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Rat infestation closes Duluth school for the summer

Rodents have been spotted entering Congdon Park Elementary School's drainage system.

The discovery of a rat colony is forcing the closure of the Congdon Park Elementary School in Duluth for the summer.

Duluth Public Schools says summer programs scheduled for East Superior Street School, near Glensheen Mansion, will be moved to Ordean East Middle School.

It comes after a colony of rats was found in the school's drainage system beneath the gym, with pest control workers requiring an empty building and grounds during the summer so they can carry out extermination.

"The rodents have been spotted entering the drainage system and there are entrances for burrows in the hillside at the back of the building," the district said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Pest control workers are currently trapping about five per day."

The first attempt to eradicate the rats will involve "the least toxic method," with pesticide bait boxes set outside near the hillside burrow and drainage entrances, while all food sources have been removed from inside the building.

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Bait boxes are usually small plastic containers with a single entrance that attract vermin with the smell of food inside, which is actually a block of pesticide that, when consumed, is fatal to them,

"We will be posting signage to alert people that these boxes are being used, we're sharing information with the Congdon neighbors, staff and families," the district added.

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