North Berkeley residents experience rat influx in neighborhood

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Residents of North Berkeley have noticed large amounts of rats in their neighborhood, leading to intervention from the city of Berkeley’s health services department.

Approximately six months ago, multiple residents of North Berkeley started to notice a large amount of rats not only in their own homes, but also around other parts of the city. Christine Simon, a resident of North Berkeley, said she and her family initially found it entertaining when they heard rats on their roof but then found the situation less amusing after they discovered rat mites in their home.

Simon said her family had to evacuate the home for three weeks because she and her other family members were getting bitten by the rat mites. According to Simon, city public health officials visited her neighborhood, but she said that little action has been taken so far.

“I would recommend the public health people do a study and try to control the numbers of rats,” Simon said. “In history, rats have carried deadly diseases and it’s something they should look into before it gets out of control. … Somebody should be responding in a public health way and figure out a way to control it.”

Simon added that she has seen several of her neighbors watch the rats in the neighborhood together in what she referred to as a “rat party.”

Manuel Ramirez, manager of the city of Berkeley’s Environmental Health Division, said the division receives a significant amount of calls regarding rodents. According to Ramirez, the division responds to every complaint it receives and investigates every site to make recommendations based on what it finds.

“The issues that lead to rodents — most are due to the surrounding environment and how people keep their property,” Ramirez said. “(Rodents are) not specific to one area in Berkeley, not even just in Berkeley — it’s across the Bay Area.”

Jessíca Jiménez covers schools and communities. Contact her at [email protected] and and follow her on Twitter at @jesscajimenez_dc.

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  • Cid Young

    Restaurant Dumpsters should not be ruled out!
    http://www.ktvu.com/news/197728216-story

  • BerkPed

    I have seen quite a few rats in my neighborhood this year.

    Outside the central library at night.
    On Allston near Roosevelt at night
    On Bancroft near Acton in the day time.
    On Curtis near Bancroft in the day time.
    On the bart path near Peralta in the day time.

    One big source of food may be over flowing trash cans.
    Another is overflowing trash cans in the downtown area.

  • msb204

    Good, I hope they contract the plague.

  • Peggy Scott

    The greatest deterrent is for everyone – all neighbors – to remove all food sources. Cat food, dog food, birdseed, dropped fruit, anything put out to feed squirrels – get rid of it all. They will find shelter and probably water (from creeks and sprinklers.) Remove the food.

  • William M Popper

    “The issues that lead to rodents — most are due to the surrounding environment and how people keep their property,” Ramirez said. “(Rodents are) not specific to one area in Berkeley, not even just in Berkeley — it’s across the Bay Area.” … typical of Mr, Ramirez’s personal perception. Inquire Mr. Ramirez about the noise pollution enforcement within the City of Berkeley and you will get the same evasive response…Another .COB Gravy Train passenger.

    • leo schwartz

      You are correct!!! Ramirez not doing anything and he is complicit. The guy is a liar. I tried talking to him and I usually get the typical bull**** response too. The supervisor is another little guy in that office who is peskier than the rats and is evasive too.

  • Pietro Gambadilegno

    North Berkeley covers a large area. It would be helpful if you would tell us exactly where the rat problems are. I live in North Berkeley, and I wonder if they are near me.

    Also, you should say “a large number of rats” rather than “a large amount of rats.”
    http://grammarist.com/usage/amount-number/

    • marco casasola

      I’ve seen families of rats on Derby in between Milvia closer to Shattuck. Another hotspot is Dwight and Shattuck on parking lot property. They run around the bushes. I feel bad cuz somebody just put up a tent there.

    • A large amount of powdered rat. Just add water.

  • FreedomFan

    The comment writes itself.