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Does Salem Have a Rat Problem?

A Board of Health request for $1,500 for rodent control is on the agenda for Thursday night's City Council meeting.

At their meeting at City Hall Thursday night, City Council members will consider a request from the Board of Health to transfer $1,500 into the department's rodent control account.

The $1,500 request is in addition to the annual $1,500 rat control budget, which has already been spent curbing the local rodent population, Board of Health Clerk Heather Lyons-Paul said Wednesday afternoon.

"When we get a complaint from neighbors or hear about a rodent population that has increased we will bait the storm drains if we see evidence," Lyons-Paul said.

While local animal control officers handle calls regarding raccoons, skunks and possums - controlling the local rat population is a Board of Health issue.

The rodent population in Salem has been abnormally high over the last few years because of unseasonably warm winters, Lyons-Paul said.

Have you seen a rat near your home in Salem? Have you noticed that you've been seeing a lot more of them lately?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Lucia Coale January 23, 2013 at 05:11 PM
yup...$350 later on exterminators, and still had them... pretty gross to clean up after when a trap actually works... never had them before - just this year...
Leo Jodoin January 23, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Yes there is a Rat! problem in Salem, this past summer and fall my neighbors and i have seen them not only at night but in the day time also, i called the health Department talked to some one on two phone calls and was told that some one in charge of this would get back to me and never did, these Rats were every wear even around children which concerned me the most, i think feed back should be given to the caller no matter who they are and this should also be brought up at the council meeting for an answer, i told whom ever i spoke to that i was even willing to do a walk through the neighborhood to show them were they are but you guest it read above, i am going to contact my councilor and make sure that this question gets asked before entertaining any monies!!!!!!. Just a note a tax payer feels a-lot better when he or she gets answers when asked after all we pay for this service, you don't get the service you DON'T PAY THE BILL!! Leo
KlassySalem January 23, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I have a squirrel problem. Best method to kill one?
john January 23, 2013 at 07:40 PM
One of the many reasons for the rat problem is exposed trash. If you live near a dumpster that is in poor shape and left open, that will attract rats and they will grow in population until the issue is addressed. Rats need a food source and will eat just about anything even paper if it has food on it. Residents also need to make sure their trash is not exposed. The city should require dumpster inspections for a fee to the dumpster owner not renter. Take time to check out dumpsters near your house and you will be shocked at what shape some are in. Restaraunts with grease dumpsters are almost immposible to keep clean they are disgusting.
John Merrett January 23, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Go behind City Hall and see the trash and smell the foul odor from the port-a-john and yes,..rats are in Salem.
Cwheels January 23, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Rats are pretty intelligent, they wont go nuts on a new food source. They take a nibble and move on,if they get sick they never come back. that's why the bait blocks the pros use rarely work.
chester suchecki January 23, 2013 at 08:47 PM
anytime you have waterfont construction you drive the rats out of their natural habitat. salems ferry pier has been under construction for some time now and the rats have to eat so they turn to the local neighborhoods for food. humans created the problem now we want them to go away. was the big dig any different in boston? why doesnt the health department consult with them about it before asking for more money ? cant the animal control officer handle his job that he is never there for?
john January 23, 2013 at 08:48 PM
The problem with that is that we are legally obligated to pay our bills and they are not legally obligated to do anything. This administration is the worst at responding to the taxpayers requests.
Cwheels January 23, 2013 at 08:50 PM
A six pack of harpoon and my co2 pellet gun. You could get a havahart trap, just make sure you drive them a good distance before setting them free.
john January 23, 2013 at 08:53 PM
If you have a bird feeder that's the main problem. You may want to re-think killing them because they smell worse than anything you have ever smelled and they can make you sick.
Deb January 24, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Although rats are more of a BoH issue than that of the animal control officer - now that you mention it, what DOES Famico do? Seriously. 99% of the time the SPD responds to animal calls, if we are to go by what's published. I don't know what, if anything, he does, but I betcha he's gonna get a pension when he retires.
John Merrett January 24, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Those rats better be paying their CPA property tax!
Patty January 24, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Went through 3 exterminators- well over the Salem 1,500.00 budget- Called the Dept of Health which was no help. Pay over 5,000 in taxes- A nightmare I wouldn't wish on anyone who gets or has this problem.
Carolyn Costain January 25, 2013 at 03:23 AM
The Salem rat problem from Bridge st to Howard st. to the common seemed to get worse when they built the By-pass road and were digging up Bridge street. I've seen live and dead rats the size of a medium cat. I use to visit a friend in that area and in the summer it's bad!
David Waters April 04, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I would say they have too serious of a problem. I suppose I shouldn't be comparing it to rodent control in Chicago but the situation here is same if not better. http://www.chem-wise.com/pest-control-homeowner-tips.htm

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