Residents can take these steps to help prevent rodent infestation in their yards and property:
Composting: please reference the West Allis Revised Municipal Code for rules governing composting. Compost serves as shelter for rodents, as it generates heat, allowing them to create burrows under compost piles that help them survive the cold Wisconsin winter. Do not compost any food waste, as this will attract rats.
Bird baths should be dumped out before nighttime. They serve as a water source for rats.
Leaves, branches, and compost can be taken to the Municipal Yards to avoid them piling up on properties, especially between garages. This serves as shelter for rats.
Harvest vegetables from gardens and fruit from trees and bushes regularly. Pick up fallen fruit from the yard.
Do not feed feral cats. Cat food and water bowls can attract rats.
Bird feeding is a huge attraction for rats. Rats love birdseed. If you can not keep the ground clean and remove all seed from the ground, it will serve as a food source for rats. If you have rats, you must stop feeding the birds.
Contain trash and recycling. Keep the trash and recycling containers clean by periodically cleaning them out (use a hose and some soap). Keep trash and recycling cart lids closed at all times. If the lids are damaged or ill fitting, order a replacement cart.
Avoid junk and clutter in the yard, as rats will nest under these areas.
Pick up dog poop daily, especially before nighttime. City ordinance requires dog poop be picked up from yards daily, and double bagged before being disposed of.
If you choose to use a rodenticide/poison, please follow the directions from the manufacturer on the label. Use caution around pets and young children.