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Rodent-control plan to go before Falls council

February 21, 2018

Article originally sourced from Niagra Falls Review

"City council will consider setting aside $50,000 in its 2018 budget to deal with a rat problem in Niagara Falls.

 

Politicians will also consider approving a residential rodent control rebate program, with a maximum eligible rebate for the services of a licensed pest-control expert of $200 per residential property per calendar year.

 

If supported, city staff will monitor the issue and report back on the program at the end of the year.

 

At the Jan. 9 meeting, council directed staff to provide an update report on the rat problem and future steps to deal with the matter.

 

According to a staff report scheduled to go before council Tuesday evening, rats are common in urban areas such as Niagara Falls.

 

In recent years, many different health departments across the province have been overwhelmed with the number of rat sightings.

 

Rats and mice are carriers of disease and can cause damage to homes and property.

In the report, staff states setting aside $50,000 in the budget will be offset by a transfer from reserves until the program can be evaluated after the initial pilot stage.

If approved, the program will begin April 9.

 

Statistics gathered by the city’s municipal works department indicate rat complaints and/or sightings have risen from 135 in 2016 to 185 in 2017.

There have been 14 calls as of Jan. 31.

 

Staff said these figures may not include those who have directly contacted Niagara Region or a pest-control expert.

 

Staff said the city will respond to residents experiencing rat sightings within their yard.

Public health addresses reported concerns of rats found within the interior of the home.

Staff’s report states effective rodent control requires a co-ordinated and co-operative effort between homeowners, public health and city staff.

 

Given that rodent infestation may not be created by the property affected, homeowners are faced with the cost for the extermination.