SALEM – Rats have infested a state office building near the Capitol, and so far setting traps has not ended the problem.
The rats were first spotted in the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building in May, and it’s been an uphill fight to get rid of them ever since.
According to the Department of Administrative Services, the rats are hiding out in cables space under flooring, and those of breeding age have been the hardest to catch, so the rats are multiplying.
“They’re in the building they’re repopulating so we’re trying to get rid of the adults to get rid of the whole problem,” said DAS Operations Manager Randy Gengler.
Those trying to eradicate the rodents are telling 1,300 people who work in the building to not leave food or water out, so the rats are more likely to find food in the 50 to 80 traps set in the building, mostly under the flooring.
“We’ve caught a few adults, but mostly we’re catching juvenile ones, which means the adults are re-breeding and the adults are smart enough not to go in the traps right now unless they’re starved out,” said Gengler.
One building worker thinks following rules to help end the rat infestation is no problem.
“As much as people don’t like complying I think everyone was more than willing to comply on this one,” said Naomi Steenson.
The rats are killed after tripping the snap traps.
The state is trying to avoid using poison to kill them, because having rats die outside traps under the flooring would pose odor and fly problems. It's unclear how the rats got into the building in the first place.