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Pest Problem Grows In Northeastern Oklahoma

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Oklahomans are having problems with things, which fly and scamper through the night. The Tulsa city-county health department has a couple of new solutions for those multiplying mosquitoes and rampid rats.

In every corner of just about every yard, standing water is helping breed a big problem that comes in very small packages. Tulsa city councilors on the public works commission have decided to ask Mayor Susan Savage to approve stepping up mosquito fogging efforts. They'll essentially double up the contract with the Tulsa city-county health department. "The health department has made an offer that if the city does contract with us, as we have proposed, to spray the residential square miles in the city of Tulsa, then the health department will commit the resources to double that effort so that we now will be spraying every other week," says John Baker, division manager for the health department.

The city pays more than $16,000 a month to spray neighborhood sections. The city sprays one square mile at a time and the location is based on customer complaints. David Haymes maps out where the fogging trucks will travel. He's also designed and will oversee a new rat abatement program the city funded for the rest of this month and through the next fiscal year. "Any place you have humans around you're going to have rats. They've followed people around through the ages," said Haymes.

Apparently rats can be found all over Tulsa. As the rat and mosquito populations grow, the risk of spreading disease could go up, too. The health department has set up two complaint phone lines which customers can call to voice their concerns and complaints. Investigators will check out each call, especially rat complaints. They will come to the area in question, look for signs of rats and then set traps that are designed to keep the toxic, one-dose rat bait away from dogs and children.

 To complain about mosquitoes, call (918) 595-4219
 To complain about rats, call (918) 595-4200
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