Orange Spends Thousands to Purge Rats from City Hall

October 23, 2020 Updated: October 26, 2020

ORANGE, Calif.—The City of Orange will spend $55,000 to have its civic center treated for rodent infestation.

Paul Sitkoff, public affairs and information manager for Orange, told The Epoch Times, “It’s best to take aggressive action as quickly as possible to keep it from spreading … or it grows exponentially.

“So when you’re living in an area that basically used to be farmland, in buildings that date back to when that farmland was still prevalent, you’re going to have these kind of things crop up from time to time.”

Sitkoff said infestations like this are infrequent.

The matter was brought up recently by the Public Works Department, which stated that a staff member saw a couple rats. A city staff report stated that previous efforts to eliminate rats “on a localized basis” were unsuccessful. “We have recently had renewed activity that calls for a more comprehensive approach to mitigate the problem.”

The area of the civic center complex being treated is the 300 building on East Chapman Avenue. Sitkoff said the civic center looks like a collection of buildings, but it’s actually a single building connected by a “fairly extensive underground complex,” or basement, that is rarely used.

The eradication services will be conducted by Rodent Stop, a family-owned extermination company based in Los Angeles. The city council approved the contract at an Oct. 13 meeting and the mitigation will begin Oct. 29.

A city staff report stated that Rodent Stop offers the most effective, economical option and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Rodent Stop will assess the threat level of pests on the premises, eliminate food sources and hiding areas, and use tamper-resistant baits and traps.

Since the building is closed on alternate Fridays, the treatment will coincide with a three-day weekend.

Los Angeles City Hall had a major rat problem in 2019, with staff reporting paw prints on papers, office plants used as nests, and receiving bites from fleas brought in with the rats. The city had to take drastic measures, ripping up flea-infested carpet and clearing out plants, worried about the potential infection of employees with Typhus, a flea-borne illness.

The L.A. Times reported that the pest control company working on the city hall, CatsUSA Pest Control, had pegged the potential cause of the infestation as “poor sanitary conditions” from the homeless population living in the civic center.