New York City Rodent Academy, Nov 2011
I recently returned from the NYC Rodent Academy run by rodent control expert Dr. Robert “Bobby” Corrigan. Dr. Corrigan is a legend in rodent damage management and that reputation was fully justified during my time at the Academy.
Essentially, the Rodent Academy is 3 days of detailed information on how to control rodents, specifically Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and the house mouse (Mus musculus).
Rodent Control Training
Dr. Corrigan doesn’t waste participant time detailing basic information you could easily find in pest control book, such as trap and toxicant descriptions, bait stations, etc. Rather he spends the majority of time discussing how to inspect properties using scientific information on rodent behavior. Corrigan regularly reminded us that placement of bait stations every 15 feet (or other distance–read the toxicant label) is less important than placement of stations where the rodents actually are. Sure the regularly spaced bait stations look pretty, but the placement of many of them will actually be a waste.
The training culminated on field day, where we were broken down into teams and assigned to inspect assigned areas of the Lower Manhattan for rodent sign. Each team inspected the same locations (at different times). Corrigan wanted to show that no two inspections will see the “identical number of things.”
Highlights of the Rodent Academy
Dr. Corrigan included a number of speakers to add breadth to the program. Dr. Edgar Butts of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene explained the process for registering pesticides and understanding pesticide labels.
Dr. Robin Nagle of N.Y. University is an anthropologist who studies refuse (what we throw away). She gave an interesting talk about the history of public sanitation in New York City. Ironically, the city had a recycling program in the late 1800’s, which after a few years was eliminated only to be reinstated in the past decade.
I understand that approximately 2000 people have completed the Academy. I am glad to have joined their ranks. This course is worth the time and the money. It is unclear how much longer this Academy will continue. If you are interested, sign up before it’s gone.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control professional (CWCP) and provides wildlife damage consulting, writing, and educational programs. To contact the author, stephenvantassel(at)hotmail.com