De-Rat-ification

Posted on August 8, 2010

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Lumber heaped against the fence in back of Pizza Lovers invites rats to nest.

August 6, 4:00 PM. If Shakespeare could coin new words, why can’t I? Deratification–the process of making a habitat unappealing–some would say, downright hostile– to members of the genus rattus. Which is what is now going on next door in the backlot of Pizza Lovers.

There’s a cause and effect relationship at work here that delights me. Every time I call inspectional services complaining about the latest rat sighting, the owner of the property next door–K & J Realty Trust–can be found about a week later cleaning up the mess that invariably accumulates in back of his property. This is good.

Several years ago, it was the pet food left out 24/7 that attracted the rats. I called, and the tenant was slapped with a cease-and-desist order. More recently, it was the thigh high weeds which provided cover for rodents. Again I called and a week later observed the property manager mowing down the weeds. And now the pile of wood is finally gone.

Well, most of it. There’s never been a complete cleanup. They always seem to leave something behind for good measure. The rats are never e-rat-icated for good. Still it brings joy to me heart to call down the rat police on these people and make them act. What will it take to get the rats to move out permanently? That may be the subject of future posts.

Leaving food outside,  high weeds and piles of lumber on the ground are all inviting to rats. Just take a look at the city’s Rodent Control Guide pamphlet to read what else attracts them, and what you can do keep them away.

Got a rat problem? Call City Hall at 781-598-4000 and ask for Inspectional Services. The nice lady there will hook you up. Tell them the Lynnside Edition sent you.

By the way, I just want to let you know what I’m up against.  A responsible Greek family owned Pizza Lovers was when we first bought our house. They had dumpster out back, privately contracted to have their trash removed, and I never had a complaints. When they sold the business in 2005, the new owners were too cheap to get a dumpster. Instead, every trash night they would distribute their trash in front of residences up and down the street. We were horrified to find bags of industrial size cans of tomato sauce mixed in with the trash in front of our house. This went on for weeks after telling them to stop several times.

It took a few attempts, but with help from the city and Ward Councilor Darren Cyr, they eventually had to stop this practice. We have not patronized them since.

No place to put these inside? We'll just clutter the sidewalk with them. Empty bread racks add color to the street in front of Pizza Lovers. The brown bag on the lower right has been in that spot for days now. Who will dispose of it? Probably me.

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Posted in: Litter