Kudos to Deana Veldhuis for taking the time and energy to try to educate her neighbors on the pesky little furry friends we know and love as rats (Sunday news article “Woman vows to stamp out rats”).
Alderwood is not the only area of concern, however. Construction in many areas around the greater Snohomish County area has produced numerous tales (pardon the pun) similar to hers. I, as a professional exterminator, have seen a dramatic jump in rodent calls and populations in North Everett since the jail was expanded and the Events Center was constructed. Marysville is another area where their populations have increased dramatically.
The bottom line is they are basically communal animals and where we go, they follow. In years past I have worked in Medina, Edmonds and most of Snohomish County and have yet to see anyplace where their populations have actually decreased. I could drop some very notable names of customers that have crawlspaces and attics full of vermin.
Ms. Veldhuis is also correct about the bird feeders. Don’t forget that birds spill massive quantities of seed, squirrels hide it, rats find it. Your backyards are not wildlife refuges, folks. Unless you can deal with rats, you better accept that fact.
Live traps generally do nothing but return them back to the areas where they were released. The cure: Either annihilate them in a snap trap or give them a healthy dose of a nice anti-coagulant bait to feed on. By the way, d-Con just doesn’t cut it usually. The city and county themselves need to do more by educating the populations and by actually employing more people to actually bait the sewers and to set and monitor bait stations.
One last thing for you folks who love squirrels: Squirrels are nothing more than rats with good PR.