400 rats could be calling downtown home as rat problem is worse than first believed

A rat eating a chicken bone as another rat approaches (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The rat problem at Kiener Plaza is worse than was first believed but officials said they are making some headway.

A pest control company that contracts with the City of St. Louis told News 4 they have found at least 70 rat burrows and there is now a rat colony living across the street from the plaza at the old Mike Shannon’s Restaurant.

Pest control experts said they are estimating that as many as 400 rats could be calling the area home.

In an attempt to combat the problem, workers placed ‘rat birth control’ stations in the area. At the stations, rats go into the plastic housing and drink from a small trough, which makes them unable to reproduce. Crews also placed poison pellets in the rat burrows.

Crews have also been leaving the lights on overnight at Kiener Plaza in an attempt to keep the rats from coming out under the cover of darkness. If the rats stay in their burrows, according to pest control experts, they are more likely to eat the poison pellets.

Additional trash cans have also been brought to Kiener Plaza and spaced alongside Market Street after people were seen leaving their trash in the area, which provided a meal for the rats.

In late-July, the city’s Vector Control first started addressing the rat issue at the plaza. At that time, it was believed that there were six burrows and 50 rats in the area.

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