Brown County Offers Residents Free Rat Traps

County, Green Bay City Officials Work To Combat Rodent Problem

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Brown County is offering free rat traps to residents in response to what some see as a major rodent problem in the Green Bay area.

The city distributed just about 200 of the lethal traps this weekend and is looking to give out the rest in the near future.

Residents have been complaining about rodents for a year, according to Brown County Supervisor Bernie Erickson, who represents District 7 in the northwestern part of Green Bay and where many complaints have come in.

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Brown County Supervisor Patrick Evans, who also represents District 9 also covering the city’s northwest side and is running to be Green Bay’s next mayor, said the city and county tried to educate residents about rat habitat, but said officials feel they must take additional steps to curb the problem.

“Now, we are taking a second step, giving out rat traps,” he said.

He added some problem spots include “the rental properties, the landlords. Those are the areas where people don’t seem to care or want to be involved.”

This weekend, officials offered free rat traps to people who could prove they are residents. Evans said relatively few people took up the offer.

“We gave out maybe 100 to 200 rat traps,” he said.

Erickson said the county has allocated $5,000 on the traps, which are designed to snap the rats at their necks.

Evans said there is at least a pallet of 1,000 traps left. Each resident can get three traps, along with instructions on rodent disposal. Dead rats should be handled with gloves, then wrapped in a plastic bag, such as those used in grocery stores and the corpses can be placed in city-sanctioned garbage cans.

County officials also request residents report information to the local health department so that officials with the city and county can pinpoint where the problem areas are.

Evans said there are no city ordinances against creating habitat conducive to vermin.

“You can get fined if your grass is too high, but if you have rats running all around, that doesn’t seem to be any sort of penalty as of yet. But the city is certainly going to be looking into it,” he said.

Erickson said some residents are careless with trash while others over-fill bird feeders, leaving seeds on the ground, which attract rodents.

Erickson said he is “amazed” at emails and conversations he has had with constituents and residents.

“I can be at Festival Foods grocery shopping and I can’t make it through the store without having some rat conversation,” he said.