OpEd: Does WeHo have a rat problem?

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Rats, rats, rats! They seem to be all over WeHo.

I’ve lived on Huntley Drive since 2005. My house butts up to the Metro, and there is an easement that belongs to Los Angeles County. It’s a breeding ground for rats. There doesn’t seem to be any mitigation for the increasing rat population.

I’ve never had or needed a pest control company, and I rarely saw a rat. But as spring began to bloom, we could hear rats in the attic of the house and guesthouse.

Rats are very common in the alleys behind the restaurants. I’ve seen rats enjoying their feasts in the garbage dumpster behind my shop. Some of my staff tell stories of seeing rats regularly while they toss the garbage in the alley at night.

It was an unusual night a few weeks ago when the city council voted to ban glue traps in the City of West Hollywood. As the council voted, a rat scurried right past me in my bedroom on the same night. The dogs were not much help. We all cuddled together and hoped the rat would go away.

A month prior, we saw the first rat. We caught four rats and spent over $3,000 on proofing and rat mitigation. I wondered about this problem. I’ve been in my house for almost 20 years and never seen a rat, but now they are all over.

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Glue traps were the answer to spreading rat poison that could kill birds, cats, or other animals. So the exterminator placed old-fashioned traps around the house, attic, and corners. The traps went off many times but did not catch the rat. We did catch a tail, but the rat got away and left a blood trail. It’s nice that we are the first in the nation to ban glue traps, but they didn’t provide any efficient alternative.

I spoke with a friend on Rugby Drive who told me about the growing rat problem outside his home since Covid and the mitigation he had to follow up with. Others read my Facebook post from the previous month and shared their rat stories.

A quick online search about rat infestation led me to the pest rankings by city. Los Angeles is the second most rat-infested city in the nation, with Chicago taking first place. So rats are all over Los Angeles, and it is the County’s responsibility to mitigate. But West Hollywood seems to be waiting for the County to act. We have no pest plan in this city.

There is more to this rat problem. The law now requires the creation of compost from our leftovers. Compost provides food sources in our garbage for these rats to feed and multiply, but the City of West Hollywood does not employ any pest mitigation measures.

California County News noted in March of 2022, “Cities all over California are experiencing a significant increase in rat infestations as a result of two years of lockdowns during COVID. The reason? Rats that found food sources in restaurant dumpsters had to seek food elsewhere, driving them into housing developments, residential areas, and the suburbs.” The rat problem in sunny Los Angeles is widespread and rampant, especially in trash-congested areas. The article also notes that Typhus is typically spread by fleas that have been infected by diseased rats and other critters.

That doesn’t bode well for West Hollywood’s high concentration of dogs and the potential spread of fleas.

The question is, what are we doing about this in West Hollywood? Is Code Compliance doing their job and working with the County to maintain the easement at the Metro and control rodents? I bet not. Is West Hollywood going to develop its own rodent mitigation or wait on the County to provide services. (Sort of like Covid and MonkeyPox we will be waiting our turn.). Hey Lindsey Horvath what are you doing about the damn rats? The rats seem to have agenda items and representatives to speak on their behalf. But who on the city council is concerned about the potential spread of diseases or controlling of the expanding rodent population in West Hollywood?

Do you have rats in your home or apartment?

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Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
8 months ago

*sharp inhale* Do I make this about certain City Council folks?

Rose
Rose
8 months ago

Just in City Hall in the form of the Elected City Council Members.

If not already anti-resident, something in orientation converts them into the money over residents basic needs.

Don’t know about the nicer versions known as ordinary fifthly street rats

A.H.
A.H.
8 months ago

The rat situation is bad. City refers tenants to County Health Department. Scheduling an inspection takes ages. Unless your landlord wants to be quick, it is a real nightmare.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
9 months ago

It is Spring and every night my cat Stella camps outside, waiting for the unwary rat or mouse. She is assisted by a pair of Great Horned owls who regularly patrol Poinsettia Drive. There is plenty you can do to discourage rats but they have been a part of the urban scene since people founded the first cities.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

I always thought those two were kind of average. Now, the one on Elevado and Palm, he’s great.

TomS
TomS
9 months ago

Only rats I see are voters for Shyne Ericsson and Horvath

Stephen
Stephen
8 months ago
Reply to  TomS

Can you drop the politics trolling for one damn article??

Toms
Toms
8 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

The clown show started with Horvath, continues with Shyne, Ericsson.
Byers has a lot of potential to join in . Who’s responsible? The Voters boo
Your answer is NO awareness is bliss and I have the right to continue the clown report on any issue.

voter
voter
8 months ago
Reply to  TomS

Indeed. I’d keep the little rats and get rid of the big ones.

Vic Garcia
Vic Garcia
8 months ago
Reply to  TomS

LOL. So true.

hifi5000
hifi5000
9 months ago

You might want to get a terrier dog as I understand they are good for hunting rodents (mice,rats,etc.) My grandmother had a small huffy terrier and that dog was able to hunt down the local mice at her place.Not sure what else terriers can hunt,but you may want to start there.

:dpb
:dpb
9 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

My Rat Terrier patrols every hedge and lawn in the Norma Triangle. We don’t have the rat problem we used to have, but then the coyotes have taken over the neighborhood leaving Mr. V with little to chase.

Best Rat Terriers
Best Rat Terriers
8 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

Jack Russell terriers & West Highland Whiter terriers

Wehoan
Wehoan
9 months ago

You should have been on the city council dealing with real issues that matter to the people of West Hollywood. Their pet projects have nothing to do with the majority of residents. I’ll never forgot how you got masks when nobody else could. Thank you for all you do.

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
9 months ago

Ask at Koontz or Tashman for the traps that rats enter, eat the bait and/or carry it back to their nest to die later!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
9 months ago
Reply to  Joan Henehan

Unfortunately what the rats are eating is poison and if a cat, hawk or owl eats the rat before it dies, that creature will be poisoned too.

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

YUCK! That’s an unlucky critter to eat the rat who ate the poison on its way home…

Pied Piper
Pied Piper
9 months ago

As Lindsey Horvath departed, the rats appeared in droves. Even though she has disavowed West Hollywood and stricken it from her resume, the responsibility still exists for LA Country and is definitely her purview as Supervisor.

Rodrigo
Rodrigo
8 months ago
Reply to  Pied Piper

Pride is here. She’s now all over social media bragging about how wonderful she’s been for the LGBTQ residents of WeHo.

RATS!
RATS!
9 months ago

We have a hoarder in the area so his mess brings rats. They scurry from one back yard to another. Code compliance does nothing.

Tweetmysh@t
Tweetmysh@t
9 months ago

What about getting those three rats off the city council. Madam Mayor Shine, Dr Pearl Erickson and Chelsea valley girl Byers!

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
9 months ago

Thank you Larry, because of this article, I just contacted my pest control guy & set up a series of appointments as he has not been here for a few months. If you have fruit trees on your property like I do, then one knows that the rats are around. Unfortunately, I am the only one in my area of houses & apartment buildings that pay out of pocket for pest control. I agree that the city of WeHo should have a plan in place & they do not! Instead of spending hundreds of thousands on pet projects that lead… Read more »

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