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Pest management specialist play an important role in the health of a zoo’s animal collection. Many pests like rats, mice and roaches can bring and spread diseases within a zoo. And some pests like racoons and wasps can pose a physical danger to humans at the zoo as well as collection animals. So how do you limit rats in an animal enclosure where food has to be left out for collection animals to eat? And how do you minimize the chances that wasps swarm around trash cans with sweet cotton candy inside? Pest management specialists assess different areas for threats, install physical blocks to prevent entry by pests, and bait or live trap pests depending on the circumstances. Many pest management specialists use Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage. IPM uses biological control, habitat manipulation and modification of cultural practices. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed because poisons are difficult to use safely around collection animals. Pest management specialists often have a background in entomology and must be creative thinking problem solvers.

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