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Wauwatosa officials look for ways to solve rat problem

WAUWATOSA, WI (CBS 58) – City officials say they have a rat problem and they’re looking for ways to fix it.

The city currently has a mitigation system in place which includes working with a local pest management company. This focuses on areas near major construction projects which they say can cause a higher number of rodents from the ground being moved.

Terry Feezor has lived in the area for more than 20 years and says she’s never dealt with such a big rodent issue.

“We have caught them in traps, we have put poison out, and they’ll come and die in our yard,” explains Feezor.

The city currently works with a pest control company that puts out bait boxes in yards free of charge.

“It’s not safe either because they’re going to the bathroom in the yard, they’re all over the deck, the sidewalk, and going in my garage,” says Feezor.

The city is looking at options to deal with the rat problem. At a Community Affairs meeting, last Tuesday, three different options were presented by the director of the city’s health department.

One option included keeping the current program.

The second option would be providing rat traps to residents at no charge on a first come, first serve bases.

The third option is to hire a full-time sanitarian and splitting the cost with residents for a rough estimate of $350 per contract.

“There are those who can’t afford those things and in Wauwatosa we want to be inclusive, especially for our seniors and people who have low to moderate income” says bard Schoen a resident who’s frustrated with the problem.

City officials say they’ve been looking at neighboring and major cities to see how they’ve dealt with the problem. The rat trap option was recommended for approval. That motion was put on hold to return to committee at the next meeting with a proposed funding source to incorporate that option into the 2019 budget.

“This is an ongoing situation that has not been solved for three years,” says Feezor. “We need to have them get more bait out regardless and get this under control”.

The committee will meet again on September 25th at 7:30P.M.

In the meantime, they remind property owners it’s up to them to keep the rats out of their homes.

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