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Controlling Rats

The Vision:

A city that is free of its current rodent explosion while protecting children, pets, and animals of prey such as eagles and owls.

Coverage from 2017:

The Problem:

Waltham is being inundated with rats. The worst problems are near restaurants and in the most crowded parts of the city. The city has used anti-coagulant poisons and other traps that are insufficient at reducing the rat population. These poisons injure children, kill pets, or make them severely ill, and are responsible for 80% of eagle deaths. They kill other predators, too.

A rat can live on an ounce of food and water a day. 

Failure to provide proper sealed containers - for residents or businesses -  creates an abundance of food for rats. Milder winters caused by climate change, and multiple nest-disturbing construction sites, have led to an explosion of rats.

Coverage from 2023 Showing No Progress:

The Opportunity:

The profusion of poison traps is not working but there are good solutions out there. We need a comprehensive - not piecemeal - approach. Here are some solutions I would employ:

Electric Traps

  • Use high volume electric traps.

  • Survey and map out implementation plan for short and long term goals

Universal Trash Bins

  • Enforce trash rules that garbage must be placed in closed, impenetrable containers.

  • Provide rat resistant trash totes to every household as Waltham did for recycling bins.

  • Use rat resistant trash containers in public places and empty them frequently.

  • Inspect dumpsters to assure they close securely.

  • Implement a policy of carry in/carry out for trash in parks and recreation areas.

Conta Pest

  • Use Conta Pest, a rat contraceptive that has been shown to reduce litters by between 57% - 67%.


  • Implement city-wide composting for restaurants and residents.

Waltham, like any city, will never eliminate rats, but their population can be brought down to reasonable levels.  I will implement the various solutions available to the city starting with those with the greatest impact.  

Help Make this Vision Reality

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