There have been quite a few interesting news stories about rats in the past few months.
Let’s start with an outbreak of the Seoul virus in Wisconsin and Illinois. Up to six people were infected with this virus from their interactions with pet rats. The Seoul virus is a “mild” version of the Hantavirus and is typically transmitted through the urine of Norway rats.
This small outbreak of a rat borne disease emphasizes the need to wear the proper protective equipment when cleaning up a part of your home that has become contaminated with rat poop and urine.
In January the US Census released data ranking the worst rat problems in the country. Philadelphia had the “honor” of winning this time around with greater than 15% of all households reporting rat sightings. We are so used to hearing about the rat problems in Chicago and New York that it is easy to forget that the issue is often larger in smaller cities.
Baltimore has taken a common sense approach to rat control and is seeing some measurable results. Baltimore residents have called in 34% FEWER rat control requests since the introduction of jumbo sized 65 gallon trash containers across the city. The concept is to have fewer, and more secure, trash containers to reduce the amount of food available to rats.
In the always entertaining “Monster Rat” category, The Sun has recently reported on a nineteen inch rat (nose to tail) that was captured in Poole, Dorset. In a very ominous suggestion they report, “Experts say the rodents, which can gnaw through wood and electrics in people’s homes, are getting bigger because they have mutated to become resistant to shop-bought poisons.”
To close out I will go with one of many, many stories about problems being caused by local rat infestations. In Denver they are dealing with rats that are building nests under car hoods. The engine bay of a vehicle is a safe environment protected from the elements. In addition to being safe, engine bays provide plenty of material for rats to chew on such as rubber hoses and electrical wires. The rats are causing hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of damage to the vehicles as they gnaw their way through the engine. components.
Until next time!