SOMERVILLE (CBS) — The city of Somerville appears to be winning its “war on rats.”

Officials say there’s been a significant decrease in the number of rodent sightings – reports this year are down to about one-third of what they normally are.

There have been 24 reports of rodent sightings this year, compared to 103 to date in 2014. And in the last 365 days, there have been 372 sightings reported – a 36 percent decrease from the previous 365-day period.

The city has battled the rats with increased dumpster inspection, public education and giving uniform rodent-resistant trash bins to households.

But Mayor Joe Curtatone says he’s only cautiously optimistic.

“Those interventions are seeming to pay off, but it also comes at the heels of a very cold winter and terrible February,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “So we’re excited, but we want to see another round of data moving forward before we claim overall victory.”

Some Somerville residents have taken advantage of free one-time rodent control services like baiting, dusting and trapping. The city is also exploring bringing the rat population down through “rodent fertility management.”

“Rodents are part of the eco-structure of cities that cannot be entirely eliminated, so the goal of every city is to reduce their population to levels where they are not infringing upon our quality of life or our health,” Inspectional Services Supt. Goran Smiljic said in a statement.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kendall Buhl reports: 

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