No one likes to say that there are rats in their neighborhood. However, whether you live in Revere or in the million dollar neighborhoods of Boston such as the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, there is no denying that more rats are being seen.
The reason for the increase is two-fold.
First, the reproductive cycle of the rat is such that a single mother could have as many as 10 rats in a litter about every three months.
The other issue is the environment, whether it be natural or man-made.
Rats love soft ground that is easy to burrow into and rats like the sea. In the Revere, most of the City is below sea level and is surrounded by two huge marsh areas.
Rats also love an easy source of food. In many Boston neighborhoods, restaurants and residents who put their trash out the night before pick-up in plastic bags make easy pickings for the rats.
In Revere, the problem of an increasing rat population could be traced more to the latter than the former.
In the last few weeks, City Councillors have started tackling the problem.
Baiting is one answer. The drawback to this method is that while poison will kill the rats, it also will kill anything that might try to eat the dead rat.
Better trash barrels are definitely a deterrent, while enforcement and fines for people who leave their trash out unsecured is another good idea.
In last week’s State of the City Address, Mayor Brian Arrigo called upon residents to become more involved in making Revere a better City.
The fight to help control the rat population and bring it to a manageable level might be a good place to start for the ordinary citizen.
Put your trash out as close to the time of rubbish collection, place it into secure containers, and consider buying trash bags that are scented with peppermint. Rats will avoid these bags, as the peppermint scent is a proven deterrent.
Make no mistake about it, the number of rats will continue to increase if all of us do not do our part to control them. We would remind our readers that rats have been linked throughout history as being carriers of some of the deadliest diseases, including the bubonic plague (or, as it was known in Medieval Europe, the Black Death) and rabies.
By being proactive, we can start to stem the ever-increasing population of the rats.