Rat Academy

Free Community Training

You can learn about safe and effective methods for rat prevention (PDF) [Español] in your home and community at one of our scheduled free trainings. Free rodent-resistant garbage bins will be raffled off to participants who register for one of the events below.

To register for an event, email ratportal@health.nyc.gov.

  • Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
    Brooklyn Public Library
    496 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn

Course Options at the NYC Rat Academy

The NYC Rat Academy offers multiple course options for those interested in learning about rat management: a two- to three-hour course is available for the community, and a three-day course is offered for pest control professionals. Read about the courses and see which one is right for you.

Free Community-Based Training Course in Rat Management

The Health Department offers free Rat Management Training to encourage best practices in rat prevention and management. This short, two- to three-hour training is targeted to superintendents, building staff, property managers, homeowners, interested tenants, community gardeners and the local business community.

Each training can be tailored to the audience and neighborhood. Typically, the community-based training course is hosted and sponsored by a community partner.

To sign up for a community-based training, or for more information on how to host or sponsor a training, email ratportal@health.nyc.gov or call 311.

Three-Day Training Course in Rat Management

The Health Department offers a free, three-day, intensive rat control training course for pest control professionals.


The goal of the Rat Control Academy is to provide a highly focused and standardized approach to managing rodent populations through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). After completing this course, graduates will be able to more effectively manage rodent populations, because they will have a better understanding of the biology, behavior and habitat of rodents, contributing factors to infestation, effective ways of evaluating site-specific responses and strategies, and effective communication strategies with the public to achieve lasting change and improvements.

Who Should Attend?

This course is intended for city employees, pest management professionals, municipalities, universities , food safety personnel involved in the rodent control programs.

Curriculum Content (Days 1 and 2)

The topics will include:

Day 1

  • Health significance of rodents
  • Rodents and allergens
  • Biology and behavior of rodents
  • Overview of Integrated Pest Management
  • Pesticide labels and federal regulations
  • Safety issues-personal protection equipment

Day 2

Best Practices:

  • Treating Norway Rat burrows
  • Exterior bait boxes - what, where, how?
  • Alternative tools & techniques for rat control
  • Mouse Integrated pest management in apartment/private homes
  • NYC's Local Law 37
  • Overview of site-specific rodent control in NYC
  • Lots, restaurant, subways, train terminals, multi-family housing, sewer, parks

Field Day & Workshop (Day 3)

Participants will be broken into small groups sent to specific sites to conduct an inspection/evaluation survey:

  • Site specific inspections -- what to look for
  • Evaluation of findings
  • What are best practices for each site

Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate for the field. Bring a flash light, if you have one.

Academy Calendar and Class Schedule

  • Each Academy is conducted over three separate days in the Spring (e.g., March 21, 22, & 23) and Fall.
  • Each class day will be mandatory to attend, and usually held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as scheduled by the Academy.
  • Each day, class begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m.

Tuition: The City of New York does not charge tuition for the Academy. However, this may change in future years.

Location: Each academy is expected to be held in downtown Manhattan or Flushing, Queens, New York. Specific locations will be announced as each Academy's start date approaches.

Class Size: To ensure quality and good instructor-to-student interaction, the Academy can only accommodate approximately 35 students per session. A maximum of two employees per company will be allowed.

Course Pre-requisites: Academy students should have a basic understanding of rodent control principles (biology and behavior, rodenticides, traps, etc.). It is suggested supervisors, managers, and owners attend the Academy and teach their employees. The Academy is not designed or appropriate for new hire training.

Student Involvement and Expectations: The Academy is not a 'sit back and listen' seminar. This is a working Academy, intended for pest, city and building professionals wanting to receive in-depth training in rodent Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Academy Completion Certificate and DEC Credits

To Receive a Certificate of Academy Completion

  • Students will be expected to participate in class activities, complete two homework assignments and participate in a field trip that involves team work and team analysis for designing a real world control exercise for a few different rodent infestations.
  • All three sessions must be attended and completed by the same student from each company.
  • All students must also pass a final exam.

Video or audio taping of any session of the Academy is prohibited, except with the express and prior permission of DOHMH.

Continuing Education Credits

Every effort will be made to provide CECs from the NYS DEC for the Academy.

In the past, upon successful review of the course's syllabus, the NYC DEC has awarded 6-7 total credits for categories 7A, 7F, 8 and 10 for each day depending on the day's topics and length of the program. Thus, a total of 18-21 credits have been awarded by the State to Academy Attendees.

Enrolling and Attending

  1. If your company is interested in the Rat Control Academy, complete and submit the online registration form below.
  2. Your company will then be placed on the enrollment list. If enrollment is already full when a form is submitted, a company will be wait-listed for a future academies in the order received.
  3. The Academy will have a waiting list for those companies closed out of the first sessions and their names will remain on the list for inclusion in subsequent Academy sessions.
  4. Companies that cancel attending are not automatically guaranteed a spot in the next Academy session, but will be placed back in the cue for first come first serve.

Notification: Academy companies and students will receive a letter two months prior to academy start up (i.e., either in August (Fall schedule), or in January (Spring schedule).

Sign Up for the Three Day Training Course

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