BUFFALO, NY - Erie County is back in the rodent-control business again.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced the reinstatement of Erie County's Rodent Control Program Wednesday at a press conference.
The program, which will be administered by the Department of Health, will begin responding to rodent complaints beginning Thursday, March 15, 2012.
The county had cut the program last year due to budget concerns.
"Reinstating the Rodent Control Program makes good sense, both from a health perspective and from a savings perspective," said Poloncarz. "Rats don't respect property lines or town lines, and now residents will have assistance from the County in their efforts to track and eliminate them."
The Legislature included $369,848 to the 2012 Adopted Budget to restore the Rodent Control Program -- 36 percent of which (approximately $133,000) will be reimbursed by New York State.
The restored funding will primarily go towards: the costs of personnel to perform rodent baiting and proactive neighborhood blitzes; a clerk to handle complaints; service requests and documentation management; and supply and materials costs for bait and related equipment.
Officials want to remind county residents that they, too, can take measures around their homes to reduce the risk of rodent infestation, including the following steps:
- If your municipality has yet to use totes, make sure that your garbage is stored in covered containers at all times;
- Do not feed your pets or any animals outside the home;
- Remove sources of water from your yard;
- Thoroughly clean area of pet droppings daily;
- Immediately clean any fallen seeds from birdfeeders and only use rodent-proof and spill-proof birdfeeders;
- Keep yards free of trash;
- Clean areas behind wooden steps, under decks or any other area that may provide shelter;
- Pile wood and other storage materials away from walls and at least 18 inches above the ground;
- Check to see that windows and doors are closed tightly;
- Place heavy screening on all basement windows;
- Seal any holes in your home's foundation;
- Fasten floor drains to keep rats from entering through sewers.
The program is expected to handle between 3,000 and 4,000 complaints this year. Residents who encounter rodent issues are encouraged to call the County's Department of Health at (716) 961-6800 or visit www.erie.gov/health for more information.