Vermin Control

Careful planning and construction will go a long way toward facilitating the control of vermin and insects without the use of organic insecticides and baits, especially wild or escaped rodents and cockroaches. Organic insecticides and baits should not be used in research animal facilities, because they have the potential to change biological baselines and alter the animal's response to experimental variables. The basic control approach is to seal vermin and insects out of the facility and eliminate hiding and nesting places within the facility. All cracks, joints, utility penetrations, lights, wall switches, communication, and power outlets must be sealed. Animal rooms should have a minimal amount of "built-ins" consisting of little more than a paper towel dispenser, utility hangers, and possibly a sink. These should be sealed to the wall or mounted away from the wall to eliminate hiding places and allow cleaning between the wall and the mounted item. Animal rooms should not have casework. Casework for animal procedure rooms and other laboratory spaces in the animal facility should be of an open design type to reduce hiding places under and in back of and to facilitate cleaning. Boxed-in casework should be avoided. The control of cockroaches and vermin starts during construction by keeping the construction site free of garbage on which they feed. This requires having a zero tolerance for eating or drinking in the facility during construction. In addition, all hollow dead spaces in the facility, including inside concrete blocks and studded walls, should be treated with amorphous silica to preclude the harborage of cockroaches. There should be high-pressure sodium (not mercury vapor) lamps, or dichrome yellow (not incandescent flood) lamps located at exterior doors or vents to reduce the influx of vermin and insects into the facility. Air curtains with a velocity of 490 m (1600 ft) per minute can help reduce the influx of flying insects at frequently used exterior entrances that may be open for extended periods of time, such as loading dock doors.

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