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While fewer respondents reported rodent sightings in or near their facilities in 2020 than in any other year of the QA/Senestech survey (Table 2, page 3), of the 52% who did have sightings, the rodents were most frequently seen outside the facility (54%) (Table 5). However, when respondents were asked to select all sites of rodent sightings, both outdoor and interior areas were named (Table 6).

In that case, “outside the facility” still held the leading position (82%), but nearly half (45%) noted rodent sightings in warehouse or storage areas, and one-fourth saw rodents in interior dock areas. Similarly, the second most frequent location of rodent sightings was reported to be the warehouse/storage areas (25%). It comes as no surprise that these locations — where food is regularly delivered and stored — had the most sightings. And, as you will see further in this report, these also were the areas where facilities most focused their prevention and control programs.

While these sightings may evoke images of a worker seeing a mouse scurrying across the floor or a rat gnawing on a pallet of chips, the majority of rodent activity was detected through the pest service provider’s report (84%) or the capture of the rodents in exterior (74%) or interior (72%) monitors and traps (Table 7). Thus, while rodents have been “seen” in the majority of food facilities, those rodents were not running wild, but were being controlled in one way or another.

That does not rule out the potential of an employee actually seeing a mouse or rat, but nearly all facilities (95%) had policies in place for actions to take should a rodent be sighted. These include:

  • 88%: Inform a supervisor.
  • 40%: Write it up in a pest sighting logbook.
  • 30%: Contact a pest control technician.
  • 17%: Other defined procedure.
  • 5%: We have no set policy for this.