UBC Graduate Research

Humane Rodent Control at UBC’s In-Vessel Compost Facility : SEEDS project conducted as part of MSc Applied Animal Biology Ryan, Erin A.

Abstract

UBC’s Green Building Action Plan has made a commitment to biodiversity through two component goals: 1) UBC will develop highly functioning landscapes at the building and site scales to contribute to biodiversity and natural ecosystem processes, and 2) UBC will engage campus teaching and research opportunities to enhance biodiversity management capacity. The targets and indicators for achieving these goals both relate to biodiversity in birds – who are impacted by rodenticide and rodent control programs. SEEDS staff connected with the researcher during the early phases of project development, and facilitated a collaboration with UBC Building Operations to identify a location on campus for this research project. The goal of the project was to evaluate the use of Goodnature A24 traps in a setting on campus, and for the research to provide recommendations for Building Operations to consider for rodent control. The first study looked at potential impacts on non-target animals, and suggests that there are a high number of nontarget species at this site that could potentially be exposed to rodent control devices. In general, the Goodnature A24 traps posed fairly low risks to non-target animals, and the use of blockers effectively removed the risks to non-target animals. At the same time, the use of a blocker did not inhibit the ability of rodents to access the trap. The Goodnature A24 rat trap appears to be a relatively humane alternative to rodenticide poisons. However, the low number of kills relative to the high number of attractants at this site demonstrate a need for rodent exclusion and other preventive measures to effectively combat rodent activity. As a result of observations during the project and researcher experience, the author recommends that UBC: • Develop a campus-wide pest control policy; the District of North Vancouver’s policy could serve as a model • Prioritize contractors that have demonstrated exclusion and experience in Integrated Pest Management • Develop guidelines or recommendations for sanitation and exclusion to prevent rodent activity • Evaluate all current rodenticide and rodent control programs on campus • If lethal control is required, consider using high-quality snap traps or Goodnature traps as an alternative to rodenticides • Develop recommendations for appropriate bird attractants on campus • Consider UBC’s sustainability commitments and the values of the University community • Seek opportunities to continually evaluate and improve pest control practices on campus. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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