top of page


Rats aand Rodenticides
Rats and Rodenticides

In a world where rodent infestations pose significant threats to public health, economic stability, and community well-being, rodenticides emerge as a vital tool in the arsenal of pest control experts (IPM). As we navigate through the challenges of rodent management, it's crucial to recognize the multifaceted benefits that rodenticides offer to society.

Economic Impact:

Rodents, left unchecked, can wreak havoc on businesses, agricultural yields, and infrastructure. From contaminating food supplies to damaging electrical wiring, their destructive tendencies cost billions in economic losses annually. Rodenticides play a pivotal role in mitigating these risks, safeguarding businesses, and preserving vital resources. By preventing crop damage, protecting property, and ensuring the uninterrupted flow of commerce, rodenticides contribute to the stability and growth of economies worldwide.

Health Protection:

Beyond economic concerns, rodent infestations pose serious threats to public health. Rodents serve as vectors for a multitude of diseases, including salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and hantavirus to name a few. Contamination of food and water sources by rodent feces and urine can lead to outbreaks of infectious diseases, endangering human health. Rodenticides serve as a frontline defense against these health hazards, helping to prevent the spread of diseases and safeguarding the well-being of communities.

Rat Population Control:

Rodents are prolific breeders, with the ability to rapidly multiply and establish thriving populations. Left unchecked, these populations can spiral out of control, exacerbating existing problems and posing greater challenges for pest management efforts. Rodenticides provide an effective means of population control, helping to reduce rodent numbers and prevent infestations from reaching epidemic proportions. By targeting rodent populations at the source, rodenticides help to maintain ecological balance and protect native species from displacement and competition.

Environmental Considerations:

While acknowledging the benefits of rodenticides, it's essential to recognize the importance of responsible use and environmental stewardship. Proper application techniques (IPM), targeted baiting strategies and adherence to regulatory guidelines are essential to minimize unintended environmental impacts. Through ongoing research, innovation, and collaboration, all parties can work together to develop sustainable rodent management practices that strike a balance between effectiveness and environmental protection.


In conclusion, rodenticides play a vital role in safeguarding health, economic stability, and community well-being. By effectively controlling rodent populations, rodenticides help to mitigate economic losses, protect public health, and maintain the ecological balance. As we continue to confront the challenges of rodent management, let us recognize the importance of responsible rodenticide use by certified experts and collective action in building safer, healthier, and more resilient communities.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact XPest at 289-683-PEST (7378)

At XPest Inc., we provide safe and effective commercial pest management solutions through our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

XPest Inc.

53 East 31st St.


6 views0 comments

Histamine is involved in allergic reactions. It’s a biogenic amine and for our purposes, the important thing to know is that it modulates the immune response in mammals, like us. Histamine is in many things including foods we eat, and when it comes into contact with certain receptors, it can cause allergic reactions.  

So what does that have to do with bed bugs? Bed bugs excrete histamine in their feces and it serves them as part of their aggregation pheromone as a “stop here” sign for fellow bed bugs. We call that an arrestant. What we didn’t know is if other household pests or blood-feeding insects also produce histamine or if just closely related insects to bed bugs produce histamine. The researchers wanted to know if histamine production was related to blood feeding, and hematophagy. 

In this study, they looked at 22 species of arthropods to determine the presence and production of histamine in excreta. These species were grouped into three categories, common indoor pests, which included several cockroaches, termites, flies, beetles, moths, and mites. Then blood-feeding species which were mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, and finally specifically blood-feeding hemipterans like bat bugs, kissing bugs, and of course our star, the bed bug. Also, a non-blood-feeding hemipteran, the stink bug, was tested.   

They reared all the species in laboratory conditions according to individual best practices. They fed the blood-feeding species on either lab alternatives or animal blood, don’t worry they didn’t sacrifice themselves. After rearing up enough adults or nymphs, they went to determine histamine presence. They took swabs and sampled the substrate in the rearing containers of the pests.  After swabbing, they tested the samples using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry commonly referred to as GCMS which is used to determine the chemical makeup of a sample. Its quite a process that is beyond the basics of what I remember from organic chemistry but the important part is what they found.  

If histamine was detected at all, they continued further testing with that species. Histamine was only found in 5 of the 22 species which were the bed bug, tropical bed bug, bat bug, and two kissing bugs. Two species, not two individual bugs that were kissing. These are all blood-feeding hemipterans. No other blood feeders were found to have histamines.  

Further testing consisted of starving the arthropods then separating them into individual tubes and feeding them afresh. They were able to then weigh them to see how much blood was being consumed. They sampled the tubes again to collect the insect feces and then prepped the samples for analysis. The analysis showed them how much histamine was being produced per bug per day. They saw that there was a strong positive linear correlation between the amount of blood consumed and the amount of histamines excreted. Blood alone was not cause for histamines since other blood-feeding insects didn’t have any. Hemipterans in general didn’t have it because the stink bug which is a non blood feeding hemipteran, didn’t produce any.  

They hypothesized that histamine was introduced to the bugs by blood but that hemipterans didn’t have a certain enzyme to break it down so they ended up excreting it, making bed bugs as major indoor pests compared to the other bugs tested, non-blood the main arthropod source for histamines in a household. Bed bugs proportionately produce more histamines than other hematophagous hemipterans, making them the top concern for household histamines. Household hematophagous hemipteran histamines, try to say that five times fast.   

Article by Ellie Lane


Simona Principato, Alvaro Romero, Chow-Yang Lee, Kathleen Campbell, Dong-Hwan Choe, Coby Schal, Zachary DeVries, Histamine excretion in common indoor and hematophagous arthropods, Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 60, Issue 6, November 2023, Pages 1269–1277,

7 views0 comments

Understanding the Role of Rats in Disease Spread
Understanding the Role of Rats in Disease Spread

Rats have long been associated with the spread of diseases, with one of the most infamous being the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, which ravaged Europe in the 14th century. While modern sanitation and healthcare practices have significantly reduced the risk of a plague outbreak, rats still pose a threat in terms of spreading various diseases. In this blog post, we will explore the role of rats in disease transmission, with a focus on the plague, and discuss effective methods for controlling rat populations.

The Role of Rats in Disease Spread:

Rats are known to carry and transmit a wide range of diseases to humans and other animals. They can spread disease through their urine, feces, and saliva, as well as through parasites such as fleas and ticks that infest them. One of the most well-known examples of rats spreading disease is the bubonic plague, which is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Rats can harbor infected fleas, and when these fleas bite humans, they can transmit the bacteria, leading to the onset of the plague.

Indirect transmission:

Infected rodents can transmit the disease to people when ticks, mites, fleas, and mosquitoes bite. Additionally, diseases can spread to people from rodents through the consumption of an intermediate host, such as beetles or cockroaches.

The role of rats in the plague:

In addition to the plague, rats are also associated with the transmission of diseases such as leptospirosis, hantavirus, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever. These diseases can have serious health consequences for humans, making it crucial to understand and address the risks associated with rat infestations.

Methods for Controlling Rats:

Controlling rat populations is essential for preventing the spread of diseases. There are several effective methods for managing rat infestations, including:

1. Sanitation: Maintaining clean and clutter-free environments can help reduce food and shelter sources for rats, making areas less attractive to them.

2. Exclusion: Sealing off entry points and gaps in buildings can prevent rats from gaining access to indoor spaces.

3. Trapping: The use of traps can be an effective way to capture and remove rats from an area. There are various types of traps available, including snap traps and live traps.

4. Rodenticides: When used responsibly and in accordance with local regulations, rodenticides can help control rat populations. It is important to use these products safely to minimize risks to non-target species.

5. Professional Pest Control: In cases of severe infestations, seeking assistance from pest control professionals can be the most effective way to address rat problems. These experts can assess the situation and implement comprehensive control measures.


Rats play a significant role in the spread of diseases, including the infamous bubonic plague. Understanding the risks associated with rat infestations and implementing effective control measures is crucial for protecting public health. By practicing good sanitation, employing exclusion methods, using traps and rodenticides responsibly, and seeking professional assistance when needed, it is possible to manage rat populations and reduce the risk of disease transmission. Stay informed about local regulations and best practices for rat control to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all.

7 views0 comments
bottom of page