City baits French Quarter storm drains to get rid of rats

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - City exterminators will bait French Quarter storm drains Thursday to get rid of rats.

A recently released video shows rats roaming freely inside of a restaurant on Decatur.

The French Market Restaurant is now closed for cleaning and repairs after the video went viral online.

In the video, rodents are seen running over plates and a cutting board..

The head of New Orleans' Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board said crews will bait storm drains, but they were already scheduled to be in the French Quarter even before the video was posted.

People who work in the French Quarter along with pest control experts say these pests are a common sight.

The rodent control director said it's impossible to estimate how many rats are in the city since New Orleans is a port city.

A system of tunnels and pipes under the city makes it easy for rodents to travel, and no matter how hard they may try to keep them out.

Rats only need a hole the size of a quarter to get inside.

A Loyola Environmental Professor said rats may be common, but they're still a serious restaurant infraction.

"We all have them in the neighborhood. It doesn't matter how affluent, we all have rats," said Bob Thomas with Loyola University Environmental Communication. "If you haven't heard them in your wall or attic you're not listening well because everyone's got them its a way of life, but its not something we like its something we're terrified of especially if they're in a restaurant."

When the French Market restaurant reopens, it will have to contact the health department for a reopening inspection.

The city encourages anyone who sees a rat infestation to report it immediately.

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