Maria Sørensen is a biologist working for Hedensted Municipality as a case worker, in which she is responsible of rodent control.
Hedensted Municipality has composed a so-called action plan for rat control for 2018-2021. The plan seeks the purpose of reducing the number of rats by focusing on preventive and combative measures.
One of the overall objectives are lowering the use of rodenticide in connection with rodent control. Another objective is informing citizens of the preventive rat control as well as using the digital solution for reports about rats. Digitalization is a central element in the action plan, because it should be uncomplicated and easy for citizens to write a report or look for information and guidance about rats.
You get a message instantly, whenever activity has taken place, so the PCO can go to the trap quickly and reactivate it, in order of ensuring active rat control constantly”
A bird habitat located at Hjarnø has previously had massive rat problems, and this concerns Hedensted Municipality, because they are responsible of the island. It has been quite a challenge finding the right method of controlling the rats.
“When I took over this area, I discovered that rat control with rodenticides had been running for a couple of years, but it was not working. I decided that we had to do something else, especially now as we were responsible of protecting the birds and we were using large amounts of rodenticide in the municipality,” explains Maria Sørensen.
Studies in Hedensted Municipality proved that many rats were resistant to the rodenticides, but in spite of this fact, the amount of rodenticide used was still high, even though it appeared not to be working.
“TrapMe appeared as a very good alternative. It is smart, that you get a message whenever the trap snaps and, in that manner, you get to save time going to citizens constantly checking the traps. Of course, we have to go and check in order of optimizing the locations and estimating whether or not to continue the rodent control. However, we have an idea about if the trap has snapped or not,” says Maria.
Less rodenticides, more traps
Hedensted Municipality has reduced the use of rodenticide by about 80-90%, which is indeed a smaller amount in contrast to what they have been using for the last few years.
“We have to make the rat control as efficient as possible, and this is a process that we consciously work on. When I discovered TrapMe, I quickly made the decision. The alternatives could quite frankly not offer the same, and it was important, that the trap was a package deal so to speak,” tells Maria.
The reports on rats can vary from one year to the next, so there may be 2000 reports on rats or 3500 reports, hence, the work load may also vary. In Hedensted Municipality three pest control operators (PCO) are permanently employed and in addition there are also authorised pest controllers helping during very busy periods. Nevertheless, rat control is not just the PCO’s responsibility, according to Maria.
“It is a collaboration between citizens and the pest control company. We fight the rats, but the citizen prevents the rats from coming. Previously, the procedure was that you would call the municipality, they would come by and do their job, put down the amount of rodenticide, and then you would just stop thinking about it. It is not like that anymore. Today, you as a citizen have a responsibility of removing for instance food for animals, bird seeds, food waste or whatever you might have lying around,” says MariaSørensen as a closing statement.