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Medford's Rat Problem: A Call to Action

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, during the City Council Meeting, there was a discussion about the rampant rat infestation that has been affecting every corner of Medford. It is clear that our city is facing a challenge that demands immediate attention and a long-term strategy.

The number of calls from various parts of the city, whether near construction sites or elsewhere, underscores the urgency of this situation. With the cold season upon us, it becomes crucial to address the rodent population now and provide homeowners with the necessary tools and assistance.

Rodents pose a significant threat to the health and safety of our residents and businesses. Rodents spread disease, damage electrical wiring, cause structural harm, and contaminate food. In 2020, in response to the growing problem, the city updated its rodent control ordinances, yet the problem continues to grow.

In order to mitigate the problem a review of the following should be completed:

  • Ordinance Effectiveness: Assess if the ordinances are working and if additional guidelines are needed, such as locked dumpsters, improved trash guidance, vegetation overgrowth, etc.

  • Ordinance Enforcement: Are the ordinances being enforced?

  • Cleanliness: Ensuring maintenance and cleanliness in public spaces, parks, and buildings and clearing overgrown vegetation.

  • Technology: What new technologies are available that we could be testing?

  • Education: Can we use reversed 911 calls to inform homeowners about mitigation strategies and available services?

  • Residential Services: What other services can we provide to homeowners struggling with ridding rodents.

  • Other Solutions: Are there opportunities for collaboration with our non-profit neighbors through the PILOT program? And what can we learn from neighboring towns and cities?

Are you experiencing issues with rodent infestation? What would you like to see the city do for mitigation? Reach out to me at and let me know what you would like to see.

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