Projects: Collaborate.Health

Rodent Control in Residential Areas and Businesses

Decreasing rodent activity in residences and businesses through education, awareness, and enforcement.

Agency Partner
Office of the Board of Health, Town in Massachusetts
Communication Strategies for Public Health
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This project aimed to decrease rodent activity in both public and private residences and local businesses through education, awareness, and enforcement of regulations communicated through a website, educational modules, and interactive map.


Rodent activity can be attributed to construction throughout town; readily available food sources (such as overflowing commercial dumpsters, poorly maintained residential trash and compost piles, overgrown gardens, and the deliberate feeding of wildlife such as birds, raccoons, etc. by residents); and, climate changes such as warm and rainy weather patterns which are optimal conditions for rodent breeding. Rodent control is a community-wide problem that requires a multifaceted approach to include collaboration from (1) residents to maintain their properties in a sanitary condition, (2) business owners to ensure proper waste management practices are followed, and (3) town departments and officials to establish town-wide policies and procedures for mitigating rodent activity on public property.  To ensure these three aspects are met a focus on increased education, awareness, and responsibility is needed. In addition, enforcement of existing regulations is warranted through town departments.


Decreasing rodent activity in both public and private residences and local businesses through education, awareness, and enforcement of regulations by providing targeted communication and establishing and sustaining partnerships with a common goal.


The proposed intervention included two main components with targeted communication:  (1) content for rodent-related information and resources for residents and business owners through the town’s website, and (2) strategies for partnership between the agencies responsible for addressing rodent control.


Students developed learning modules to be posted on the town’s website that included information specific to residents and specific to business owners.  The modules contained interactive components to allow users to apply the information they learned including a self-assessment, interactive map, and live chat.  In addition, a strategic plan for interagency collaboration and accompanying communication materials (i.e., press releases, infographics, memos, presentation slides) were created to address a cohesive town effort to tackling this problem. Upon completion of the semester, the town used the materials at agency meetings and with residents to address rodent control in the community.

Project Timeline

This project took six months to complete from kick-off meeting to presentation of final deliverables. Click the button below for a detailed timeline.

View Project Timeline