April 2014 








Norway Rats  

Rats. The word alone conjures up fears of scratching sounds coming from inside walls, filthy kitchens, and disease. The Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus, is a large, robust-bodied rodent that is considered the most important pest rat in Ontario and across much of the world. From nose to tip of the tail, which is short in relation to the body, this rat averages 40 cm long and weighs 340 grams. However, there have been Norway rats captured that have reached 48 cm long and 815 grams!


Fur ranges in color from reddish brown to dark gray and due to high variation, fur color is not a reliable way to tell one rat from another. Norway rats have small ears but have excellent sense of hearing, tasting, touch and smell, and although their eyes are prominent, Norway rats have a poor sense of sight and are color blind. Rats are what is called 'crepuscular' creatures, which means they are active around sunset and sunrise, but not during the day or the middle of the night. Norway rats are exceptional leapers, runners, swimmers, and are capable of climbing pipes, bricks and tree trunks.


Contrary to its name, the Norway rat is originally from eastern Asia but was readily spread by human movement over the last few centuries. The Norway rat is especially adept at living with humans and thrives in urban and rural settings. In fact, the way that a rat behaves is strongly tied to the type of environment in which it is living. This makes it difficult to describe rat behavior in a straightforward way. In general, Norway rats dig burrows into soil to use as safe havens and nesting sites. In a city, these rats exploit cracks, crevices, and holes in streets, sidewalks, and building foundations to use as burrows. Holes as small as 1 inch across may be enough to allow these rats to enter and exit burrows! Norway rats have a fast reproductive cycle; females can produce nearly 40 offspring per year over 4 litters.


Rodents transmit disease, damage property, and cause emotional distress; three important reasons why PMPs are called on to snuff out infestations. Managing rodent infestations is usually a combination of exclusion (sealing up places that allow rats to come in and out of a structure), limiting/removing food (omnivorous diets provide a lot of opportunity) and water (Norway rats must take water daily), trapping, and baiting. Thorough inspections are essential, look for capsule-shaped droppings (2-2.5 cm), evidence of gnawing and nesting, and even 'grease' trails that form in trafficked areas.

Norway rats are intelligent and complex creatures, and successful control efforts require you to be familiar with the intricacies of their biology and behavior and to use your knowledge against them.     


Save the Date for the 2015 SPMAO Annual Conference  

Save the date! The 2015 SPMAO Annual Conference will be held on January 20-21, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn Vaughan. Stay tuned for more details. 


Are you the proudest professional in the pest management industry? Does your excitement in and dedication to your career allow you to better serve your customers? Does your skill and fondness for protecting public health and property from unwanted pests go above and beyond the competition? If so, we have just the contest for you. NPMA is seeking the most passionate employee in our industry. We want to know why you like doing what you do, what your favorite parts of the job are and how you have risen to new heights because of opportunities available to your as a pest professional!

Submit a video showing us why this industry is a great place to work, why you love your job, and how you have benefited from working in pest management and you'll be entered to win a trip to PestWorld 2014!

Visit www.npmapestworld.org/pestfactor2014 to enter today!


Mark Your Calendar for PestWorld 2014  

PestWorld, the premier event in the professional pest management industry, will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Florida, Oct. 21-24, 2014.  


At PestWorld you will:

  • Network with more than 3,000 other pest management professionals, researchers and vendors from around the world.
  • Discover the latest business trends and learn how to apply these innovative ideas into your business.
  • Earn valuable recertification credits at educational sessions led by world-renowned experts.

For more details visit http://www.npmapestworld.org/pestworld2014.


Watch For a New Invader 
Bradford Times, April 18, 2014 

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species that is decimating Ontario's ash trees, and changing the make-up of the forest canopy - but its economic impact is limited.


It will cost governments millions of dollars to remove deadfalls and replant the urban landscape - but there's no economic sector that relies solely on ash trees. Read more... 


Pest Control in Canada Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld 
PR Web, April 09, 2014 

The Pest Control industry has experienced robust growth over the past five years, led by the increasing presence of bed bugs. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Stephen Morea, "The rising ubiquity of these nighttime critters has fueled demand for pest extermination professionals, underpinning robust revenue growth." A continuation of these factors is expected to result in a 4.0% increase in industry revenue in 2014. Read more...