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Chapter 8.40 Rodent Control

City Code Chapter

8.40.010 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinances 176955 and 191736, effective July 1, 2024.)

  1. A.  “Approved” as used in this Chapter where it applies to articles, materials, and methods means such articles as are approved by the Health Officer, who must approve each article, material, or method used in the exclusion of rodents.
  2. B.  “Impervious material” includes glass, wood, noncorrosive steel or iron and noncorrosive metal screen.  The mesh of such screen shall not be larger than 1/4 inch and the thickness of the wire not less than No. 20, Brown and Sharpe gauge.  Concrete masonry or other material which upon investigation by the Portland Permitting & Development of this City shall be found to be of such hardness and texture as to effectively prevent penetration by rats.  If any such material be found by the Health Officer to be insufficient to exclude rats by reason of decay, rot, breakage or other local or special condition, it shall no longer be termed impervious.

8.40.020 Regulations.

  1. It is unlawful for any person to keep, store, or expose for sale any food, food product, or other thing which rats might eat, or to occupy any building, storeroom, grain elevator, warehouse, or residence within the corporate limits of the City without complying with the regulations herein provided for protection against, and elimination of rodents.

8.40.030 New Buildings to be Made Ratproof.

  1. It is unlawful for any person to construct any building or structure or to repair or remodel any building or structure to the extent of 50 percent of the cost new unless the same shall be made ratproof by the use of impervious material as herein provided.

8.40.040 Additional Restrictions.

  1. It is unlawful for any person to own, keep or use any storeroom, warehouse, grain elevator, residence or other building within this City where food or other things which rodents might eat, or where any animal or fowl is kept or any person resides or stays, without using impervious material in construction to effectively prevent rodents and especially rats from gaining entrance or being harbored underneath the floor or within the walls.

8.40.050 Docks and Wharves to be Protected.

  1. It is unlawful for any person to own or keep any dock or wharf, public or private, unless it is protected so far as practicable by impervious materials installed to prevent rats from gaining entrance to or upon such dock or wharf from any vessel anchored or moored at or near such dock or wharf, or from other sources.  All food on such dock or wharf, when remaining overnight, shall be effectively protected or guarded from rats.  The owner or person in charge of any dock or wharf where food or other material which rats might eat is stored, when required by the Health Officer, shall provide bait and set traps as approved by the Health Officer.  The Health Officer shall require such traps when conditions are such that rats are likely to gain access to any food product or other thing which rats might eat.  The traps shall be set and baited in an effective and safe manner.

8.40.060 Requirements for Watercraft.

  1. All docks and wharves shall be equipped with fender logs not less than 24 inches in diameter at the smallest part.  It is unlawful for any vessel, steamboat, or other watercraft, except boats or watercraft operating exclusively on the Willamette or Columbia rivers, to lie alongside of any wharf or dock in the City, unless such vessel, steamboat or other watercraft shall be fended off from said wharf or dock so that no part of such vessel, steamboat, or other watercraft shall be nearer than 2 feet from the nearest point of the wharf or dock by a floating fender, log or spar of sufficient strength to maintain the distance of 2 feet.  Each spar and each chain, Hawser, rope or line of any kind, extending from any vessel, steamboat, or watercraft, to the wharf or dock, shall be equipped with and have properly and securely attached thereto a rat shield or guard of such design, and in such manner, as shall be approved by the Health Officer.

8.40.070 Packing Houses.

  1. It is unlawful for any person to own or use any packing house or cold storage plant where articles are kept which rats might eat unless such house or plant shall be so protected by impervious material as to prevent rats from gaining access thereto.  All vents, windows, doors, holes, or openings thereto shall be so covered and protected by impervious material that rodents and especially rats may not gain access thereto.  The doors shall be equipped with self‑closing devices, which shall at all times be maintained in good operating condition.

8.40.090 Unsanitary Accumulations.

  1. The accumulation of any litter, filth, garbage, decaying animal or vegetable matter, or any animal or human excrement which may or does offer harborage or a source of food for rats is hereby declared to be a nuisance.

8.40.100 Nuisance Abatement.

  1. It shall be the duty of the Health Officer, or those whom he may direct, to cause any person to abolish, remove or abate any nuisance defined in Section 8.40.090.  In case such person shall fail, neglect or refuse to abolish, remove or abate such nuisance within 24 hours after being directed so to do or such further time as said Health Officer may reasonably allow, such nuisance shall be abated in the manner provided by City ordinance for the abatement of nuisances.  The cost of abating such nuisance shall be assessed against the property and collected in the same manner as that provided by ordinance in case of abatement of any other nuisance.  Any person against whose property such costs are assessed shall be subject to other penalties provided by this Code.

8.40.110 Metal Garbage Cans Required.

  1. No person whether owner, lessee or occupant or agent of any premises improved or unimproved shall keep or permit to be kept in any building, areaway, or upon any premises or in any alley, street, or public place adjacent to any premises, any waste animal or vegetable matter, dead animals, butcher’s offal, fish or parts of fish, swill, garbage, or any refuse matter from any public eating place, place of business, residence or other building, whereon or wherein garbage shall be created unless the same be collected and kept in an a tight covered metal can or vessel.

8.40.120 Accumulation of Waste Matters Attractive to Rats.

  1. No rubbish, waste, or manure shall be placed, left, dumped, or permitted to accumulate or remain in any building, place, or premises in the City in such a manner that the same shall or may afford a harborage or breeding place or food for rats.

8.40.130 Demolition of Rat Infested Buildings.

(Amended by Ordinances 176955 and 191736, effective July 1, 2024.)

  1. It is unlawful to demolish, wreck or raze any building in the City used for commercial purposes or as a warehouse, barn, or stable, under order of a department of the City, until the Bureau of Health shall have certified that it is free from rodents.  The certificate shall state that the premises have been baited with rat poison in a manner approved by or under the direction of the bureau.  When such a building is vacated for the purpose of its being demolished, wrecked, or razed, the owner or person having control of such premises shall report such vacation to the Bureau of Health within 3 days.  The Bureau of Health shall immediately cause an inspection to be made of the premises, and if the premises are found to be infested with, or to be a breeding place for rodents, they shall be baited or treated under the direction of the Bureau for a period not to exceed 30 days, at the expense of the owner or person having control of the premises.
  2. Upon receipt of an application for a permit to demolish, wreck, or raze a building in the City, it shall be the duty of the Portland Permitting & Development to report such an application to the Bureau of Health.  No permit for demolition, wrecking, or razing shall be issued until the Bureau of Health certifies to the Portland Permitting & Development that the building for which the application is made has been found free of rodents or has been treated or baited in the manner herein stated.
  3. In the case of demolition, wrecking, or razing by the City under authority of an ordinance, the City shall be entitled to recover the cost for baiting or treating such premises in the same manner as it recovers other expenses incident to such demolition, wrecking or razing.

8.40.140 Additional Regulations.

  1. The Health Officer may require any building used for storing food, food products, or other goods, wares, and merchandise, or in which foods, or food products, foods, wares, merchandise, or other material which rats might eat shall be stored to be provided with rat traps.  The traps shall be baited and inspected, smoked, rebaited and set in an approved manner.  Any person who shall have caught a rat shall inform the sanitary division of the Bureau of Health and keep such rat until disposed of under direction of the Health Officer, if he shall have been instructed by the officer so to do.