Keep a Rat-free Ship!
Protect Your Health
- Rats, mice, and their
fleas can transmit diseases including salomonellosis and rat bite fever.
cause unsanitary conditions - they leave about 50 droppings each day and spread
urine to mark territory.
- They usually die and rot in cramped, dark places
producing noxious smells.
Protect Your Cargo
will chew on almost anything. Because their front teeth grow constantly, rodents
must chew to grind them down.
- Rodents cause fires by chewing on electrical
- They can create hydraulic leaks shred materials for nests
and eat and contaminate food.
Protect Your Environment
- Invasive rodents threaten Alaskas islands.
- If introduced to
new areas, they kill wildlife, destroy habitat, and may infect animals with diseases.
a clean ship.
Dont let your vessel carry rodents to new places
where they could escape with freight, gear, garbage, or by shipwreck.
you can do to prevent rat spills
(1) Eliminate sources of food and
Keep trash and food in metal or other rodent-proof containers.
(2) Boxed or bagged food attracts rodents that will smell and chew through
packaging. Store food on high shelves in sealed rooms and check often for
(3) Clean up piles of debris that can shelter rodents.
holes between areas that give them access.
ALERT - Rats go
through holes as small as 1/2-inch across. Mice go through 1/4-inch holes. Steel
wool is an effective material to plug small holes because rodents will not chew
(4) Keep onshore facilities as clean and rodent-free as possible. Warehouses and docks should also have a rodent control program.
(5) Inspect cargo for rodent sign.
Do not take suspicious cargo Trawl
nets stored in port or from an infested ship often have rats inside.
(6) Use traps
Out-smart the Rats - Catch Them!
a combination of snap traps, sticky boards, and poison bait boxes for best results.
traps in dark areas against walls (along their travel paths).
Also place traps
in areas of food, garbage, and freight storage.
- SET TRAPS with TRIGGER
NEXT TO WALL. A double set (side by side) boosts your chances for success.
check the traps to make sure they are set, in good condition, and baits fresh. Surprisingly, moldy bait is less effective.
- Extend the life of
snap traps by wire brushing and oiling springs if rusty.
(7) Post information about rodents for the crew.
spotting of these enemies means faster removal.
(8) Use line guards on
ship-to-shore lines. These can help keep rats from walking aboard from infested
(9) In new boat construction - use modern design features to beat
When you catch a live rodent,
NEVER throw it overboard. They are excellent swimmers and may reach land.
If you own or skipper a boat operating in Alaskan waters, order your free rat prevention kit on-line at www.stoprats.com. Or check with the Pribilof Harbormaster or call the refuge at (907)235-6546 or e-mail. Each kit contains traps, sticky board traps, how-to hints, rodent ID poster and a video.
Learn more about protecting your boat, see a map of which ports have rats, blog your rat stories and much more at this new website.
Last updated: January 10, 2013