City officials and Public Health Department address rat infestation in North Madison

City officials and Public Health Department address rat infestation in North Madison
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City officials and the Public Health Department of Madison and Dane County addressed a rat infestation in a North Madison neighborhood and educated residents on how to keep the rodents away in a meeting Thursday.

Alder Syed Abbas said he received reports from multiple residents, which said rats were a problem in their neighborhood.

“If it is a one person issue, then it is an issue for me and for residents here and we want to make sure we take it very seriously and solve this problem,” Abbas said.

Abbas called for the Public Health Department of Madison and Dane County and the Parks Department to address the infestation.

John Hausbeck, Environmental Health Division supervisor, said he is unable to say if they caught the problem in its early stages or if it is already out of control.

Some residents living on Myrtle Street said they have seen one or multiple rats in their yard and others say they haven’t seen any at all.

“I think the individuals who are seeing a lot of rats on their property are pretty much feeling it is out of control. Other parts of the neighborhood where things are not as bad, they’re not feeling it as much,” Hausbeck said.

Hausbeck said eliminating the problem begins by making the area less hospitable for the rodents.

“They need food, they need shelter, they need water.” The public health department is addressing the rat infestation affecting a North Madison neighborhood. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/8VAUZ8jt5G

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) August 8, 2019

“By getting rid of the harborage the hope is we open up the space and the rats are less comfortable living in that area and move on to places that are more appealing to them,” Hausbeck said.

He says the Public Health Department identified certain areas where vegetation made a great home for rats, and therefore needed to be treated.

“The conditions have supported the rats such that they have been able to essentially explode in their population,” Hausbeck said.

Hausbeck said he encourages Madison residents to alert them of these issues when they see them so they can better address it.

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