NUTLEY, NJ — In response to an unprecedented increase in wildlife and rodent activity — just like in many cities and towns in the northeast — since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nutley Health and Parks and Recreation departments are employing several strategies for control and prevention, including educating residents on how to prevent further activity by following the township’s recommendations, as well as using its resources, according to a December press release from the town.
“We are fully aware of the problem and are addressing it on a daily basis,” said Commissioner John V. Kelly III, director of the Department of Public Affairs.
The township has hired an exterminator who has had experience dealing with the problem in neighboring towns such as Montclair and Bloomfield. The company is working near Kingsland Manor, where the situation has escalated due to the much-delayed completion of work on Clifton’s Kingsland Avenue Bridge. The participation and cooperation of the community is imperative for continued success.
“Unfortunately, it has been a perfect storm,” said Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, director of the Department of Parks and Public Property, “due to COVID, Hurricane Ida, and the heavy rains and floods we’ve experienced recently. We are seeing other towns having similar situations.
“It is something that will take time to get under control,” Tucci continued. “And we will get it under control. But having our residents’ cooperation is crucial to speeding up the process of eliminating the problem.”
Rodent prevention begins with eliminating any potential food, water and harborage sources for rodents, vermin and insects. Residents need to be cognizant of the negative impact on the community due to lax property maintenance and trash disposal methods. Residents need to properly store garbage in proper trash receptacles and secure it from wildlife with a lid. This act will directly help prevent a surge of rodents.
“This is an unprecedented surge of activity,” Kelly said. “New York City, for example, experienced 1,000 more rodent complaints by May 2022 than it had in all of 2021. However, as a community, if we remain diligent and follow our recommendations, we can control the influx of wildlife and rodent activity.”
Full information on how residents can help prevent and eliminate the problem can be found at nutleynj.org/rodent-campaign.