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Rodent activity increasing in empty French Quarter

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 2:20 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Now that the French Quarter is mostly empty, the City of New Orleans is now working to clear out rat population. Local leaders believe fewer people and a lack of food in the Quarter may be causing increased activity among the rodents.

Crews will start to carry out rodent abatement work on Monday (March 23). The director of the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board said it is especially important for them to control the rodent population at this time because while there have not been many documented health risks recently, the potential is still there.

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“We’re coming around and we’re baiting the drains, the storm drains for rodents, and so now unfortunately a lot of the restaurants are either closed or working in limited fashion,” Claudia Riegel said. “So a lot of the trash that would normally be in the French Quarter or other commercial areas are no more, it’s not being generated, as well as many of the trash cans you see are pretty much empty and so unfortunately what’s happening is a lot of these rodents are looking for an alternative food source.”

Riegel also said her crews are still practicing social distancing while out working and reiterated that pest control is considered an essential service, so it is still safe to call if you have an issue.

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