Rats Taking over California, Particularly Los Angeles Jul 18, 2019 18:14:06 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Jul 18, 2019 18:14:06 GMT -5
Serious Rat Problem in California, Particularly Los Angeles
An ever-growing number of rats in California – particularly in Los Angeles – is being fueled by a spiking homeless population and restrictions on rodenticides and could lead to a public health crisis.
The report by political action committee Reform California cites recent rodent-related incidents over the past six months, which includes an employee at the Los Angeles Police Department who contracted typhus, and a rat that fell from the ceiling of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant onto a patron’s menu, as proof of an “undeniable problem” in the Golden State. “California is being overrun by rodents,” declared Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California. “Without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis.” Rodents can carry dangerous diseases such as typhus, plague and salmonella and they contribute to asthma.
“Contrary to common belief, being bitten by a rodent is rare and not the most common way diseases are spread. Nonetheless, reports of city workers being bitten by rodents is on the rise – with most recent cases being reported in Los Angeles,” the report notes. “Two other vehicles of transmission are far more prevalent: fleas and urine droppings.”
The study also surveyed 23 pest control companies in California and found that rat service requests had increased by almost 60 percent in the past year. Included in the study was a list of “rattiest cities” in the nation, published by the pest-control company Orkin, which named Los Angeles as the second most rat-infested city in the nation – Chicago is the rattiest.
At a press conference at Los Angeles City Hall, DeMaio said there were two particular reasons behind the rodent explosion: “First, the homeless population increase, which provides a source of food which supports population growth. Second, many local governments, including Los Angeles, have banned the most effective practices for detecting and eradicating rats.”
About three-quarters of the almost 59,000 homeless people counted in Los Angeles County in the past year were living outdoors, fueling concerns of a growing public health crisis with piles of garbage and rats near homeless encampments lining downtown sidewalks.
Reform California said the rodent population can be controlled using the most effective tools for pest control, but Los Angeles discontinued use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in 2014, a move the group claims led to the current spike in rat-related problems.
The report, spearheaded by DeMaio and various vector control industry leaders, has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a public health emergency in the Golden State and require public entities to address the situation. It also calls on the state Legislature to oppose Assembly Bill 1788, which seeks to outlaw certain rodent-deterring products that utilize more robust chemicals that have concerned environmentalists.
Source: Travis Fedschun, Fox News, July 17, 2019.