Rodent Control Plan to be Discussed at Council Committee Meeting

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Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash The City of Watertown is working on creating a rodent control plan.

A City Council committee will discuss the problem of rats and other rodents in Watertown at a meeting on Oct. 24.

The Committee on Human Services will discuss the problem and what can be done about it with members of the Health Department and the Department of Public Works. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 149 Main St. The meeting will also be remote.

City Councilor Tony Palomba, chair of the Human Services Committee, said he anticipated more than one meeting on the rodent problem.

“At this first gathering I would like to hear from residents about their experiences with rodents and to discuss what steps the City presently follows when they are contacted by residents,” he said in an announcement for the meeting.

How to watch and participate:

The meeting will be televised through WCATV (Watertown Cable Access Television):

The public may join the virtual meeting online:

The public may join the virtual meeting audio only by phone: (877) 853-5257 or (888) 475-4499 (Toll Free) and enter Webinar ID: 889 7075 4795 #

The public was permitted to comment through email:

10 thoughts on “Rodent Control Plan to be Discussed at Council Committee Meeting

  1. We have holes in the top of our barrels chewed through by raccoons and one top is cracked from the trash truck handling. My daughter has gone out and found rats in the barrel. We have heard them scurrying around in the backyard at night I know they are everywhere. I just don’t want to see them. Hopefully a good plan will be put in place

  2. I live on Philip Darch Rd. I see them all the time, day and night. One ran in front of me as I was hanging clothes in the middle of the day. . Every morning before dawn when I start my car they are in my back yard. We have dumpsters.

  3. A few years ago when the new apartments were being built after the old Pirolli’s sote, we had rats coming out of no where when we never ever had even a mice problem. As a landowner, approached the health department and met with the woman at the time Was told flat out it was not a town problem and that the construction had nothing to do with the problem. It was our and neighboring dumpsters problem. She even had a company who she recommended to reach out to. But it was OUR problem and not the town’s nor the construction. Once the construction stopped. the problem dtopped.
    So why should we trust thectown now to do anything?

  4. Diane,
    That’s an angle that I hadn’t thought of…holes in barrels. It’s impossible to follow the Health Department’s suggestion of keeping garbage contained when there are holes in the barrels!
    A while back, the DPW was working at the top of my street, so of course, when I saw a big rat scurry from one neighbor’s yard to another and just hours later saw one of my neighbor’s small children yelling, gleefully, “Rat, Rat Rat,” chasing it up his driveway, I called the DPW. They immediately cut me off, said it was the Health Department’s problem. When I called the Health Department, I got a very nice lady who assured me that I wasn’t the only one reporting rats and gave the party line about securing garbage.
    The next day, I saw a neighbor up the street, and I asked her if she’d seen any rats. She said that yes, just the week before. What disconcerted her (she used to live in Cambridge, so she was a veteran of rat sightings) was that when she came out in the early morning to put a bag of trash into her barrel, there was a large rat, sitting on its hind legs, just staring her down, seemingly unafraid, sitting on the closed lid of her trash “toter”. She decided to bring the trash out later.
    Finally, just a week ago, in preparation for this meeting, I asked a new neighbor down the street if she’d seen any rats. She said that she and her husband had seen one just last week, dead, splattered on the sidewalk in front of her house. Her husband thinks that a hawk had gotten it and dropped it…yuck!!
    PLEASE come to the meeting, everyone. We need to make clear that this is a big problem!

    • We have also struggled with the DPW/Health Department problem. Our rats (not that I want to own them) were clearly coming from the holes in our sidewalks, making it both a DPW and Health Department problem. But until my neighbor set up a three-way call for them, they would not talk to each other and kept telling us to call the other. We need our city departments to work in coordination with each other for this problem…and many others.

  5. I would like Watertown to use SMART boxes, which electrocute the rats to instantly kill them. Somerville used this approach. I would like the boxes placed near restaurants, grocery stores and construction sites, especially. One can secure garbage and other food sources. However, it is pointless to do so when construction disturbs the rat dens. I first saw rats when the city dug up a line across the street about three years ago. The construction is not going to stop, but the city can better treat the areas before they dig.

  6. Thank you Councilors Palomba, Bays, Gannon and Izzo for listening and speaking to this city wide problem. There were many good ideas at the meeting, which, I believe, had over 60 in attendance. I hope to see a short term remedy soon, and look forward to hearing about a sustainable, efficacious long term strategy.

  7. I was unable to attend the meeting but so glad it was held. I brought the problem up on Nextdoor months ago. Took many calls to get the Health Department involved. They have now invaded my basement and it becomes my financial problem. Did any concrete plans come out of this? Why aren’t we making demands of developers. Thanks to those Councilors who are taking this seriously as some never responded to emails or calls. I signed up for all the town announcements but no longer receive them. Will try to sign up again but it feels symbolic of the disorganization.

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