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Rats are squicking out Readville residents, who seek help from city

It was a nice night, a little more than a week ago, the Danny Road resident recalled, and he was sitting on his front stoop when he looked across the street and saw a rat running into one of his neighbor's hedges. He said he went across the street to alert his neighbor, who got out a flashlight and the two began looking around when they spotted another rat.

Residents of normally placid Readville gathered at the Sunset Bocce Club tonight to share recent rat tales with aides to the mayor and City Councilor Tim McCarthy - and with veteran local rat catcher Tim McA'Nulty - and to ask what the neighborhood and the city can do about a sudden onslaught of the long-tailed, whiskered pests along streets such as Danny and Como Road.

One resident recalled how he learned there were rats around when his dog killed one, then another, then several more. Other residents went "Oh my God!" when he described going on a walk around the neighborhood and spotting as many as ten rats, bold as could be, scurrying around in broad daylight.

Steve Maguire, an aide to McCarthy, said the ISD inspector who handles Readville has already made some inspections, but is planning more. He said he plans to distribute consent forms that will let the inspector go on private property to look for droppings, gnaw marks and possible entrances to rat burrows. He apologized for the inspector not attending the meeting, but said neither he nor the inspector knew about it until yesterday - residents felt they had to get together quickly to figure out what to do.

McA'Nulty, whose family's AAA Exterminating Co. has been battling rats in the area since the 1930s, said he did not know why the area is seeing so many rats all of a sudden, although he noted banner crops of acorns the past couple of seasons might be partly to blame - for not just rats, but mice, chipmunks and turkeys as well. He added that the explosion in these populations in turn is leading to a boom in predator births, so residents can expect to see more coyotes and foxes as well.

McA'Nulty said he doubted some construction in the area has forced rats in, but allowed as how a poorly maintained house on West Milton Street that was finally torn down certainly didn't help matters.

He urged residents to put a tight lid on trash and to clean up any debris or wood piles that might serve as convenient hiding places and homes for the rats. He added dog owners need to be especially vigilant about cleaning up after their pets, because rats are big fans of dog feces - and that bird lovers should maybe consider cutting back on feeders, since omnivorous rodents also enjoy the seeds that fall to the ground from them.

Reducing rat access to food is particularly important, he said, because rats are pretty savvy consumers and if they have to choose between real food and the poison bait traps he uses, they'll usually go for the food, defeating the usefulness of the fatal doses of blood thinners in the bait.

Although he wouldn't turn down any homeowner's business, McA'Nulty said it's really important for the entire neighborhood to band together and fight the rats as one, because rats are prolific breeders and all it takes is one parcel to become home to a rat colony and efforts to control the rats might fail.

He added that residents shouldn't be ashamed to seek help fighting rats. "There's no scarlet 'S' " when it comes to rats, he said, adding even the most pristine of homes could fall victim to the animals, if not for food, then for a place to burrow and start a colony.

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Comments

If you think that's bad the city should come to Florence. Apartments in fawndale Rd choose any apartment at anytime and guarantee you will stay looking up at the ceiling like wtf is going on

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We need to unite against this Scourge. I propose starting a rat brigade. We will train in the use of anti rat arms in the commons. It’s is our inalienable right!

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As for rats, is the issue that rats are dirty and can spread disease? Or is it more that they are ugly, unsavory animals?

Readville aside, it seems like we are seeing an increase in the rabbit population more than anything.

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We need to unite against this bunny Scourge. I propose starting a bunny brigade. We will train in the use of anti bunny arms in the commons. It’s is our inalienable right!

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My area code is 857 - same as the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force number which Adam posts from time to time.

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We need to unite against this 857 Scourge. I propose starting a 857 brigade. We will train in the use of anti 857 arms in the commons. It is our inalienable right!

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is the issue that rats are dirty and can spread disease? Or is it more that they are ugly, unsavory animals?

Rats are all of the above. They will invade houses looking for food and lodging, and have been known to bite sleeping people, including infants. If I were experiencing a rat boom, I'd get a cat or two.

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Cats may or may not do the job on rats, but a rat terrier or similar dog should do it.

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I should have asked that guy with the dog what kind it was - because it obviously is very good at catching rats.

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Rats are dirty and can spread disease.

Rats tend to multiply rather rapidly, creating a danger for people and pets alike.

Rats are rather vicious and nasty. When people get bitten by them, their bites are as nasty as a dog bite.

Rats are ugly, unsavory animals.

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Readville aside, it seems like we are seeing an increase in the rabbit population more than anything.

Frankly, I'd take the jack-rabbits over the rats any day.

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It's all good fun until they're in your house.

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Perhaps they should implement a snake release program.

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Surprised the NIMBYs of Readville aren’t blaming new housing that hasn’t been built yet for the sudden rat infestation.

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The problem with poisoning them is you also wind up poisoning rat killers like cats and hawks.
I used to have a yard cat who caught and ate rats when the city was digging up the street. I got really worried about him when the neighbors put out baited traps. He was fine but I was stressed!

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Just get that DVD version of Readville where that guy edited out the rat at the end. Problem solved.

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when I waa a kid, we called the guy who from city hall who came around wearing a suit and clutching a clipboard The Rat Man. He would go to each apartment and explain how to avoid having rats.

After a heavy rain shower the rats would come up out of the sewers, scurry along the edge of the curbs. Being boys, ww od course chased them. My buddy caught one and kept it. Never told his mom. She would have freaked out. In winter, he would carry him around in the cargo pocket of his parka.

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Your buddy was lucky that he didn't get bitten (and possibly caught some horrible disease) by the rat that he caught and kept as a pet. What finally happened to the rat that your buddy kept as a pet? A curious, inquiring mind wants to know.

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