Science Inventory

Urban resident attitudes toward rodents, rodent control products, and environmental effects

Citation:

MORZILLO, A. T. AND A. G. Mertig. Urban resident attitudes toward rodents, rodent control products, and environmental effects . Urban Ecosystems. Springer Science+Business Media B.V, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 2:243-260, (2011).

Impact/Purpose:

Rodent control in urban areas can result in the inadvertent mortality of non-target species (e.g., bobcats).

Description:

Rodent control in urban areas can result in the inadvertent mortality of non-target species (e.g., bobcats). However, there is little detailed information about rodent control practices of urban residents. Our objective was to evaluate urban rodent control behaviors in two areas of California (southwestern Bakersfield and in proximity to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SAMO)) where biologists have observed non-target mortality among carnivores resulting from exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides. Using a mail survey instrument, we asked residents about rodent control practices including products used and details about application, attitudes toward rodents, and concern about inadvertent non-target mortality. Forty-one percent of Bakersfield and 59% of SAMO respondents reported rodent or other animal control on their property. Snap traps and anticoagulants were the most commonly used physical and chemical control products, respectively. Many respondents were unsure whether (12% Bakersfield; 17% SAMO) or which (39% Bakersfield; 46% SAMO) chemical products were used on their property. When told of possible non-target effects, a majority of respondents were either very or somewhat concerned. Attitudes toward rodents were relatively negative across all respondents, whereas those who applied rodent control products on their own property (as opposed to a third party) were most supportive of ensuring the availability of rodent control products. Our results suggest that residents do not readily connect their personal or household activities with larger environmental effects and highlight potential focal areas for policy evaluation related to the 2008 EPA rule as well as urban wildlife management.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 10/27/2010
Record Last Revised: 06/15/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 216741

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS BRANCH