Pest control inspectors provide tips for keeping businesses rodent-free after video of rats in restaurant go viral

Updated: Jun. 5, 2018 at 6:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A video of rats dashing around a French Quarter restaurant is getting a lot of attention online.

Pest control experts say it's a common sight this time of year, and businesses can take preventative measures.

The Facebook video shows several rats scurrying over counter tops, a cutting board and plates after-hours in the eatery. Some seeing the video for the first time say it's no big deal.

"I would take that with a pinch of salt. I mean, it is what it is. I wouldn't worry about that. I would just go somewhere else, I'd walk by," Sylvia Currie said.

"I mean, we live by the river. There's river rats, and I've been to a restaurant that has like, you see a rat running back every now and then," Stephen Medina said.

Others, however, say there's no way they'd eat there.

"We're spending our good hard-earned money and actually bringing our families here to eat, and that type of distraction I think would be a real big turn off to people," John Haluska said.

The State Health Department said they would address the issue if they knew which restaurant it was.

"Showing us the video of the rodents, yes, that can be shocking, that can be oh my goodness. It's a shock value, but you're not being helpful. You need to tell us where it is and then we can go in and do what we do," said Tenney Sibley with the State Health Department.

The department said it regularly inspects restaurants, depending on their risk factors.

"If we're doing a regular, a routine inspection and we come across rodents or rodent droppings, or some kind of indications there are rodents, absolutely. That's what we would call a critical violation," Sibley said.

Rats aren't just unsightly, they could also carry diseases.

"Different types of rats could carry plague, typhus, norovirus. They can get Salmonella. So there's a lot of different things. Having rats around is not a good thing," said entomologist Joe Martin.

Pest control inspectors say rodents are a common sight in the Quarter during this time of year, and businesses need to take action.

"Preventative measures from keeping them from getting inside the building, and if they are inside the building, doing trapping and baiting, getting a rodent program," Martin said.

Some say it's just a part of living in the city.

"I mean, you just do the best you can because there's going to be rats everywhere," Medina said.

The exterminators we spoke with say the types of rats they commonly see in the French Quarter are known to be resilient.

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