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Citizen complaint of the day: New York rats eat pizza? Bah, Boston rats EAT CARS

A concerned citizen posts a photo of what's left of his Audi Q5 on Marlborough Street in the Back Bay, asks the city to please, for the love of God, do something before the rest of his car disappears in a burp of rattus digestion.

On Beacon Hill, too.

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Comments

One of the most expensive places to live in Boston but the most rat-infested

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It's right near the State House; what do you expect?

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What kind of Bostonian hasn't figured out that the State House is in Beacon Hill, not the Back Bay!?? Rat car guy is not parking his car next to the State House because Marlborough Street doesn't even extend into Beacon Hill. Google Maps is a useful tool.

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Read the post again.

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Apparently you have never lived or visited Allston/Brighton, North End, or Chinatown. These 3 areas are far worse.

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In Beacon hill if you are walking around on garbage day you will see a couple rats. Always no question. It's not perfect in the north end but it has gotten a lot better, especially in the last 2 years.

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It was really bad when I lived there so I'm glad to hear it has gotten better. One of the best neighborhoods in Boston.

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Um yeah, it's a problem. I've had the problem for awhile, they did an excellent job once on my distributor wires once. Try sprinkling cayenne pepper around the engine compartment, I've heard mothballs work, too. If you have a cat, used kitty litter could be a powerful deterrent. Of course, there's a bit of a smell with that. OTOH, rat infestations in your engine smell pretty bad too.

You can reduce the overall numbers and it might help a little. Cars are attractive shelters for critters. They like the nice toasty engine compartments in the colder months out of sight of predators. Seems like they gravitate to alley parking locations where the same car shows up and they can make it nice and homey. Think its bad now, wait until the snows set in.

They'll drag leaves and plastic bags and other crap to make themselves at home. When I move the car out on the street and around they lose interest. Best you can do is discourage them. Most of the newer cars don't seem to have as much exposed wiring on the top of the engine so they don't chew on them so much.

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Fragrant drier/fabric softener sheets also deter mice; not sure about rats. And would smell better than mothballs. I've used this trick before to keep them out of a seasonal cabin in the woods.

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problem is the new materials they are using for cars. Volvo uses some corn derived plastic for the coating on the spark plug wires, a buddy came out to find his car wouldnt start, and opened the hood to see his wires destroyed by mice. I'm sure the audi foam is something similar.

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Is exactly what happens when you remove a rats space saver!

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are our friends. They'll take care of the problem if you give them the chance.

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What kind of loser would get a cat just to leave it outside in the city streets so it can climb inside the engine to stay warm and live on parasite-infested rats?

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Cats LOVE to hunt. It's in their DNA. And they're nocturnal. I'm referring to non-house cats. Hunting rodents is perfectly natural for cats. They can do their thing, and come home to eat and sleep,no one said anything about forcing them to 'live on the streets'...LOL! They're cats!

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Sorry, but it's hard for me to have sympathy for someone who lives in one of the most expensive parts of town and drives a luxury car. It's life in the city.

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Drives an expensive car AND expects free parking to be handed to him. With rat removal service included!

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311 is exactly the type of venue for reporting this type of stuff. I'm not sure how you were able to deduce the poster's expectations or make a judgment about who they are based on all that. Their request seemed pretty reasonably worded, unlike many of the obnoxious and demanding tickets you see on 311 sometimes.

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can tend to have very little sympathy- to the point of antipathy sometimes- towards those that don't struggle to put food on the table. clearly, that guy that is having his possessions literally eaten by rodents doesn't deserve to be able to write to the city he lives in about it. i mean, if it was a 1992 oldsmobile and he lived in (cheaper neighborhood) that would be one thing. i mean, hell, the guy is probably white, too. he really should just count his blessings and be happy the rats didn't eat HIM.

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I believe the problem reported is someone parking in the alley behind Marlboro. Those spots go for in excess of $150,000. They are hardly free.

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Exactly. And, what's with people who demonize those who earn a good living and can afford a nice car in a good neighborhood? This wealthy person could be an esteemed heart surgeon who saves lives and regularly donates to worthy causes. However, some judmental commenters assume the worst just because this person lives on Marlborough St. and drives an Audi? Sheesh!

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...angry, cranky townies that are mad at the world because they didn't pay attention in school.

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BOS:311 is a city service designed to facilitate citizen reporting of problems that fall under the scope of city services. Should people not be allowed to make requests for services based on their wealth? Please.

Also, anon below, it looks like the car was parked in a private spot off Public Alley 428. I'm basing this assumption on both the map pin of the request and the color of the pavement, curb, and fence/structure in the top right of the picture.

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I've used and have monitored the 311 system. I have mixed emotions about it. While some items are being managed others are not. I see serious safety items that languish from time to time because the city is REQUIRED to use specific contractors or may be restricted by certain collective bargaining agreements to have some things happen in certain ways. There are other times when an outside contractor is required because the city does not employ the required professional or licensed individual. In such cases while the issue is reported, the delays are the same.

Elsewhere it is clearly evident that there are some instances of some person with lots of time on their hands, maybe out walking their cat or ferret, have donned their green cape and assumed the identity of Captain Fixit. Now while some of the complaints may be legitimate, the range varies greatly including complaints for a bunch of leaves in the gutter, small branches that blew down 20 minutes earlier, the pizza delivery guy is blocking a driveway (that doesn't belong to the complainant), and similar. You even have those that take the time to read someone's inspection sticker on their windshield.

Get a life, please. One of these days one of these Captain Do-Goods is gonna piss off the wrong neighbor. Watch for it.

311 is a good tool when used responsibly

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It is not an individual-level "take care of it yourself" problem, but a systemic city and neighborhood issue best tackled in a comprehensive way. Many cities now log rat problems - they WANT you to report them because they use that information to geographically track where the problems are.

Also, indiscriminate or inexpert use of rat poison can cause much greater problems.

I would urge you to do some google exploration on how many cities are tackling rat issues. You will find that it is not something an individual can do much about on their own. It takes a comprehensive approach to discern where they live, where they are coming from, and what action is best.

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Spot on, swrrly. I might add that those not in the know, may try to poison the rats which will then in turn poison red-tailed hawks which help control the rat population. Best to let qualified professionals handle this.

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Having poisoned rats die in your walls. There is nothing you can really do about it except let it rot there, with all the lovely aromas that come with it.

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You don't have to feel sorry this guy (I dont), but it's not like this complaint is out of line.

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But the idea of car-eating rats did strike me as unusual (obviously).

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BB from Dot, If you're jealous of the rich or have a chip on your shoulder about your lack of wealth, then I suggest going back to school for pharmacy or dentistry: two excellent paying careers. I don't think some guy in the Back Bay is waiting for you, or anyone else for that matter, to feel sorry for him.

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Hey, if we're going to be assuming anything, this person probably pays more to the city in real estate & car excise taxes than you make (unless they have a NH plate, they they can go F themselves). So yeah, they have all the right to complain about the rat infestation in their neighborhood.

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