Everyone’s always trying to build a better mouse trap, to find a better way of disposing of pests without poisoning non-pest critters (or people) or adding unnecessary chemicals to the environment. For example, New York City has been using dry ice to kill rats and mice in certain settings, and has also been deputizing unadopted stray and feral cats to kill the little vermin that plague the city’s streets – after they've been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and given the chance to find an adoptive home.
While the dry ice approach works well in some contexts, “you can’t apply CO2 in a building; it’s really more for the outside,” says Lloyd Garten, the owner of Long Island-based Select Exterminating Co., on the use of dry ice to kill rats and mice in buildings. He points out that it cannot only be dangerous to residents, but that “CO's expensive; you need to transport it in a pick-up truck, and you need to be careful how you handle it.”
Of course, there are certain considerations and challenges with having a cat in the building to kill the rodents too. Feeding and cleaning up after them being the biggest of those.
Both dry ice application and marauding felines are ways to get rid of pests without the use of pesticides.“It’s a term called integrated pest management (IPM), which basically means you’re changing the environment; you’re using less pesticides, using sanitation and being very strategic,” says Garten. “There’s a lot of alternate ways of changing the environment so that it’s not conducive to pests.”
The Heat Method
For example, down in Florida, Scott Gosney, a commercial branch manager with Advanced Pest Control, uses heat to get rid of termites.