The best way to deal with nuisance animals (such as rats, mice, skunks, squirrels, pigeons, bees, wasps, cockroaches, or flies) is prevention. Proper garbage cans, keeping garbage and trash picked up, cutting weeds and tall grass, and stacking firewood one foot off the ground help to control pests.

If you see evidence of rats or other vermin, call the City Information and Complaint line 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. Code Enforcement can issue orders related to cockroaches and inspectors have the ability to take the steps 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.

Last Edited: December 18, 2021