Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Clapham, W. B.

Subject Headings

Rattus norvegicus -- Control -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Rattus norvegicus -- Behavior -- Ohio -- Cleveland

Abstract

The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is found to inhabit many urbanized areas needs to be controlled, given that it is a carrier of diseases and a source of economic damages. As harborage areas in suburbs, the rat prefers compost piles, cesspits, sewer systems, and basements that are near water. Norway rats prefer food sources such as waste disposal sites, unclean yards with trashcans, gardens, and slaughterhouses (Traweger and Slotta-Bachmayr 2004). The typical range for this species in an urban setting is 25-150 meters (27-164 yards). The research for this thesis was done in conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH). Data was collected from residents who reported seeing a rat to CCBH. The resident's property and surrounding properties were then assessed for rat activity, harborage, and food sources. When rat activity was noted the property was baited using rodenticides, and re-baited until no further activity was noted. The number of baiting visits until no activity was noted was recorded for each location and was the main outcome variable of the study. The number of baiting visits was correlated to Census and parcel data utilizing Pearson, Kendall's tau, and Spearman's rho. Also Chi-squared analysis was conducted on the parcel data to determine similarities and differences with locations seeking county services for rat control and general demographic characteristics of the region. Finally, using the GIS system, densities were done to possibly show high concentration of rats to be used for future study sites

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