Task force to study ways to curb city's rat problem - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Task force to study ways to curb city's rat problem

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new task force is forming in an attempt to cut down on the rat problem in the city of Memphis.

Memphis City Councilman Jim Strickland says he receives complaint after complaint about the city's rat problem.

"One person even told me about the rat coming up through the toilet," he said.

Heavy rains this year have given a boost to the natural food supply for these four-legged creatures. Now, Strickland and Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter are working with Health Department leaders to study rat moves.

Rodent complaints in Memphis and Shelby County range around 4,000 a year, with the Health Department expecting to top that number by the end of this year.

"One of the things I'm interested in is a public information campaign to make sure people understand what they need to do," Carpenter said.

The Tennessee State Legislature and the Shelby County Commission have given the Health Department clearance to collect a .75 cent monthly fee from MLGW ratepayers.  Carpenter said they'll determine if it's cost-effective to have private contractors put the rats down.

The Arkansas and Mississippi Departments of Health say they have no rodent control programs. To file a rodent complaint in Memphis and Shelby County, call Vector Control at 901-324-5547.

Tonight on Action News 10pm, an investigation two months in the making! Find out what we uncovered when we asked for a detailed account of how tax money is being spent on rodent control. Watch Anna Marie Hartman's special report tonight at 10pm.

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