Los Angeles

Pest Professionals Hold News Conference on ‘Explosion’ in Disease-Carrying Rat Population in California

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Dave Elkinson/NBC Bay Area

Pest professionals and public health experts were set to release a report about the supposed hordes of disease-carrying rats multiplying in California cities, including those on Skid Row, calling for the governor to declare a public health emergency Tuesday.

The panel of vector and pest control experts said in a news release ahead of the afternoon news conference that the report spotlights an "explosion in the rodent population in California cities and a spike in dangerous diseases such as typhus."

The group alleges that the spike in the rodent population was due to a ban on rodenticide that has been put into effect to curb other animals' deaths, including mountain lions. 

The NBCLA I-Team has reported extensively on the rat population plaguing the Skid Row area connected to the growing homelessness issue. 

The report, conducted by 12 people, eight of whom are owners of pest control companies, claim there's a statewide rat crisis.

Updates to come following 2 p.m. PST news conference.

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