- Health Department
- Environmental Health
- Rodent Resources
Cities and towns across the Commonwealth face rodent activity challenges, mainly rats, and ours is no exception. We are aware of the influx in rat activity and working to address the issues. With your help, we all can reduce rat activity in town.
The Departments of Public Health & Human Services, Public Works, and Building are working with residents, businesses, and neighborhood groups to promote understanding of rodent behavior and reduce their presence in Brookline. We are committed to confronting the issue using various strategies, including:
- Monitoring and treating public property
- Overseeing constructions sites to reduce contributing factors of rodent activity
- Enforcing state sanitary codes and by-laws
- Educating residents and business owners
MAPPING RODENT ACTIVITY
The Brookline Department of Public Health began its contract with Modern Pest Control in December 2022 to monitor and track rodent activity in the Town of Brookline. The figure above depicts areas in Brookline where traps were placed to capture rat activity. The figure depicts circles to differentiate between high and low rat activity. As the circle size increases, rodent activity increases; as the circle size decreases, rodent activity decreases (see map legend).
Between December 2022 and April 2023, the Brookline Department of Health recorded a total of 340 catches. In Brookline in April 2023, there were a total of 46 catches.
The town continues to monitor rodent activity in Brookline and strives to address every complaint received. To report rodent activity, go to BrookOnline. Please provide your name, phone number, the address where the activity is taking place, and as much information about the problem and possible causes (for example, overgrown shrubbery) as you can.
Please be aware that due to the volume of complaints, staff will investigate but will not provide individual case follow-ups.
HOW TO CONTROL RATS
Here are some helpful tips to prevent rodent activity around your home and in your neighborhood:
- Control access to food. Replace or dumpsters/trash bins with visible openings large enough for rodent entry. Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Limit access to possible food sources (including open compost, bird food, and animal waste).
- Keep your property clean and clear. Keep grass and shrubbery well trimmed. Remove debris near buildings and in yards.
- Rodent-proof your house. Seal any openings on property on or above ground level. Hire a licensed, insured pest control company and maintain regular visits.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT RAT ACTIVITY ON YOUR PROPERTY
- Get educated. The Town of Brookline offers an in-depth guide for preventing rats on your property.
- Do your part. Control food sources on your property by ensuring you use heavy-duty trash barrels and keep them covered at all times.
- Know your property. Take a half hour to stroll around your house and yard. Look closely at potential problem areas.
- Talk with your neighbors. Share what you learned about rat control and ask everyone around you to help.
- Get your money's worth. The town has tips on what a pest control company should be doing and how to check on their work. Click on the link to our guide above.
- Act together. Consider working with other owners on your block to take action together and hire a pest control contractor as a group. You can save money and also get more effective control.
THINGS THE TOWN CAN DO
- Use state sanitary codes and town by-laws to regulate solid waste and nuisance conditions
- Issue fines to property owners and businesses in violation of state regulations and town-by-laws
- Respond to resident complaints received via BrookOnline
- Use strategies to identify problem areas, map complaints, and enhance staff training on rodent behavior and control
- Monitor and treat public property, public ways, parks and open spaces
Several town agencies work together to eliminate rodents in commercial and residential areas. Inspectional staff enforce sanitary codes and town by-laws and work with residents and businesses to provide education to understand rodent behavior and prevention methods.
PUBLIC HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
The Department of Public Health and Human Services monitors residential properties and commercial businesses for rodent activity. Health inspectors enforce state sanitary codes, issue fines as applicable, and continuously monitor sites for rodent activity.
Division of Highway & Sanitation's inspectional staff oversees public roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. Staff enforces state sanitary codes to address solid waste issues. They issue fines and conduct site follow-ups to ensure waste management and litter control.
Division of Water & Sewers monitors rodent activity in sewer and drainage systems and contracts with pest management to treat areas.
Division of Parks and Open Spaces observes rodent activity in town and school grounds, parks, playgrounds, and nature sanctuaries. They work with the Building Department to investigate and provide corrective actions in these areas.
The Building Department monitors town or school-owned buildings and construction sites. Staff continuously investigate, treat and maintain the areas to prevent rodent activity. They oversee construction sites and partner with Public Health to regulate pest management at work sites.
GUIDE FOR PREVENTING RATS ON YOUR PROPERTY
The Department of Public Health & Human Services shares an in-depth guide to preventing rats on your property.
CRITTER PROOFING YOUR HOME & YARD
Learn more ways to keep your property clean and safe by critter proofing your home and yard.
PEST CONTROL MANAGEMENT
If you are looking to hire pest control company, here is a list of Licensed Pest Control Operators (PDF).
The Department of Public Health & Human Services does not endorse, nor certify the above noted companies. All pest control operators hold a license issued by The Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture. Additional companies can be found in an online search for "Pest Control".