Rat trap: L.A. City Hall infested with rodents

Council President calls for investigation

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

With a FBI investigation consuming Los Angeles City Hall, reports of a different kind of “rat” might be expected. But instead, there is unrelated trouble caused by a real rodent invasion.

The building has been overrun with rats, and crews may need to remove all the carpet due to fear of typhus, the Los Angeles Times reported. With mounting complaints of vermin chewing through decorations, nesting in potted plants, droppings and flea bites, officials are calling for an investigation.

Council President Herb Wesson directed agencies to report on the scope of the issue and estimate the cost to replace all the carpet. His motion also calls for a tally of plants in all city buildings downtown, and for a new policy on securing food after hours.

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The county declared a typhus outbreak downtown last year, and said people should avoid stray animals, including rats, as the flea-borne illness can spread to humans. One deputy city attorney believes she contracted typhus in November while working in City Hall East and has yet to return to work.

Wesson’s motion did not cite any reasons for the infestation but noted the demolition of the Parker Center across the street and “ongoing cleanup issues near the Civic Center complex,” according to the report. [LAT] – Gregory Cornfield