BY CLEMSON UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
CLEMSON – rats! But when you have them, there is more than one way to send the disease-ridden people out.
Pesticide applicators in South Carolina will expand their arsenal against rats and other rodents in online training offered Aug. 20 by the Clemson University Extension Service and Pesticide Regulation Department.
“We are looking at how rodents can be responsibly controlled for human safety without harming the environment, including the predators that feed on them,” said Eric Benson, professor emeritus and Clemson Extension specialist with the Expertise in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). for urban pests.
IPM is a result of ideas first applied nationwide to insects and crop diseases in the 1970s. It has now expanded to all facets of pest control, especially where chemical pesticides are used.
The IPM strategy uses not just a single method, but the best combination of methods to control pests and minimize environmental damage.
The latter has become a problem on Kiawah Island, where part of the native population of local bobcats have died and tested positive for chemicals used to kill rats – likely because they ate the rodents themselves.
The Rodent Control: IPM Options online training course provides research-based options that are economical for pest control companies and their customers, provide effective rodent control, while minimizing the risk to non-target animals.
The online workshop will take place on Thursday, August 20, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The cost is $ 50. The course includes two re-certification points for certified pesticide applicators and a certificate of completion.
“Rodents are ubiquitous. This is not a problem in just one place or just on the coast, but wherever people live,” said Benson. “Because Kiawah Island tracks its bobcat population, it has its own biology department and has been able to identify compounds that are used in some rat baits. Most cities would never know.”
“Our main target is roof rats. Many other rodents such as squirrels and chipmunks are part of the natural environment and an important part of predator food chains,” he said. “That’s why we want rodents in the environment. We just don’t want rodents to get into areas where we live and eat.”
In addition to Benson, the moderators include:
– Donny Oswalt, owner of The Bug Doctor in Alabama, a Clemson Ph.D. Graduate with more than 40 years experience in pest control;
– Wildlife biologist Jim Jordan keeping an eye on the Kiawah Island Bobcats; and
– Ryan Okey, associate director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation, a Clemson state regulator charged with approving pesticides and the professionals who use them.
“Pesticides are an important tool in protecting agriculture, the environment and human health. However, without an integrated approach to pest control, we can achieve negative results, as is the case with the Bobcats on Kiawah Island,” said Steve Cole, Director of Regulatory Services at Clemson. “This training program will help pest control professionals use other tools to effectively control rodents without negatively impacting the ecosystem.”
Register for the class at https://bit.ly/30U6iIb