Sewer Rats - Do Not Invite Them In!

Rat Sighting Notification

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Sewer rats have been seen in parts of North Attleboro. The BOH does NOT recommend using rodenticides - they cause secondary poisoning (to pets and other animals) and will contaminate the water supply. Use instant mash potatoes near a small water source, this will kill the rats quickly.

Remember to not leave trash out, it should be in a tight container. No standing water in yards. And please do not use bird feeders because they will attract them as well.

The Health Department has numerous ways to help in deterring rat activity in the community.

The Health Agent responds to rat complaints and educates businesses and the public on rat behavior and how to minimize their presence. They provide information on best practices regarding pest control and management of the rat population.

The Health Department also works with the Animal Control Officer to treat public and town-owned properties when rat activity is observed. Demolition projects in the community are required to pretreat for rodents and monitor for rodent presence throughout the project and take appropriate pest control steps as needed.

Rodent Information from the CDC

Three Keys to Rat Prevention:


    Eliminate possible rodent food sources and nesting sites outside the home.

    Keep food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids.

    Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean.

    Always put pet food away after use and do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight

    Keep bird feeders away from the house and utilize squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder by squirrels and other rodents

    Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid.

    Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible (100 feet or more is best).

    Keep grains and animal feed in thick plastic or metal containers with tight lids. In the evening, uneaten animal feed should be returned to containers with lids.If storing trash and food waste inside the home, do so in rodent-proof containers, and frequently clean the containers with soap and water. Dispose of trash and garbage on a frequent and regular basis and pick up or eliminate clutter.

    Elevate hay, woodpiles, and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground.

    Move woodpiles far away from the house (100 feet or more is best).

    Get rid of old trucks, cars, and old tires that mice and rats could use as homes.

    Keep grass cut short and shrubbery within 100 feet of the home well-trimmed.


    Trap rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population.

    Choose an appropriate snap trap. Traps for catching mice are different from those for catching rats. Carefully read the instructions before setting the trap.

    When setting the trap, place a small amount of peanut butter (approximately the size of a pea) on the bait pan of the snap trap. Position the bait end of the trap next to wall so it forms a “T” with the wall. Rodents prefer to run next to walls or other objects for safety and do not like being in the open.

    In attics, basements, and crawlspaces and other areas that do not have regular human traffic, set traps in any area where there is evidence of frequent rodent activity. Some rodents, particularly rats, are very cautious and several days may pass before they approach the traps. Other rodents, such as house mice and deer mice, are less cautious and may be trapped more quickly.

    We do not recommend using glue traps or live traps. These traps can scare the mice that are caught live and cause them to urinate. Since their urine contains germs, this may increase your risk of being exposed to diseases.

    Also place traps in outbuildings and in the areas that likely serve as rodent shelters. Natural rodent predators, such as non-poisonous snakes, owls, and hawks, may also help control and reduce the number of rodents outside the home.

    If you trap inside your home, but do not seal up rodent entry holes, new rodents will enter the dwelling.

    Chicken Coops may attract rodents, they must be cleaned daily. Rats are attracted to their feed and fecal matter.


    Seal up holes inside and outside the home to prevent entry by rodents.

    Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a half dollar!

    Prevent rodents from entering the home by checking inside and outside the house for gaps or holes.

If you think you have rodents on your property, contact a licensed pest control company to assist you.

Report rodent sightings to the Health Department by filling out the form below so we can take efforts to control rodents on public property and track rodent activity.  Please note, this form is for data collection only and will not be responded to.