Vector Control


Rats are a nuisance. They carry zoonotic diseases (those that can be transmitted to pets and humans), and have been sighted in our town. Here is some information and tips for controlling them in your area. Please contact St. Louis County Animal Control at 314-615-0680 for assistance in bating your area.

Communicable Diseases

  • Leptospirosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Typhus
  • Salmonella
  • Rat bite fever
  • Parasites such as mites and fleas

Residential Damage

  • Chewing at electrical wires
  • Chewing at structures
  • Undermining slabs and foundations

Rat Lifestyle

Rats are found living in burrows in basements or the ground level of homes and buildings, in rubbish (trash) and wood piles, and in or around the ground of gardens and fields. Some types of rats nest above ground in shrubs, trees, thick vegetation, and in the walls, attics, cabinets, and false ceilings of homes and buildings. They can gain entry into a space as small as a half inch gap.


Rats have proven to eat anything, including:
  • Trash
  • Animal feces
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Meat
  • Grains
  • Animal foods


The reproduction rate of rats challenges that of rabbits. One female rat has 6 to 12 offspring in a litter at approximately 4 to 6 litters a year beginning at its mature breeding age of 3 months, which comes out to be 20+ babies a year from one rat.


So, how do we stop the problem of over population? We take away their home and food supply as much as possible and take steps to eradicate. This goal is achieved by taking the following precautions:
  • Have clutter and debris such as piping, firewood, gardening supplies, household goods, crates, and boxes stored 18” off the ground and 12” away from houses and buildings. City ordnance requires it to be 6" off the ground but we recommend the 18".
  • Have vegetation cut back 2-3’ from buildings and cleared 18” from the ground up.
  • Trash and debris collected frequently. Store in metal containers with tight fitting lids. Animal feed such as dog / cat food and bird seed stored in similar containers.
  • Dog pens should be cleaned daily.
  • Yards kept clean of fallen fruit from plants and trees.
  • Property owners to maintain points of entry into homes and buildings from a half inch up including holes around piping and ducting inside homes.
Many of St. Ann’s housing ordinances, if followed, will aid in prevention of rats. Sanitation and good housekeeping of property from the inside to outside must be maintained. If it is not a continuous effort re-infestation will occur. Building out and snap traps are the most recommended applications for terminating rats, with poison following.