U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Witmer, Gary and Gilbert Proulx. Rodent outbreaks in North America. (2010) Pages 253-267 in Grant R. Singleton, Steve R. Belmain, Peter R. Brown, and Bill Hardy, editors. Rodent Outbreaks: ecology and impacts. Los Banos (Philippines) : International Ride Research Institute. 289p.


Fluctuations in rodent population densities in North America are a reality. Our understanding of the factors causing such fluctuations is incomplete; therefore, it is important to monitor populations to increase our understanding of natural wildlife communities so as to avoid substantial damage to agriculture, forestry, and urban infrastructures, and to prevent rodent-borne disease transmission to humans. There is a need to establish integrated pest management programs in which monitoring, preventive cultural practices, and various control methods (mechanical, physical, biological, and chemical) are strategically coordinated to maintain rodent population densities at acceptable pest levels.