Residents Asked To Report Rodent Issues

Growing rat populations have been an issue in urban areas across the country, and Chelsea is no exception.

City officials are asking residents to report any rat and rodent activity in their neighborhoods and providing information on how they can lower the rodent risk in their homes and across the city.

The three ways residents can report rodent issues in their neighborhoods are by dialing 311 (or 617-466-4209), downloading the Chelsea 311 app on the Apple or Google Play store, or by visiting https://chelseama.qscend.com/311.

To help keep the rodent population in check, officials are asking residents to make their houses inhospitable to rodents by eliminating the resources that rats and mice need to survive, such as shelter, food, and water sources. People should also seal up all openings in their buildings and seal any burrows outside. Residents are also asked not to feed any stray animals, keep grass short, and pick up any pet waste.

There are several additional steps residents can take through the city, including getting free city issued trash barrels and taking advantage of the city’s residential rodent control program.

All residents are required to place trash in city issued trash barrels or city issued orange trash bags. Free trash barrels are available for residents through dialing 311 or online at www.chelseama.gov/311.

Chelsea homeowners can also request that rodent bait stations be installed on the exterior of their property at no cost. Homeowners can apply at the inspectional services department at City Hall, room 201 during business hours or online at www.chelseama.gov/rodent.

City Manager Thomas Ambrosino increased the budget for rat baiting in the city in this year’s budget in response to an increase in the number of complaints about rodent activity in Chelsea.

The growing rodent problem was also one of the reasons the city added an additional housing inspector in the current year’s budget.

“There has been a lot of activity with housing and trash and rats,” said inspectional services director Mike McAteer during the spring budget hearings. “Two years ago I was here and I remember telling you we had five complaints; this year already we have had over 100.”

One of the reasons the department needs an additional housing inspector, bringing its total to five, is because of the increased call for inspections by rental tenants.

“It’s not something where once you do an inspection, it goes away,” McAteer said. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of phone calls, fines, and court action. It just goes on and on; it’s a lot of work and it is time consuming.”

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