Valdosta Daily Times

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April 8, 2014

Officials: Demolition didn’t spur rat influx

REMERTON — For the past few weeks, the Times has received reports from citizens that rats from the old cotton mill in Remerton have fled the rubble after its demolition and have taken up residence in nearby homes, but city officials doubt the old mill is to blame.

The Strickland Cotton Mill was demolished in January, and all that currently remains of the 115-year-old building is a smokestack and tons of crushed concrete and twisted metal.

In the March 28 Rant & Rave, a Valdosta Daily Times reader complained that a homeowner saw two rats “climbing up” the side of his house on Azalea Drive and then raised the possibility that the rats came from the now demolished mill.

On March 31, another Rant & Rave commenter claimed to have witnessed a “large influx” of rats in the Azalea Drive area that “coincided with the destruction of the old mill” and said complaint calls to the city were ignored.

Remerton City Manager Mike Terrell said he is not aware of any complaints made to Remerton about rats and does not think that rats are coming from the old mill.

“I’ve been working here for years and have never seen any rats,” said Terrell.

Azalea Drive sits a little over a mile from the demolition site, which places it inside Valdosta city limits.

“Valdosta city marshals have received a couple of calls about rats, but they believe it is highly unlikely that the calls are related to the old mill in Remerton,” said Sementha Mathews.

Valdosta does not have a pest control department, and city marshals suggest that anyone with a rat problem should contact a pest control company, said Mathews.

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