Green Bay city council encourages reporting rats

Hotspots include areas around Lambeau Field and Fisk Park
Rat (generic image)
Rat (generic image)(Francois Mori | AP)
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 6:27 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Rats are on the rise in the city of Green Bay. Tuesday, the City of Green Bay Common Council discussed the problem.

The city received 129 rat complaints so far this year, with three months remaining. That’s about 50 more than last year.

Housing and Zoning Enforcement Supervisor Bill Paape spoke during the Protection and Policy Committee meeting on Sept. 25.

“Residents are doing an excellent job of reporting the concerns now so we can investigate the sources of the problem quickly and take steps to address it,” Paape said. “We continue to educate on food, water and shelter. Those resources. That is our biggest emphasis and the biggest issue we’re seeing.”

Action 2 News first reported complaints surged back in 2017 and again in 2018 to 208 and 277 respectively. The spike caused the City of Green Bay and Brown County to spend $10,000 total tackling the issue.

Every rat trap purchased back then is being used, so the council needs to decide how to move forward. Alderman Chris Wery had requested a report on rat complaints and actions taken by city inspectors to help decide whether the city should purchase more traps.

The total number of rat-related complaints in the last decade is 1,016. That means there’s an average of 101 per year. You can see data from the Common Council’s Protection and Policy Committee meeting agenda below:

2014201520162017201820192020202120222023 (AS OF 9/17)

According to a map of complaints in the greater Green Bay area, neighborhoods near Lambeau Field are noticing more rats. Another hotspot is farther north, near Fisk Park.

According to a map of complaints in the greater Green Bay area, neighborhoods near Lambeau Field are noticing more rats.

Alderman Melinda Eck said people are reporting more because they are being told it is helpful to do that.

Paape said the more they educate the public on rats and why they are there, the more resources are then provided to keep those numbers down.

“We want people to work with us because our job is to improve the neighborhood. It’s not to make a less desirable or more difficult. Everybody needs to be able to enjoy their properties the right way and that’s the purpose of the ordinances and the rules, so we want people to let us know when there are concerns and we’ll work with them,” Paape said.

Paape said some of the largest contributing factors are feeding wildlife and garbage storage issues.

“If residents are seeing those issues, if they’re seeing people feeding birds and squirrels where the food is directly on the ground, that is something we’d like to know and we’d like to talk to the residents about,” Paape said.

Paape said to call the Green Bay City Inspection Division at 920-448-3300 or put a request in online and have an inspector come out to see the problem.

Here is a Rodent Management brochure from the City of Green Bay Department of Community and Economic Development.