BOSTON – Boston City Councilors Flynn, Breadon, Murphy, and Bok held a City Council hearing on August 1st to discuss issues relating to pest control in the City of Boston. The hearing was intended to discuss measures that the city can take to respond to the uptick in rodent activities, as well as long term strategies that will reduce the rats and pests populations in our neighborhoods. This hearing was chaired by Councilor Kenzie Bok in the Committee on City Services and Innovation Technology, and attended by city officials from Inspectional Services and Public Works, as well as community advocates.

There have been increased reports of rodent infestations and activities during recent years in the city, as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated rodent activities due to restaurants and other food sources for rats and rodents closing down. Unfortunately, this issue has persisted even after our economy fully reopened. We need to ensure that the city can adequately handle these issues, including increasing enforcement, expanding pest control resources, and more public awareness and outreach about proper ways of disposing trash and preventing rodent activities.

These increased reports of rodent activities is both a quality of life issue and a serious public health issue. During this meeting, current methods and new methods were discussed as a way of dealing with the issue.

Currently, there are thirteen inspectors in ISD Environmental Services who are licensed pest control applicators and they are looking to hire a fourteenth one to help improve the issue. The City has purchased carbon monoxide machines to help curb the rat population, and there is a team that performs inspections on breaches in sewer lines. The issue of trash disposal and uncovered trash bins were also discussed, with Councilors advocating for better enforcement on code violations relating to uncovered trash. Residents are encouraged to submit pest control issues via the 311 app or by calling 311, so that the City can more efficiently keep track of requests and problem areas.  For Councilor Flynn, he is calling for a dedicated working group for pest control, so that the City can proactively address the issues and come up with effective strategies for rodent control.

“Many neighbors have contacted me regarding their concerns about pest control, and the negative impact that rodent activities have on the quality of life. With the noticeable increase in rodents over the last year, it’s important that we discuss measures for effective pest control and keeping our streets sanitary,” said Councilor Flynn. “This is not only a quality of life issue, but it is also a public health and public safety issue for neighbors across District 2 as well as throughout the City of Boston. I’m calling for a rodent control working group dedicated to addressing this matter, and I look forward to working with everyone on this critical issue.”  

For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and  [email protected].

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