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Rodent Control
Who can help
The Town of Tonawanda does not have regulatory authority nor resources for proactive rodent (or vector) control. The Animal Control office CANNOT abate rodents nor other wildlife.
The Erie County Health Department manages a Vector Control program whereby they will assist property owners with rodent management

The town Building Department can respond to specific code violations which may lend to vector propagation. The town Highway Department may assist with garbage related issues which also may contribute to the rat population.

You can eliminate a rat's source of food and water
  • Store garbage in totes with tight fitting lids.
  • Remove uneaten pet food and store food in rat proof containers.
  • Clean up pet droppings on and around your property daily.
  • Use rat proof bird feeders and clean up any fallen seed daily.
  • Do not place food for squirrels, birds and ducks or any other wildlife on the ground.
  • Remove sources of water.

You can eliminate a rat's shelter and harborage
Rats at feeder
Rats are attracted to bird feeders
  • Keep yards trash free and clean areas behind wooden steps, under decks or any other sites that may provide shelter.
  • Cut down high grass and weeds.
  • Pile wood and other storage materials away from walls and at least 18 inches above the ground.
  • Make sure windows and doors close tightly and place heavy screening on all basement windows.
  • Seal any exterior holes in your home's foundation and walls.
  • Fasten floor drains to keep rats from entering through sewers.

If you compost, all compost piles must be rodent proof
Rat in wood pile
Rats find harbor in wood piles
Follow recommended methods for proper composting. Never use meats or cooked foods as compost material. Check for evidence of any rodent harborage and take appropriate action if rats or mice are found. Don't let your compost pile become a "RAT CONDO"!

Remember, if you eliminate a rat's food, water and shelter, you will eliminate the root of the problem.

Improper Garbage Storage
Rats in sewer
Rat in yard
"Occupant to dispose of garbage. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall dispose of and store all his garbage or any other organic waste which might provide food for insects or rodents, in a clean, sanitary and safe manner. Rodent-proof, insect-proof, watertight refuse containers shall be used for storage pending collection.
Erie County Sanitary Code, Article IX, Section 21.12

Bird Feeding
"No person shall feed in the open and domestic or wild fowl, birds or animals other than in a suitable container and in such a manner so as to prevent scattering of food upon the ground or ground level which can or will provide food for rodents, insects, vermin or other pests."
Erie County Sanitary Code, Article IX, Section 21.16 (d)

Rodent Harborage
"Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall store and dispose of accumulated rubbish, boxes, lumber, scrap metal, or any other materials in such a manner as to prevent rodent harborage in or about any dwelling or dwelling unit. Materials shall be stacked neatly in piles elevated to a level high enough to permit effective cleaning."
Erie County Sanitary Code, Article IX, Section 21.16 (a)

Dog Excreta
"Every owner or occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall not store, place, or allow to accumulate any materials that may serve as food or harborage for rodents in a site accessible to rodents."
Erie County Sanitary Code, Article IX, Section 21.1.(c)

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