Date of this Version
The preliminary rat survey prior to the actual attack phase of Rat Control Program in Kuwait revealed an infestation rate with the Norway rat, Rattus norveqicus, in buildings ranging between 32.7% and 70.7%. The comparatively high infestation was observed in 92.5% of Kuwait buildings. Moreover the infestation reached 99% in certain districts of the country. This high infestation was associated with an increase in rat-borne diseases particularly murine typhus, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever and certain parasitic diseases. A programme for rodent control in Kuwait was initiated through a political decision by the cabinet which gave the full responsibility of rodent control to the Ministry of Public Health coordinating with other authorities involved in the problem in addition to an independent budget to fulfill all the program requirements. Financing, administration, guidance, public health information, field work, and research studies were all monitored by the High Committee in addition to Supervising and Following up Committee. The first phase of the program began in the late months of 1979. It included geographical reconnaisance, survey of rodents and their ectoparasites, establishment of the general plan, and a skeletal organization for the program. The second phase was the attack phase. It highlighted biological and epidemiological studies, bioassays of pesticides and training of personnel, which was followed by the actual chemical attack of the incriminated rodents and their ectoparasites for three consecutive years. In addition, sanitation and health education were involved. The third phase, i.e., the maintenance phase, began in August 1982. It is still running to maintain the drastic drop of the Norway rat infestation and to control the house mouse. Kuwait's control program, based on a scientific basis and with a well-organized administration, has successfully realized 99.7% reduction in the infestation rate, with a 99.6% density of infestation Of Norway rats remaining at the end of the attack phase. However, the control of the house mouse produced a reduction of only 71.4% in the infestation rate, and 20% in the density of infestation, possibly indicating intraspecific competition between the two species or less-effective control measures against the mice.