By Catherine Wu

The Integrated Pest Management team is progressing towards a better, more sustainable approach to pest control. This week, we secured $13,710 from The Green Initiative Fund to install the first Bigbelly Smart Waste and Recycling system at UCLA. The solar-powered station will consist of three streams for recycling, composting, and trash, and will be centrally located on campus or the Hill. The Bigbelly waste system is not just a step forward in our school’s efforts to harness renewable energy, but also a huge stride towards a rodent and ultimately rodenticide free campus. The grant will fund our pilot program to make the pest-proof Bigbelly stations universal on campus, and thus eliminate rodent hotspots and reduce the rat population.

In addition to our progress with Bigbelly, the IPM team is working diligently to create GIS maps to help identify active rodent sites. The maps will piece together building age, trash can and dumpster locations, and other information to form a cohesive and coherent snapshot of rat activity on campus. Moreover, we aim to capture photographic evidence of rats scavenging in dumpsters with motion sensing cameras. This proof would encourage UCLA staff to practice strategies that combat the widespread rodent issues on campus.