In a recent “CBS This Saturday Morning” piece, “Rats swarm New Orleans’ streets as coronavirus precautions leave them empty,” Dr. Claudia Riegel quips, “It’s a difficult time to be a rat.” And it’s true — with bars and restaurants closed in the French Quarter, rodents are having a tougher time finding food scraps. It’s only a matter of time before they fan out to nearby neighborhoods, looking for a bite to eat in residences and other structures.
Dr. Riegel is director of the Louisiana city’s Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board. She is currently leading a city-wide program of rodent baiting not only in light of the increased pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, but out of concern that the higher pressure could spread disease among the homeless population.
Dr. Riegel’s program was recently commended on Facebook by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
“Thank you to everyone in the exterminator community in New Orleans,” Cantrell wrote in a March 23 post. “Your service is essential 365 days of the year and we appreciate you. Claudia Riegel, our Director of the City’s Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board is using this time while residents are staying home to hit commercial areas hard with pest control. You see her and team here baiting Bourbon Street yet this will happen all over NOLA. This is one example of why it’s essential to clean up our neighborhoods.”
Per an official city web page devoted to COVID-19, at this writing there are 1,480 cases of coronavirus and 86 deaths attributed to the pandemic in New Orleans.
Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19
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