Rodents and Pests
Residents, property owners, and property managers can ask for services and consultation for issues with rodents, wildlife, and insects, particularly those which can transmit diseases.
If you have a complaint or concern about rodents, wildlife, or pests, please complete a Request for Service. Alternatively, you may call (510) 981-5310 and TDD (510) 981-6903, or send an email. In your email, please provide the following information:
- Reason for request (e.g. rats, mice, wildlife, trash/debris/garbage, overgrown vegetation, etc.)
- Detailed explanation
- Location of concern
- Name of reporting party
- Phone number
The Vector Control Program is a function of Environmental Health. A vector is a carrier of an infectious agent that is capable of transmitting infection from one host to another. Vectors include arthropods, such as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, as well as vertebrates like rats, skunks, and raccoons.
The Vector Control Program enforces rodent control and other nuisance violations under Berkeley Municipal Code Title 11. You can generally expect to hear back from Environmental Health within three business days.
Other Consultation and Services Provided
We provide information and inspectional services on how to identify, exclude and control vectors and their hosts from your residence and neighborhood.
Rodent Inspection and Control
Property Inspection and Consultation
Requests for service from the public include complaints and requests from tenants or property owners for assistance in removing rodents or insects from their property. In response to the requests, the Vector Control staff can conduct in-depth inspections, issue inspection reports, and provide consultation and recommendation to exclude, control, and prevent rodents.
In addition, the staff provide identification services and educate people on a one-to-one basis or in groups of tenants, neighborhood associations, or property owners via phone consultations, literatures, and outreach events.
Overgrown Vegetation & Rodent Harborage Issues
The Vector Control staff also responds to requests for service of overgrown vegetation, trash, and garbage and debris accumulations, which contribute to rodent harborage issues.
Sewer Inspection & Baiting
Under special circumstances, the Vector Control staff may monitor sanitary sewers throughout the city for rat activity, and if warranted, may treat the sewers using an appropriate baiting strategy. Vector Control Technicians are certified by the State and are trained in safe handling of bait and other pest control equipment.
In addition, the Vector Control staff works closely in conjunction with the city Public Works Department to investigate, dye test, and repair broken sewer lines or laterals which may harbor rats. The City’s Public Works staff routinely inspects sewers and reports evidence of rodent infestations to the Vector Control staff.
The Vector Control staff regularly conducts surveys and inspections throughout the city as a measure of surveillance for rodents and other vectors. The areas that are routinely surveyed and inspected include:
- Vacant Lots
During the survey, the staff checks for active signs of rodents, as well as sources of food, water, and harborage of rodents. If the staff finds evidence of rodent infestation or concludes that the area is at risk of potential rodent or other vector infestation, they will take necessary control measures.
Arthropod Control and Identification
The Vector Control Program also offers identification of insects and arachnids. To request for arthropod identification, submit the arthropod with a completed Arthropod Identification Form in person to:
Environmental Health Office
2180 Milvia St., 2nd Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
You may also obtain the Arthropod Identification Form directly at the Environmental Health office, Monday – Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Yellow Jacket and Feral Bee Control
The Vector Control staff conduct yellow jacket and feral bee control in public areas, where yellow jackets and feral bees are endangering public health.
The Vector Control staff assists the public in submitting biting ticks to laboratory for tests as a measure of vector borne disease surveillance and control.
The Vector Control staff provides consultation on issues involving wildlife, including squirrels, raccoons, bats, opossums, as well as birds such as pigeons and crows, which may become a nuisance or pose a potential threat to human health by spreading communicable diseases.
The Vector Control staff investigates nuisance related to wildlife and advises homeowners on how to prevent these animals from entering their home or place of residence.
Accumulations of garbage, rubbish, and animal waste can become a public nuisance when unattended prior to disposal or removal. They can also become places that harbor and provide food for rodents, which can then introduce arthropods (i.e. fleas, ticks) or other pests, which may result in human exposure and risk for diseases. It is a violation of Berkeley Municipal Code to place, leave, dump, or permit to accumulate any garbage or rubbish in or upon any building, structure, or place.
The Vector Control Program responds to complaints about accumulation of garbage, rubbish, and human waste and follows up to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Although voluntary compliance with legal notices and orders is achieved in most cases, enforcement requires consistent efforts from Vector Control staffs. Enforcement includes issuing notices of violation, scheduling and attending administrative hearings, issuing citations with accompanying fine(s), obtaining and posting warrants, placing liens on properties for costs of abatement and/or inspections, and authorizing contract vendors to clear properties of municipal code sanitation violations.
The presence of birdfeeders can provide a source of enjoyment. However, the seeds are excellent food source for rats. Some unintended consequences for you and your neighbors may include:
- Transmission of diseases, both to humans and birds
- Damage to surrounding structures from rats trying access the seed
- Distress and irritation of neighbors with their presence
- Contamination of seed or feeder surfaces with rat feces and urine
- Startling and scaring away of native bird species
Rats are omnivorous and are attracted to food sources like bird seeds. While removing bird feeders themselves won’t lead to complete eradication of rodents, it can help to minimize their presence around your residence and the surrounding neighborhood.
Raising chickens in urban environments has gained popularity in recent years. However, most chicken coops are constructed in such a way that allow the entry of rats. Not only will rats consume the chicken feed, but they will also feed on the eggs and chicks. When raising chickens, proper construction and management of the feed can help minimize the harboring of rats Learn how to rodent-proof your chicken coop, food storage, and garbage containers.