Vector Control: Rodent Abatement Program
San Francisco's Rodent Abatement efforts are a proactive and complaint-based program to identify and control rat and mice infestations in the City and County of San Francisco.
The three important urban rodents are Norway rats, Roof rats and House mice . The Norway rat, also called the brown, wharf or sewer rat, can be found virtually everywhere humans live. They are attracted to areas that provide a wealth of hiding places and easy access to food. The roof rat, an agile climber, is more at home in the city, with its wires and tall buildings. House mice can establish long-term residence in homes and offices. They are well adapted to life without a steady water supply, and are able to survive long periods on cereals and food scraps.
What to Look For
The sight of a rat running across an open space is often the first sign of an infestation. However, because rodents are secretive and are active at night, more detailed inspection of the sites is required to confirm actual rodent infestation.
- Look for scattered rat droppings near common pathways, feeding locations, or shelter.
- Look for scratches and sharp gnawing marks on the bottoms and corners of doors, on ledges, in corners of walls, and on stored material.
- Look for dark, greasy rub marks caused by the rat?s fur oil coming in repeated contact with painted surfaces or wooden beams.
- Check for tracks and tail draglines on dusty surfaces indoors and in loose soil and mud outdoors.
Ridding an Area of Rodents
Ridding an area of rodents cannot be effectively accomplished until all factors associated with the infestation are properly eliminated or managed. These factors include rodent harborage outside the building or unit, entry points into the building, harborage points inside the building, food and water sources. The pest industry's best practices that utilize these factors along with proper extermination and education is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The San Francisco Department of Public Health recommends using pest services that are licensed by the San Francisco County Agricultural Commissioner that utilize IPM principles.
Making a Complaint
For complaints about rodents call or visit 311 to have your complaint recorded and routed correctly to Environmental Health.