First Phase of Rodent Control Program a Success
July 17, 2018
Over 560 property owners responded to Phase One of the City's intensified effort to control rodent infestation in the past three weeks.
"The four professional exterminators retained by the City have been provided with all the addresses, most have been addressed, and the remaining locations will be addressed in the near future," said Mayor Brian Arrigo. "But this is not the end of our effort."
The Mayor announced the rodent control program at the end of June and that he had allocated $150,000 in the FY 19 budget for rodent control. The retention of professional extermination companies was a major component of the first phase of the program. "We expect that this will at least be a start," said the Mayor. "Still, as I have repeated over and over, no rodent control program will have any long-term success unless everyone in the city helps out. It is imperative that people are careful with storage and disposal of trash, and that they keep their property free of items or overgrown shrubs that can serve as shelters for rats."
Meanwhile, the City's Inspectional Services Department has stepped up enforcement for non-compliance with local ordinance that requires the use of rodent-resistant bags for disposal of trash. This will continue until the distribution throughout the city later this year of 60-gallon heavy-duty covered trash barrels. "Rats proliferate when there is a food supply, and when residents use flimsy trash bags or use careless trash disposal, it's like setting out a meal for a rat," Mayor Arrigo said.
The City's exterminators cannot access private property without the owner's permission. In many cases, residents who have observed rat activity on their property have contacted the City, which has prompted the City's response. In other instances where the exterminators noticed evidence of rat activity, the City has written to the property owner seeking permission to access the property for treatment.
Rodents and overgrown and unsanitary conditions are by far the most frequent complaint logged at the Mayor's 311 Constituent Services hotline, and these complaints tend to originate in areas where reported rat activity is high.