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Integrated Pest Management for Rat Control

Post Date:05/24/2019 12:12 PM

The City of Millbrae uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at all of our facilities and contracts with a company called Pestec to help manage and prevent unwanted pests. IPM is a method used to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM uses alternative measures to using standard pesticides and rodenticides and creates conditions that are unfavorable for pests. IPM uses long-term prevention strategies for pests through a combination of techniques such as habitat modification, biological control and physical control, and lethal control.

The following are a few strategies: for additional strategies go to:

Biological Control: The primary urban predators of rats include barn owls, hawks, coyotes, feral cats, domestic dogs, foxes and raccoons.

Physical and Habitat Control: Use physical and habitat measures to remove rats or prevent indoor and outdoor access. Practices that reduce or eliminate rat access to food both inside and outside of the home are essential to successful rat management, and these measures need to be maintained over time to prevent future problems.


  • Make sure there is not access to food, water or shelter, and fix all leaking water pipes
  • Properly dispose of garbage, recyclables, and compostables and make sure garbage and other cart lids are tight-fitting
  • Check to make sure there are no entry points to keep rats out of structures; close up potential entry holes by a combination of copper mesh and caulk. Large holes may have to be sealed with sheet metal
  • Reduce clutter and debris by using proper storage techniques
  • Trim trees, vines, bushes, grass, and weeds at least 2 feet from all buildings and eliminate dense plantings

Lethal Controls: When lethal controls are necessary, trapping should be considered or tried, such as electric Zap traps, before using toxic baits. The best time to trap is at dusk or later in the night.

For additional strategies, please visit


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