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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Rat Infestation is Real Says Swinger, Upset with Argonaut Downplay


Photo taken of dead Norway rat about 10:30 pm Thursday. The rat is in alley between Main Street Google building and Rose Cafe.

(16 August 2019) Rick Swinger, activist,  resident near 3rd Ave, and the loudest voice in area regarding the Norway rat infestation, and Elizabeth Greenwood, City employee who contracted typhus allegedly at LA City Hall, are upset about the downplay of rats on 3rd Ave as reported in the Argonaut.

The Argonaut article stated that “Public Health officials surveyed Third, Fourth, Rose and Sunset avenues for evidence of rats and other potential public health hazards, but came up empty-handed. They also found no evidence of active rodent infestation at the nearby Public Storage facility, often a target of neighborhood concerns.”

Not true.  First of all Public Storage was never inspected nor intended to be inspected.   Secondly the rat reports state rat homes (burrows).

It appears the reports are talking about both the  narrow east side easement between the fence and the building and the open grounds toward Rose Ave.  The first statement is about the side easement and the second statement is about the grounds toward Rose.

The rat inspector inspected  the Google grounds at 320 Hampton Drive from Rose to Sunset  and found “1) Runway under the dense vegetation at the East side of the property; 2. Gnawed fruit under the dense vegetation along the sidewalk on 3rd.  Corrective action:  Collapse/knock down all active rodent/burrows along the East side in the planters, under the vegetation.  Active burrows observed 1 to 3.”`

“The following was observed 1) 4+ active rodent burrows under the dense vegetation at the east side of the property on 3rd Ave.  2) 3+ old rat droppings under the vegetation next to the guard booth.”

Corrective action: Install bait stations and take precautionary steps to remove droppings.

Standing water was also observed and Vector control was notified. Cases of West (Nile disease have gone from a couple to over one hundred per year.) Also notified was “Department of Sanitation to address the trash receptacles on 3rd Ave.”

It is a known fact that trash and filth  attract rats. The largest  encampment in Venice is on 3rd Ave from Rose to Sunset abutting the Google complex on one side and Public Storage on the other.  The encampment is cleaned and trash thrown away weekly by Sanitation and daily by BID Clean Teams but trash still exists.

One young man who lives on 3rd says he puts traps around his tent but residents remove them because they like the rats.  Some feed the rats, he said.  People eat on the street so there is food available.

According to Google, Norway rats can have  “between 1 and 12 litters each year, though they usually have 6 to 8 litters each year. Females are pregnant for 21 to 26 days. Each litter usually contains 7 babies but some litters can have between 2 and 22 young.”  So if one sees a rat, he should think of this prolific reproduction process and take precautionary steps.

To contain them and eliminate them in an area takes more than control of one piece of property.  One of the containment problems is Public Storage which has 1800 customers.  One must treat an area.

Swinger has championed for years illegal dumping of old food in the area which attracts rats.

He reported the rat holes indicating infestation to the County Health Department months ago but because there are only two rat inspectors for the County, it took several months for them to appear and then time for the report.  The inspectors have been out three times to make sure the bait stations are filled and that there are sufficient stations.  The rats will die.  They may leave the area and die as the one pictured.

He told the Mayor at a town hall in October that rat-proof trash cans were needed for 3rd Ave.   The City provided what Swinger calls rat feeders … open wire trash cans.   He complained so they provided plastic liners.   Swinger recently contacted Jamie Keene of the mayor’s office to see if she could obtain rat-free trash cans.  Stephanie Cohen of Sheila Kuehl’s office was also contacted and she said she would do what she could even though she is with the county.

The residents of Los Angeles and both the City and County are beginning to realize that trash, human feces, and filth add up to rats and rats cause diseases because of the fleas that bite the rats and then the fleas bit humans.

To add to the rat dilema the City is having, the LA times had an article  Friday stating that the City was cited twice for exposing City employees on the walkways outside of City Hall East to “trash and bodily fluids” type unsanitary conditions.  One citation was to City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office and the other citation was to City’s General Services Department. They were cited by CAL/OSHA (California Division of Occupational Safety and Health).  A pest control company previously linked a City Hall rat infestation to nearby camps.

Perhaps, OSHA should investigate what residents in area of 3rd Ave are exposed to consistently.

 

Comments (2)

  1. Rick Swinger

    2019 8/19 910AM
    The County Health Dept Vector is now finished after they have put up 9 to 10 Bait Stations around the entire perimeter from Rose to Sunset and 3rd to Hampton dr.
    Pedro the County Vector Inspector also reconfirmed he did not inspect Public Storage and 4th as per the Argonaut Article which Gary Walker should amend and correct.
    He also laugh that The Argonaut said he came up empty handed saying the Rats over populating the area is do to the 3RD Ave Encampment and unhealthy sanitation conditions.
    He also said Gary Walker did not talk to him at all for that article.
    He also said good try getting the City to install Rat Proof Trash Cans!
    Not encouraging but we already know its very hard.

  2. Rick Swinger

    From Animal lives matter… There are nearly 40 million people living in California.

    It’s overpopulated.

    There’s no point arguing that. It’s just a fact.

    How many of them do you think use rat poison to keep critters away?

    When nature is somewhat in balance, we can use common sense natural ways to keep rodents in check. That includes such basic things as properly handling garbage.

    But we can’t even do that. We allow trash haulers who serve tthe entire city of Los Angeles to provide dumpsters that don’t properly seal, thus providing rodents and other creatures easy access.

    What’s the solution from the trash hauler? Use bait boxes in tandem.

    What are bait boxes?

    Poison.

    The City of Los Angeles recently redid its entire trash collection system. How easy would it have been to demand that a requirement for any trash hauler to earn a city contract be that they must provide dumpsters and trash cans that seal?

    They didn’t.

    Even look at parks and public spaces, for the most part, they have open bins.

    That’s all bad enough.

    But, what happens when, through horrible city management that claims to be “environmental,” the development, over many years, is allowed of a full-blown health, safety, security, environmental and humanitarian crisis?

    That’s what happening in Los Angeles. Probably at least 100,000 people are living out in the open throughout the city. The official count is 60,000, but take that with a grain of salt.

    Many of these people have severe substance abuse issues or mental illness. They are living zombies. Areas are covered with garbage, and people openly urinate and defecate on the city streets, which has created the environmental crisis. Their waste goes down the sewer system and to the ocean.

    Multiply the human waste, drug paraphernalia waste and other waste of 100,000 people x every day of the year.

    Want to go surfing in the Pacific?

    How about a swim?

    As well, the impacts of such large numbers living rough, with food refuse and other garbage allowed to mount, has contributed to the development of a rat infestation.

    Thus, we end up with the intersection of being environmentally sound and using the nuclear option on the rat population, which is carrying Medieval-era disease.

    No good options when you let your civilization run amok.

    So if you think California truly is an “environmental” state, you would be wrong.

    Am I completely pissed off? Yes!

    This is the New America, folks!

    It’s got to change! This is completely unacceptable for humans and most certainly for wildlife. Will we have wildlife if we continue on this horrifying course?

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