Mayor announces new program on dealing with rodents

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Mayor announces new program on dealing with rodents
Marlborough has implemented resources and a reporting tool in response to rodent issues. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough Mayor J. Christian Dumais announced that as of Jan. 25 new informational resources and a new reporting tool have been implemented on the city’s website in response to the ongoing rodent issues across the city.

“Since before taking office in January, I had become of aware of the rodent issue that many residents have been facing. I was committed to making sure we hit the ground running on this issue once I took office. Educating members of the public and providing an outlet for city officials to gather critical data is just the initial step to mitigating this issue,” said Dumais. “The community needs to come together and step up our collective and individual efforts to curb this problem. 

The resources aim to educate the public on best practices on preventing rodents. They cover the conditions under which rodents thrive and how to prevent and mitigate those conditions in homes, businesses and in public. The resources also include frequently asked questions, a flow chart of actions residents can take when signs of rodents are evident and best practices when hiring a pest control company.

An additional part of the mayor’s initial efforts includes a new rodent sighting reporting tool. This tool, also within the rodent information and reporting page, is intended for residents and businesses to report sightings or signs of rodents within a specific area or address. The reporting tool also allows those reporting to include the potential causes of the infestation, including uncontained trash, overgrown vegetation, blight properties and unkept chicken coops.

“I am very proud of our health department and inspectional services staff for working collaboratively to help provide residents with resources and take action. I will continue to monitor this issue along with city officials as we move forward,” said Dumais.

Absentee landlords

One of the challenges in reporting on rodent infestation concerns absentee landlords. According to the mayor’s office, “If less-than-ideal conditions are observed, inspectors will document the issues and send appropriate order/advisement letters to property owners as deemed necessary.”

Order letters are sent as a first-class certified mail for better tracking. The owner will have a certain amount of days, as outlined in the letter, to make a “good faith” effort to make corrections.

“If the property owner does not comply, fines for noncompliance will then be issued,” according to the mayor’s office. “If we run into a situation where a property owner is noncompliant with an order letter, whether that be failure to make corrections in a timely manner, not paying fines, or the property is abandoned, we can always pull in our legal department to advise on next steps.”

As residents and business owners continue to report sightings, the Board of Heath will identify problem areas/properties and increase its education efforts by distributing leaflets and speaking to property owners. They will also work with the Inspectional Services Department to bring properties up to code. 

Both the informational page and reporting tool can be found on the Board of Health’s webpage: www.marlborough-ma.gov/board-health

Residents who need more information or assistance with the reporting tool should call the Marlborough Board of Health at 508-460-3761.

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