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Pest Management

Our department’s mission is to protect and improve the quality of life for all Boston residents.  We work to prevent and mitigate rodent infestations in the City by conducting inspections, trapping and baiting in parks, playgrounds and public ways.

We use rodenticides to deal with infestations of rats and mice. We place them in areas that experience activity including:

  • burrows
  • sewers
  • parks and playgrounds
  • public alleys 

Our Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) uses many methods to keep the pest population low. We try to reduce the use pesticides to avoid an effect on the public health.

    • Did You Know?
      • The Norway Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) is the most common rat in the North East Region.
      • These rats are heavy set, light brown to almost black. 
      • Rats generally live for one year at which time they can have six to twelve “pups” per litter, up to seven times a year.
      • Rats burrow in the ground, under buildings and rubbish; 
      • Rats require roughly one ounce of food a day and a half ounce of water they feed habitually on meats and grains.
      • Rats can jump up to three feet and climb wires and pipe

    Rodent Prevention Tips

    • Keep unit clean.
    • Seal all holes around pipes, heating ducts and under cabinets.
    • Clean all hidden areas under stoves and refrigerators on a regular basis.
    • Keep yard clean, cut grass.
    • Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight fitting lids.
    • Do not leave pet food outside.
    • Place bird food in a feeder, not on the ground, clean up spillage daily.
    • Clean up animal waste frequently!
    • Repair any breaks in the sewer line connecting your home with the main sewer system.

    Pest Management for Construction Sites


    Developers need to control rodent infestations before we will issue them a building permit to do work. This is in accordance with:

    • Massachusetts Building Code, section 108.6
    • Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, Ch. 1, 105 CMR 400.100 and Ch. II, 105 CMR 410.550, and
    • the City of Boston Code, Ordinance Chapter 16-Section 31 and Ch. 9, Section 1.2.

    City Ordinance Article 16, Section 31, Rodent Inspection Prevention Measures at Construction Site, states:

    No building permit shall be issued for renovation, conversion, or new construction until the applicant shows evidence that the premises have been treated for, or are free from insects and rodents in compliance with all applicable codes. The contractor/applicant shall be held responsible for corrective measures should the construction, renovation or conversion work cause infestation to immediate abutters. Read the City Ordinance Article 16, Section 31.


    If we find an infestation or rodent activity, we will write and serve abatement notices to the property owner or manager. We will also perform a compliance inspection within 7 - 10 business days after the initial inspection.


    If the violation(s) aren't corrected, we will serve the owner or manager of the property a notice to appear at an administrative hearing.

    A hearing officer will hear testimony from the inspector regarding the conditions of the property, the violations cited, and the date and time of the re-inspection.

    The property owner or manager will also be given a chance to give testimony to the conditions of the property. They can also state what has been or will be done to bring the property up to code. The hearing officer will take all testimony into consideration and render their decision within 7 - 10 business days. We hold all hearings at:

    1010 Massachusetts Avenue 
    4th Floor Conference Room 
    Boston, MA 02118 


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