Longtime Pawtucket resident says city must do more about ‘disgusting’ rat problem

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Pawtucket residents say they’re fed up with a persistent rat problem and they’re calling on the city to do more to address it.

The issue was brought up during Wednesday’s city council meeting after concerns were raised by people like Dr. Lee Myers, who said she’s had to take matters into her own hands, as well as her own pockets.

“It’s really despicable, disgusting,” she said. “I did have to pay $1,000 for an exterminator.”

Myers tells 12 News she’s lived in the city for 30 years and the rat problem started in her neighborhood about five years ago. She said she’s seen the rodents in her street, her yard, and even inside her home, which was the final straw that prompted her to bring in the exterminator.

Myers said she also called the city. The next day, a rat trap was brought to her yard, but she believes more needs to be done.

“Help me get rid of these rodents,” she said. “Go in and take some money off of my rodent charge of $1,000. They could do something else, a little bit more than coming out with one rat box.”

Councilor Mark Wildenhain said he’s asked the city to look into options to offset costs incurred by residents to deal with the rats, on top of the rodent control that’s already being done.

Dylan Zelazo, the city’s director of administration, says it’s being worked on.

“The city of Pawtucket greatly appreciates the partnership of all our residents to help improve all quality of life issues,” he wrote in a statement to 12 News. “The city is committed to exploring innovative solutions that improve quality of life.”

During Wednesday’s meting, Wildenhain thanked Zelazo for opening a dialogue on ways to address the issue.

“Looking for things and ways to turn around and solve people’s problems in the city is always appreciated, and it’s really appreciated by me when we have members of the administration that are willing to think outside the box too,” he said.

The city says it’s exploring potential funding sources like grants that would not place an additional burden on taxpayers.

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