USA (MNN) — In the months since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the storm's wake has created the perfect breeding grounds for rats.
Rats can quickly overpopulate when they live in a place where they have no predators, such as in New Orleans, and their numbers can become hard to contain. The pests can carry over thirty different diseases dangerous to humans, including typhys, salmonella, and bubonic plague. That's turned into a growing health and safety concern for residents.
In a city where there is already a fractured health care system, controlling the rodent population and the potential spread of disease is critical, explains Jody Herrington, U.S. Director of Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing.
Operation Blessing partnered with City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board officials to launch the Rat Busters program. Teams are planting rat bait in storm drains throughout the city to help suppress the rodent population.
After 14 days, board inspectors will revisit treated sites to track the population and see if the bait has been consumed. At five weeks into the program, the teams have covered a lot of ground, and a huge impact is expected in the rat population.
In just one day alone, volunteer teams walked 277 city blocks and baited 1,441 drains. In addition to providing volunteers, OBI is also supplying transportation, administrative supplies and training. It's just one more way OBI shares the hope of Christ as they meet people's physical needs.