Rodent Control

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Rodents live in cities near people because they can find suitable food, water, and shelter to join our urban way of life. Our nation has studied rodent control programs throughout the country and throughout history. Studies aside, there are many ways we could work together to control rodent populations in our community. Simple property maintenance and proper refuse disposal practices can decrease the rodent populations. Health department inspections can also decrease the rodent populations. (click here to report rodent sightings) Overall, studies concluded that a rodent control program rich in education brings the most success at reducing rodent populations.

Do you have rats / rodents? Many variables may have come into play if rats are on or near your property. Call your inspectors they have the knowledge and know all the variables.

The City of Waltham Board of Health will work together with residents, business owners, and other City Departments to promote a better understanding of rat / rodent behavior and how to minimize their presence and impact on the community. Our inspectors are committed to rodent control and providing educational information to the public. By working together we can keep our neighborhoods clean and healthy. There's no way around it! To send the rats packing we all have to work together.

Frequently asked questions are listed below to link the community with more information and tips on rodent prevention.






Here are tips to prevent rodent problems on your property;


  1. Maintain your property in a sanitary manner, so as to reduce the potential for rodents.
  2. Keep grills clean; store woodpiles neatly with a foot clearance from the ground.
  3. Rodent proof all structures using durable materials such as ¼ inch mesh, metal hardware, or sheet metal.  Eliminate all gaps greater than ¼ inch.
  4. Reduce or eliminate available food, water, and harborage that can be used by rodents.
  5. Do not leave pet food out at night and take down birdfeeders.
  6. Remove fallen fruit promptly and check your compost bin for holes.
  7. Thin out vegetation keep grass and shrubbery cut short.
  8. Routinely inspect the property for evidence of rodents.
  9. Use covered trash barrels made of metal or heavy plastic instead of bags for your trash!


If you discover a rat or other rodent problem on your property we advise you to contact a licensed pest control operator for assistance. It is your responsibility to maintain your property so as to avoid a rat problem and to eliminate any infestation!


The Waltham Health Department will issue enforcement orders to property owners who upon notice from the Health Department do not eradicate rodents on their property.


Please feel free to contact the Health Department at 781-314-3305 for questions.


1. What diseases are transmitted by rodents? Seriously! I can get Salmonella from a rat? 

2. Is there a way to prevent rodents from entering my home?

3. How can a rodent population be decreased?

4. What can be done to decrease contact with rodents?

5. How can I report a rodent sighting to the Health Department?


English Version                            Spanish Version



(courtesy of the CDC and Waltham Health Department)


While watching the following CDC public sevice announcement keep in mind rodents can be in places we just don't think of on an every day basis.