THE BRONX - The Department of Health will launch a pilot program in the Bronx designed to rid the borough of rodents.

Instead of focusing solely on extermination, the program will increase inspection programs and engage communities in an effort to rid neighborhoods of the conditions that foster infestations.

Health department inspectors will comb each block of a given area, tracking rodent sightings and noting the conditions. Then they?ll compile a list of rodent hotspots to tackle.

The plan also provides for community outreach, educating local residents on ways they can prevent rodent problems.

If the program is successful, the Department of Health says it could be used throughout the city.