harmful bacteria with every incident.

If you are a food plant or restaurant manager this should make you sit up straight, take notice and have a serious conversation with your staff and pest management partner.

“Pest control is sanitation and if the food sources are removed and rodents become stressed they will find your control efforts more attractive,” said Corrigan.

He went on to say there are a lot of variables in rodent management – ranges, food choices, and activity periods.

“Some rodents will actively explore and some will never leave the pallet of food in which they arrived,” said Corrigan. “A rodent’s range of exploration will shorten significantly if it can get close to a food source.”

Four Key Rodent Research Takeaways

  1. Rodent droppings carry bacteria (i.e. salmonella, E. coli) longer than previously thought – up to 86 days for mice. This means there could be a risk of contamination even without an active infestation present.
  2. Mice will urinate up to 3,000 times a day.
  3. Sanitation is pest control. If food sources are removed and rodents are stressed they will find controls (i.e. bait, traps, etc.) more attractive.
  4. Effective rodent management is a partnership between the client and the pest management professional.

If you are looking for a pest management partner that will deliver exceptional results, provide outstanding customer care, and protect your employees and customers from unwanted and potentially harmful pests, give Clark Pest Control a call at 800/936-3339 or visit