Ledge Light addressing rat infestation in Pawcatuck neighborhood

Stonington — Ledge Light Health District is taking steps to eradicate an infestation of rats at a blighted Milan Terrace home that has resulted in rodents moving to adjacent homes.

The health district, which took over the duties of the town’s health department last month, will hold a meeting for neighbors of the home at 5 p.m. Friday at the police station to discuss measures that homeowners can take to help eliminate the rats.

Ledge Light Supervisor of Environmental Health Ryan McCammon, whose office is in Town Hall, said Wednesday that last month police had referred neighbor complaints to him about the rats at the 1 Milan Terrace home owned by Terrance Holbrook and Ronald Kutz, trustees.

He said when he first visited the home last month he saw evidence of rats burrowing outside the home. He has also learned that a woman, who was living at the home but then needed to go to the hospital, had been feeding the rats.

McCammon said it took him some time to contact one of the owners and get a chance to inspect the inside of the home, which he did last month. Approximately 10 days ago Ledge Light issued a public health order for the owners to have a licensed exterminator assess the situation and take steps to eradicate the rats, and eliminate other problems such as debris, bird feeders and standing water, all of which attract rats. The town’s director of planning and blight officer, Jason Vincent, also is reviewing the situation.

McCammon said he visited the home Wednesday and bait traps have been deployed at the home by a licensed exterminator and other steps have been taken to comply with the order.

But now that the food supply has been eliminated, he said the rats have spread out into the adjacent neighborhood.

He said he has alerted 20 to 25 residents on Milan Terrace, Frank Street, Swan Street and the adjacent section of Route 1 about Friday’s meeting.

He is urging neighbors to remove bird feeders, bird baths and debris that attract rats. He said trash should not be put out on the street until the morning of collection and garbage cans should be securely covered.

He said these are all low-cost measures that can be taken with hopes of avoiding the hiring of a firm to install bait traps. McCammon said Ledge Light also is ready to advise residents who need to hire a licensed contractor. He has also talked to the town’s Human Services Department about possible financial assistance for those who may need it.

Even with these steps, McCammon said it could take weeks for the rats to go away.

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