Salem, Mass. battles rat population explosion


February 1, 2013

Salem, Mass. is less worried about depleting its snowplowing budget this winter than the rodent-control budget, which has been completely spent on the city’s recent rodent population explosion.

Salem health agent Larry Ramdin told The Salem News the rodent explosion follows last year’s unusually warm winter, which encouraged breeding.

The boom has caused the health department to spend its entire $2,000 rodent-control budget in the first six months of the fiscal year. In January, the Salem city council approved the transfer of an additional $1,500 to the rodent-control budget.

Ramdin said the problem is spreading over the Northeast where health agents have reported spikes in their rodent populations.

Salem’s rodent-control funds are used to lay poison bait in city storm drains. The bait combined with efforts to eliminate food sources seem to be having an affect, Ramdin said.



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