NEWBURY The first step in resolving an ongoing rodent infestation on Morgan and Graham avenues is identifying the source and extent of the problem, town officials say.
An emergency meeting was called in acknowledgement of the seriousness of the health issue, Town Administrator Tracy Blaisexplained at the start of the session.
Selectboard member Mike Doyle who lives on Morgan Avenue could not attend because the virtual meeting was held at a time when he had to work. All other members of the board were present, along with Board of Health Chairman Steve Fram and Health Agent Deb Rogers, among others.
Blais was first made aware of the problem when Doyle reported rat sightings around his property, located directly across the street from the site where a new police station is under construction.
Rogers, the health agent, investigated, but found no obvious source for the rodents. The Newbury Butchery and a goat farm on the street, which take adequate pest control measures, had no issues with rats, she reported.
Essex Pest Control was hired to treat town facilities in the area. With no further complaints through the spring, town officials assumed the problem was solved.
But toward the end of July, Doyle reported the number of rat sightings was increasing. He wanted the town to cover exterminator costs for the affected homes because he and others concluded the rat infestation was the result of the police construction project.
When the Health Department inspected the area and conducted interviews, it found no obvious public health code violations. Homeowners were encouraged to eliminate food, water and shelter enticements for the rats and, if necessary, hire a private exterminator.
In a letter to selectmen dated Sept. 2, Alan and Holly Pritchard describe how rats began appearing in their yard shortly after ground was broken for the new police station. The 42-year residents never had any problems with rats before.
Despite following Board of Health recommendations, the problem continues, they wrote the rats are running in the streets from one drive to the other all day long.
We trapped and killed nine rats in our back yard last weekend alone, they wrote.
That same day, Giovanna Chaisson of Graham Avenue reportedseeing rats in her yard for the pastthree months.
No sanitary code violations were observed, but road construction was underway on her street as well as High Road and South Pond Street, the Health Department noted when following up on Chaissons complaint. Several others in the neighborhood also called the town to report seeing rats.
For the Pritchards, the issue hascontinued for nine months. With cold weather approaching, the rats will move indoors, they fear, writing, We are exhausted senior citizens living in a very stressed neighborhood.
Should the rats bite a child, you can bet this is going to be a lawsuit against the town, wrote Leslie Doyle, a 27-year Morgan Avenue resident who is married to Mike Doyle. Her neighbor hadseven rats in his yard and her golden retriever and other dogs have killed a few too. Shes frustrated by what she feels is a lack of timely response from town officials.
We live in an affluent town but rats are apparently not an important health and safety issue, she wrote.
Fram described the rodents as Norway rats, weighingabout 1 pound and 16 inches long. TheBoard of Health voted on Aug. 18 to order the town to address the problem. The Selectboard, however, still needed to authorize the expense.
If we caused it from the construction, then we should take care of the solution, Fram insisted.
State health officials told Rogers its important that the entire neighborhood participate in eliminating the problem by removing debris and bird feeders, and covering trash cans and other potential food, water or shelter areas. She recommended the town hire a professional exterminator to survey the neighborhood and report back to the health board.
Once we have this report, the Board of Health can order the properties to take corrective actions, she said.
Noting that rats spread disease, Selectboard member Gerry Heavey urged the town to move expeditiously.
We really need to help this neighborhood ... we need to help these folks, she said.
Town counsel Lisa Mead advised that the town is legally allowed to spend taxpayer money todetermine the infestations source.
The town must address those issues on its properties; and property owners are responsible for sources on their own properties. Property owners must submit a written claim if they believe the town caused the problems and therefore should pay for the fix, Mead said.
We are making critical coverage of the coronavirus available for free. Please consider subscribing so we can continue to bring you the latest news and information on this developing story.
- Years of leaks and mould, and finally a promise that repairs will be done right - CBC.ca - September 18th, 2020
- DaBaby And Quavo Travel Through Time And Exterminate Rats In Their Pick Up Video - POP TIMES UK - September 4th, 2020
- Mice Exterminator Jackson MS | Mice & Rat Pest Control ... - August 16th, 2020
- Dallas Rat Exterminators | Vinx Home Services Inc - August 16th, 2020
- 2020 Rat Extermination Cost | Rats in Attic Removal Cost - July 11th, 2020
- Council house tenant: 'I shared my home with rats for 11 hellish years' - Stoke-on-Trent Live - July 8th, 2020
- Cleveland Heights apartment building seeing more rats, some wonder if coronavirus is to blame - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland - June 27th, 2020
- Why You Should Hand Over Your Home Pest Problem to Private Exterminators? - The Good Men Project - June 13th, 2020
- From Iceland Wasps Will "Definitely Come Again" - Reykjavk Grapevine - June 10th, 2020
- What Is a 'Super Rat'? It Has Nothing to Do With Super Powers - Newsweek - May 29th, 2020
- More COVID-19 damage: New animal shelter on hold - The Harvell gazette - May 21st, 2020
- The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart, Season 1, Episode 6 - Monsters and Critics - May 19th, 2020
- Rat Extermination Tips from RatControlTricks.com The ... - May 17th, 2020
- Rat Control: Get Rid of Rats - Orkin.com - May 14th, 2020
- Jen & Judy Did the Most to Get Away With Murder in 'Dead to Me' Season 2 - STYLECASTER - May 9th, 2020
- City of Castlegar receives its first reports of rats - Castlegar News - April 26th, 2020
- Council to Wait for Progress Report as Haverhill's Health Inspectors Decline to Condemn Animal Shelter - WHAV News - April 23rd, 2020
- 'Rats the Size of Cats' Colonize 89th Street Tree Bed for Months; DOT Responds After WSR Inquiry - westsiderag.com - April 16th, 2020
- Rat Control: Expert Treatment for Rat Infestations | Rentokil - April 12th, 2020
- Pests Are Using The COVID-19 Outbreak In Malta To Rear Their Ugly Heads Again - Lovin Malta - April 7th, 2020
- Rats on the rise as shutdown cuts their food supply - Observer - April 6th, 2020
- Effective Tips on Sealing Off Entry Points and Trapping Mice - iDigitalTrends - April 2nd, 2020
- Chad Risks Abby Seeing Him Locking Gabi and Kate in the Secret Room in the Tunnels - Soaps.com - March 26th, 2020
- Every NHL player to play in their 40s - Yardbarker - March 26th, 2020
- ROTHENBURGER When are we going to do something about the rat invasion? - CFJC Today Kamloops - March 13th, 2020
- Its Always Sunny: 10 Worst Examples Of Charlie Work, Ranked - Screen Rant - March 9th, 2020
- Rats are New Yorkers just like humans in the city; have genetically adapted to life in the Big Apple - International Business Times, Singapore Edition - March 1st, 2020
- 7 surprise costs of owning a home that made me glad I'd been saving money - Business Insider - February 29th, 2020
- No Little Houses on the Prairie with too-small units in Allston, board decides - Universal Hub - February 25th, 2020
- How to Get Rid of Roof Rats in the Attic: Infestation Control - February 17th, 2020
- Food Mart busted for rat infestation fails follow-up inspection - CBS46 News Atlanta - February 11th, 2020
- LETTER: Reader seeks city action on rat problem in Vernon - Vernon Morning Star - January 10th, 2020
- Malibu wants to ban all pesticides. The state of California says that's against the law - Bryan-College Station Eagle - January 3rd, 2020
- Increasing number of rats spotted on Brussels Grand Place - The Brussels Times - December 25th, 2019
- The director of this movie about rats has some novel ideas about Trump and filmmaking - Stock Daily Dish - December 11th, 2019
- Three and Out: Sunday Night Football Predictions - Battle Red Blog - December 3rd, 2019
- Tips for keeping rats out of home and garden - Hood River News - November 27th, 2019
- Little Red Truck to the rescue | Columnists - Anchorage Press - November 27th, 2019
- Every Episode of MST3KRANKED! (#150 #101) - The Workprint - November 26th, 2019
- From leech collectors to knocker-ups, here are 16 weird jobs that no longer exist - Ladders - November 26th, 2019
- Rodent Sightings and Rat Complaints on the Rise in Canada - AM800 (iHeartRadio) - November 24th, 2019
- Pool: Snakes and the perils of nature | Opinion - Longview News-Journal - November 17th, 2019
- The Best Rat Exterminators Near Me (with Free Estimates) - October 10th, 2019
- Rat Facts: What They Eat, Size ... - Western Exterminator - October 4th, 2019
- Where to live in New York City to avoid cockroaches, rats ... - April 12th, 2019
- Exterminator & Pest Control Company in Amherst | Amherst ... - March 28th, 2019
- Rodent Control: Get Rid of Rats and Mice - February 27th, 2019
- How Much Do Rat Exterminators Cost? (A Simple Guide ... - February 23rd, 2019
- How to Get Rid of Rats: Rat Control & Extermination ... - February 15th, 2019
- Exterminator Synonyms, Exterminator Antonyms | Thesaurus.com - February 3rd, 2019
- Rodent control - Western Exterminator - January 29th, 2019
- Rodent Control | A1 Exterminators Lynn MA | Ants, Termites ... - January 11th, 2019
- Rat Control - Western Exterminator - December 16th, 2018
- Commercial Buildings Exterminators - Homes Pest control ... - November 22nd, 2018
- Little Rascals Rodents - Rats in the Attic, Rat ... - November 19th, 2018
- Rat Exterminator - Rat Removal Service - Rat Pest Control - November 9th, 2018
- Rat Exterminators: How to Hire a Professional and NOT Get ... - September 5th, 2018
- Billy the Exterminator: Sugar Rat | A&E - YouTube - August 18th, 2018
- San Antonio Pest Control | Bed Bugs, Fleas, Rats ... - May 13th, 2018
- Pest Control Houma, LA Exterminator Terminix Pest ... - May 11th, 2018
- Insight Pest Control Ventura: Exterminator & Termite ... - April 20th, 2018
- We Kill Pest Control Hollywood is professional exterminator - April 1st, 2018
- Info Center: Learn about Rodents | Terminix - March 16th, 2018
- DIY Rat Extermination RATCONTROLTRICKS.COM - December 22nd, 2017
- Pest Control NJ, Pest Control NYC, Bed Bug Exterminator NYC E - November 9th, 2017
- VIDEO: Berkeley neighborhood sees rise in rat infestations - KRON4.com - September 8th, 2017
- 'Ratpocalypse' Caused by Climate Change Could Increase Spread of Disease - Healthline - September 8th, 2017
- Public health asked to find rat problem solutions - St. Catharines Standard - September 7th, 2017
- Rats vs. Mice | Western Exterminator - September 6th, 2017
- Rodents take over home while family flees wildfires - CBC.ca - September 2nd, 2017
- Waldwick Residents In Search Of Solution For Sudden Surge In Rat Sightings - CBS New York - September 2nd, 2017
- Rat reports across Wichita are 'highly unusual,' biologist says - Wichita Eagle - September 2nd, 2017
- 'Rat Boom' Besieges NJ Town - NBC 10 Philadelphia - September 2nd, 2017
- Oh, rats! Waldwick residents say rodents have overtaken neighborhood - NorthJersey.com - August 28th, 2017
- Forced out by rats - Burnaby Now - August 24th, 2017
- Township Addresses Rodent Issue in Putnam Manor Area After ... - TAPinto.net - August 23rd, 2017
- Modesto tenants living in condemned building sue landlord - Modesto Bee - August 22nd, 2017
- Rats and kitchen filth are fodder for naming and shaming restaurants - Cadtle Hills News - August 20th, 2017
- Bircher Exterminating | Phoenix Exterminator | HOA ... - August 11th, 2017
- Urban rodentologist says concerted effort will be needed to stop rats - The Westerly Sun - August 11th, 2017