Rodent Control FAQ and Resources


What evidence would there be of rodents on my property?

You would likely see burrows, droppings, holes, and/or runways. Burrows are holes in dirt or concrete from one to four inches wide, with smooth edges. They can be found under bushes and plants and along foundations or walls. Droppings are often found close to garbage; if they are moist and dark it is a sign that rats are active in the area. Holes and gnaw marks might be seen on plastic barrels. Runways are paths create by rats from constant back and forth movement that are dark, greasy track marks.

Who should I call if I have a rodent problem?

If you notice any evidence of rodent activity on your property, contact a professional exterminator to properly eradicate the issue. Exterminators can be found in the local phone book or online.

Who do I contact with concerns about rodents or sanitation issues on a private property?

Contact the Health Department at 978-897-1302.

How can tenants help to prevent rodent problems? 

It is the occupant's responsibility to use receptacles properly, to keep receptacles covered at all times, and to notify the property owner if the receptacle becomes cracked, broken, or loses its cover.

How can I prevent rats from becoming a problem on my property?

To control rats you must remove everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter, and ways to get around. Good sanitation helps eliminate a food source. Store and deposit trash in receptacles properly. Eliminate breeding areas by keeping vegetation short and neat and don't allow debris to accumulate on your property.


For more questions please see the resources below or contact the Health Department during regular business hours at 978-897-1302.

Content adapted from materials published by the City of Cambridge, City of Medford, and City of Melrose.