The best way to deal with nuisance animals (such as rats, mice, skunks, snakes, squirrels, bats, black birds, starlings, pigeons, bees, wasps, cockroaches, or flies) is prevention. If the other nuisances discussed in this booklet are taken care of, pests are much less likely to have food and places to breed - and therefore will not be around. Proper garbage cans, keeping garbage and trash picked up, cutting weeds and tall grass, and stacking firewood one foot off the ground are important in controlling pests.


If you see evidence of rats or other vermin, call the DSI - Complaint Office at 651-266-8989.


The response will vary depending upon the type of nuisance animal. In the case of rats, Animal Control can come out, test rat holes and bait sewer lines in the area. For cockroaches, call Code Enforcement, they will issue orders, and have the ability to condemn the building as unfit for human habitation in extreme cases. If pests are inside a building, the City can require the owner or the tenant to exterminate the pests. The general guideline is the owner is responsible if:

  • Two or more dwelling units are infested
  • Common areas of a building are infested
  • The reason for the infestation is that the owner did not keep the building in a proper sanitary condition to prevent pests

The occupant is responsible if only that dwelling unit is infested.

If an infestation of a building or dwelling unit is severe, the City can condemn the building or unit as unfit for human habitation. The building or unit must then be vacated and cannot be re-occupied until the infestation is gone.

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Last Edited: March 2, 2017