City Manager Gives Update on Rat Baiting Program

The City has a comprehensive program for the baiting of its sewers for rats, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino assured the City Council this week.

Last Week, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero asked Ambrosino for an update on how Chelsea goes about identifying problem areas in the city and baiting for rodents.

“Several years ago, at the specific request of the City Council, the DPW developed a comprehensive program for the baiting of our sewer system,” said Ambrosino.

That program is performed by Chelsea’s third-party baiting contractor, B&B Pest Control, and overseen by public works employees.

“Each Friday, two DPW workers are assigned to a B&B Pest Control crew to bait sewer manholes,” said Ambrosino. “They follow a designated route each Friday that allows for the baiting of approximately 50 to 60 manholes. Typically, the entire City is covered in a 12-week period, and the process repeats again.”

The entire process is documented and tracked by the DPW, according to the City Manager.

“The cost of this program is included in the comprehensive annual contract with B&B Pest Control, which includes the baiting of private residences,” he said. “The cost of baiting is appropriated annually in the DPW Streets and Sidewalks budget.”

That baiting of private residences is part of a program that Recupero helped put in place in the City for residents who want their properties baited for rodents at no charge.

“This was put in place many years ago,” Recupero told the Council last week. “If you have problems in your yard, and you are the owner of a house, this city, I think it is the only city, that gives you money to bait. They come and they bait it for free.”

Recupero said the rodent baiting forms are available at City Hall in the Inspectional Services Department.

Many communities in the area have seen an increase in rat and rodent problems, especially tied to new construction.

The city’s Public Works department has a number of suggestions for helping to rodent-proof residents’ homes and yards.

Residents should seal all holes, cracks and entryways around pipes, cables and wires with coarse steel wool or wire screen that the rodents cannot chew through. They should also ensure all doors, windows, and screens fit tightly and repair or replace any damaged screens. Inside doors to the garage and pet doors should be closed at night, and residents should remember to check roof and eaves areas and repair or replace any damaged vent screens. Sanitation and prevention tips include removing trash and yard debris frequently to eliminate possible nesting areas, keeping grass and landscaping trimmed and away from the house, and not leaving pet food out. Residents should also repair water leaks or drips at faucets, hoses, or air conditioner units, use

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