By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A rat problem at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters is so bad, the building’s management says “going green” to solve the problem isn’t working. So now they’re using poison.

Outdoors are off-limits at the CalEPA headquarters’ childcare center in downtown Sacramento. The play structure sits empty, surrounded by rat traps along the perimeter of the playground.

CBS13 has learned building management has been battling the rat problem for five weeks and so far, the rats have been winning.

“It’s become, maybe somewhat a little bit more than a nuisance,” one employee who works in the building said.

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Employees have been receiving memos from CalEPA management with updates on the infestation.

Being the Environmental Protection Agency, we serve as an example of how to deal with things so, we want to do it right,” an employee said.

Swipe through photos from the CalEPA HQ

After weeks of environmentally friendly, chemical-free pest control methods, the agency is now electing to use poison to kill the critters.

CalEPA’s deputy director for external and legislative affairs released a statement, reading in part “when we learned of a rat problem in our building’s exterior courtyard and childcare center play yard, we took action with non-toxic pest management measures. When those measures did not solve the problem, we consulted experts and determined that protecting children from rodent-borne diseases required the additional step of applying a rodenticide with strict safety procedures.”

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 The very agency that regulates rat poison is housed inside this building. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation enforces a ban passed in 2014 on super-toxic rodenticide-use beyond 50 feet of man-made structures.

 Now those California regulations are extending to their own building headquarters.

CalEPA, learning how to solve a rat problem, while still staying within the state law.