West Coast Rodent Academy Trains Pest Management Professionals

May 30, 2017

[From the May 2017 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin]

Learning to inspect for signs of rodent activity. [N. M. Quinn]
Learning to inspect for signs of rodent activity. [N. M. Quinn]
The West Coast Rodent Academy (WCRA) is a three-day intensive educational workshop hosted by University of California Cooperative Extension in association with the Pest Control Operators of California, Target Specialty Products and Univar. The event was recently held at the University of California's Agricultural and Natural Resources South Coast Research and Extension Center (SCREC) in Irvine, CA.

Managing rodents in urban environments can often be very challenging. The WCRA was created to help pest management professionals (PMPs) better understand rodent ecology and integrated pest management (IPM) of commensal rodents.

The unique workshop—which includes lectures, hand-on activities and break-out sessions—gives PMPs the opportunity to learn about rodent disease, monitoring, trapping, urban rodent surveys, and much more. Participants are also provided with opportunities to learn about good environmental stewardship practices and provided with updates on the laws and regulations concerning trapping and the use of pesticides.

WCRA instructors consist of University researchers, county-based biologists, and industry experts. They provide real-life scenarios at the Demonstration Landscapes at the SCREC, enabling students to attain a comprehensive and hands-on experience while learning about commensal rodent management in urban environments. There is limited space available at the bi-annual workshops; this allows for increased interaction with the instructors, leaving participants with a greatly enhanced understanding of commensal rodent management.

The next WCRA will be offered at the SCREC in October 2017. For more information on the Academy, please contact rodentacademy@ucanr.edu.

To learn more about commensal rodents, visit the UC IPM Vertebrate Pests web page.