Update from Pest Control Company About Rats at Congdon

Updated: June 14, 2018 08:57 PM

Guardian Pest Solutions is weighing in on how they are helping the Duluth School District manage the rat problem at Congdon Park Elementary.

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Technical Director and entomologist Dr. Jamie Kopco shared more. "Rats are not unheard of in Duluth. There's no need to panic."

The situation at Congdon started to unfold in mid-May. A site engineer at the school noticed rats in the food recycling area, which is outside. Guardian was called right away, and the district put out traps.  Dave Spooner, Facilities Manager for ISD 709, said that they are confident the rats were not inside the school, based on their security system and the fact that there were no reports of sightings, droppings or smell.

They could have deployed the next step of getting rid of the rats, which are bait boxes, when the kids were still in school. But they decided to wait until the school year was over as an extra precaution, and have followed both state and federal guidelines on pesticide use.

Kopco said the rats have been there for some time, as they've seen a mix of ages and different generations. 

The bait boxes are going out soon, and are are tamper resistant. You can only get in them with a key. "The bait itself is formulated to attract rats, and has just the right toxicity to get the job done, but does not present hazards to anyone else."

He added, "It will probably take a while to get all of them, because it is a substantial number, and rats are cautious. So it will take a little while for them to realize bait is there, and take awhile to trust those bait stations enough to go in them."

As for where the rats will die, he anticipates it will be in their nests, and not out in the community. Still, if you find one, dispose of it using plastic gloves or a plastic bag. Guardian said the bait inside the rat won't hurt you, but it's good to take precautions with any dead animal.

These are some tips from Guardian for homeowner, who want to keep their properties secure from infestations: 

• Keep trash bins covered 
• When possible store bins in a closed shed or garage 
• Only place trash and recycling bins curbside on designated pick up dates 
• Tightly seal pet food stored in garages. Do not let spilled food linger. 
• Be sure all doors and windows seal tightly. 
• Keep all vegetation trimmed and manicured 

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