By Catherine Wu

After a restful spring break, the IPM team is ready to take on new challenges and reach greater heights. At this week’s stakeholder meeting, we met with the head of the UCLA’s maintenance staff to listen to custodians’ accounts of rodent problems on campus, and to understand where the rats are most abundant. Our stakeholder also graciously provided motion-sensing trail cameras, so we can capture evidence of rats living off our campus trash. In our first trial, we plan to set up the cameras for three, full nights, and adjust our strategy from there. Ultimately, we hope to obtain proof of how persistent and widespread rodent issues are.

In addition, our GIS project is going strong. Our goal is to piece together a comprehensive map of rodent hotspots by analyzing trash can locations, vending machine sites, presence of ivy, rodent-related work orders, and other related factors. The IPM team is planning to meet with a representative from the UCLA Environment, Health, and Safety to confirm specifics, and is in contact with others from IOES and UCLA Housing to retrieve more data.

At last, we are in the final stages of ordering UCLA’s first Bigbelly. By collaborating with Bigbelly, Waxie Sanitary Supply, UCLA Facilities Management, and UCLA Recreation, we finalized the design, received quotes for a 60-month contract, and are nearly ready to secure our purchase. The new waste compacting system will debut at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center, just in time for summer camp season.

Next Thursday, catch us at the the Earth Day Fair to learn about Bigbelly, score freebies, and play pin the tail on the rat! Spring quarter is off to a great start for IPM, and we are optimistic for what is to come.