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The Actual Program Content

The program consisted of a series of community meetings, citizen participation, poisoning campaigns, and clean-up campaigns. The block leaders helped bring the citizens out on the appropriate days to work on the projects. Sound trucks went throughout the neighborhoods, and messages in Spanish and English were announced concerning what needed to be done on a given day.


Through an analysis of the work being done in the District Environmental Health office, it was determined that by making some changes, the environmental health practitioners could be more efficient and time could be released for the Community Rodent Control Program. In addition, field staff working on Saturdays or evenings received overtime pay, but in very limited amounts. All other expenditures for the program were absorbed by the individual city departments or were given on a voluntary basis.

Evaluation and Results

Surveys were conducted of the backyards, alleyways, basements, and homes in the communities to estimate the amount of garbage, trash, and junk that was in the area initially and that which was present after the clean-up. A large number of truckloads had been removed totaling over 3 million pounds. A considerable amount of Red Squill and then Warfarin were put out in a safe manner. Over 7500 dead rats were found and at a rate of three dead rats for each one found, it was estimated by the city entomologist that 30,000 rats had been killed.

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