The three-day course is designed for integrated pest management, IPM, professionals and those who handle pest management in their work for municipalities, universities, public schools and food-safety personnel.
The cost is $300, and the academy is limited to the first 50 participants to register at https://tx.ag/2022RodentAcademy. Tuition covers course materials and meals.
On Dec. 13-14, the course will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. On Dec. 15, it will be from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Each day’s instruction will start at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at 17360 Coit Road in the center’s Water and Land Resource Building.
“The goal of the Texas Rodent Academy is to provide a highly focused and standardized approach to managing rodent populations through integrated pest management,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, Dallas.
After completing this course, graduates will be able to manage rodent populations more effectively because they will have a better understanding of the biology, behavior and habitat of rodents, she said. They will also have a better understanding of the contributing factors to infestation, effective ways of evaluating site-specific responses and strategies, and effective communication strategies with the public to achieve lasting change and improvements.
There will be a certificate of academy completion available for students who pass a final exam. Students will be expected to participate in class activities, hands-on exercises and classroom discussions. There are also three Texas Department of Agriculture structural pest control credits available.
Participants will be broken into small groups each class day for learning exercises, which will have in-depth sessions on hands-on activities for all participants.
“I’m really looking forward to this year’s academy as we will have more hands-on demonstrations than in years past,” Hurley said. “Unique Pest Management out of Virginia will be joining us with their working dogs to demonstrate how you can use dogs to help with large rodent populations.”
• Alternative tools and techniques for rat control.
In addition to Hurley, event speakers include Claudia Riegel, Ph.D., director; and Tim Madere, rodent specialist, both with the City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, Rodent Control Board.
Other program contributors include Ed Dolshun, technical director, Catchmaster, Warwick, New York; Emory Matts, regional sales supervisor, Rentokil North America, Rowlett; Dave and Jim Schuelke, owners, Twin Home Experts, Van Nuys, California; Mark Vick, assistant director of programs, and canine JJ, Working Dogs for Conservation, Chesapeake, Virginia; and Scott and Angie Mullaney, director of animal services, Unique Pest Management, Richmond, Virginia.
“Two of our guest speakers, known as the Twin Home Experts on YouTube, will discuss how they went from plumbers to rat hunters,” Hurley said. “They will also share how you can up your social media profile so you can reach more customers on a variety of platforms.”
Hurley said Madere, Matts and Dolshun will do a roundtable discussion about the best ways to use snap traps for those sensitive accounts.