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The 10 Best Raccoon Removal Services in New York, NY 2020

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 1st, 2020

In general there is no cost for a pest inspection. Exterminators typically provide a free property or building inspection and then provide you with a written estimate outlining the necessary treatment and cost. The home visit allows the exterminator to assess the problem and let you know what your pest control cost will be if you contract with their services. You may need a termite inspection for real estate purposes. This will be a verified inspection showing that the house in question is termite-free (often done before a sale). The inspection may cost a flat rate, such as $125-$150, depending on house size.

Its hard to predict pest control costs sight unseen due to the variety of factors that go into pest treatment. For example, a bedbug problem for one customer may be confined to one room and be easy to access and treat in one visit if the room is clear of clutter and the bedbugs have been caught early. In another home, a bedbug problem may also be confined to one room, but theres a great deal of clutter, providing more hiding places for the bugs and requiring more spray and labor for the exterminator, as well as many pieces of large furniture in the room that need to sprayed. Depending on the maturity of the infestation, a bedbug problem may require multiple visits to entirely eliminate. This is why many companies provide a free inspection to determine pest control costs and provide you the most accurate quote possible.

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The 10 Best Raccoon Removal Services in New York, NY 2020

Exterminator For Termites | Your Pest Control Experts For …

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 1st, 2020

Getting references from the company may seem like one way to find a reliable pest control company, until you tell yourself that any company is probably only going to give you a carefully selected reference list, to ensure positive feedback.

Checking your chosen pest control company with your local Better Business Bureau is a must if you are looking in the Yellow Pages for a company. Listen to what your BBB has to say about a particular pest control company; if they report that there are complaints against that company, it may be an indication not to use them. And talking to a person at the BBB is probably a better and more accurate approach than simply using their website.

The National Pest Control Association has a handbook containing procedures that are approved, and any good exterminator should follow that guideline, which means no dubious work practices, and not charging customers for work thats not approved or needed. A guarantee for a specific time period should be offered by a reputable pest control company, and maintaining that guarantee should take a reasonable and affordable yearly payment. Pre-treatment for new construction, along with yearly inspections for termites should be included, and if you ask to see an insurance certificate, you should expect to be supplied with one.

Recommendations are always a good idea too when choosing a Calgary pest control company; perhaps from the realtor, you bought the house from, or from friends or family. Talk to the exterminator who processed the original termite certificate if youre buying a house and find theres a termite issue. It can save you money, and they should have access to the homes history.

When you and the salesperson come to an agreement, make sure that agreement is understood by the technician who visits your home, who may not be the same person you originally dealt with. Helping you deal with your termite issue as quickly, effectively, and as economically as possible is the goal of any reliable exterminator, and you should be sure that any procedure is what you actually need. You may pay more when dealing with a salesperson who may or may not have a similar work ethic.

A good exterminator really does focus on getting the job done properly, rather than focuses on the sales side of things although many pest control technicians seem to be more salesperson than a technician. Using as few chemicals as possible and simply solving your pest issue as economically and as efficiently as possible should always be the goal, and its something you should be aware of.

Exterminators will charge different prices, and have different approaches to the job, as exterminating isnt an exact science. You really shouldnt have to tell your pest control technician that you want the problem to be treated as economically as possible and without using more chemicals than is necessary, but you may end up pointing this out. Some treatment options are somewhat suspect or even unnecessary, and of course, you dont want anything to do with these.

Its important that you are actually present in your home to discuss the procedure and have any questions answered when the exterminator shows up at your home. You dont want to delegate the job of dealing with the exterminator to your spouse, babysitter, or anyone else. Its much easier to deal directly with the pest control expert yourself, so you understand exactly what is happening and also to make sure you arent charged more than you were initially told. And its also important to make sure you get answers to your questions, and any concerns you have are addressed, as its likely to be an ongoing relationship with this exterminator.

Getting an estimate for the work to be carried out is an important part of dealing with a pest problem and choosing the right exterminator. You should be given a written quote in person or at least soon afterward, if a pest control technician visits your home to assess the problem. And you dont need to make a decision immediately; remember the points above that we have been discussing and keep them in mind when trying to find a reliable and experienced pest control company.

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Exterminator For Termites | Your Pest Control Experts For ...

Experts: Bed Bugs Could Be Weakened by Coronavirus Pandemic – Best Life

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 1st, 2020

Coronavirus has indelibly changed the way people live, from how we run errands to howand wherewe work. And while many of those changes have been less than well-received, one silver lining is that coronavirus may actually be the thing that eradicates a common household problem for good: bed bugs.

Bed bugs are everywhere, from private homes to retail stores to five-star hotels. According to the National Pest Management Association's "Bugs Without Borders" report, 97 percent of pest specialists treated a case of bed bugs in the past year, with summer typically being the busiest season. Unfortunately, getting rid of them isn't an inexpensive propositionaccording to HomeAdvisor, it can cost as much as $5,000 to have an entire home treated for bed bugs. However, with indoor gatherings off-limits in many states and many people avoiding hotels due to coronavirus, the risk of inadvertently picking up bed bugs and bringing them home has dropped dramatically.

According to board-certified entomologist Natasha Wright of Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, with many hotel rooms and public spaces going unoccupied for months at a time, this presents a unique opportunity for businesses to thoroughly tackle their existing bed bug issuesincluding using treatments that can't be applied safely when hosting guests.

"Professional treatment is required to effectively eradicate these pests, and can consist of insecticide applications, heat remediation, or a combination of both, based on the severity and extent of the infestation," Wright explains. "Since this takes the rooms being treated out of service for a period of time, low occupancy during the pandemic makes this a good time to get it done."

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COVID-19 has also provided business the opportunity to make necessary repairs to spaces that will make it harder for bed bugs to go undetected.

"While rooms are empty for long periods, maintenance crews can get in and fix cracks and crevices or seal up openings that could possibly be used by bed bugs as hiding spots or harborage points," says Chad Gore, an entomologist and Market Technical Director for Western Exterminator.

While Gore notes that bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding, he says that the lack of human blood available to them at the moment may expose a critical weakness.

"Lack of access to a food source will stress the population, which generally makes them more susceptible when exposed to insecticides," he explains. And if you're wondering how your travel plans may look different after the pandemic, check out these 8 Things You May Never See in Hotel Rooms Ever Again.

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How to treat flea bites and get rid of fleas in your home – Insider – INSIDER

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on July 1st, 2020

Fleas are small, flightless insects that feast on the blood of mammals and birds. There are more than 2,000 flea species globally, and about 300 types in the US.

Fleas typically live in dark, moist places and can be found in wood piles, tall grass, trees, and shrubs. Most people associate flea bites with pets or animals, but they can live on humans too, regardless of whether or not you have pets.

Here's how to treat flea bites and eliminate these pesky pests from your home.

Flea bites are often grouped together on the legs, ankles, or feet. anamariategzes/ iStock

Fleas are very small and difficult to see, but their bites are actually quite distinctive, says Michael McLaughlin, a Wilderness EMT and EMS provider in California.

On both humans and animals, flea bites look like small red bumps, about two to 10 millimeters in size. And they often form a line.

"The tell-tale sign is the three to four bites following a directional pattern," McLaughlin says. "You could have many of these but they seem to go in groups in this fashion."

Bites are likely to occur on the lower parts of your body around your ankles and feet because fleas are most likely to come into contact with you from the ground. The location is one the best ways to tell them apart from mosquito bites or bed bug bites:

Yuqing Liu/Insider

If a flea bites you, you may feel a sharp sting. Then, shortly after, the following symptoms can develop at the site:

However, if you are allergic to fleas, symptoms can become more severe, including:

Allergic reactions to flea bites are rare, but if you experience any of these allergy symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Most of the time, flea bites are easy to treat at home without medical attention, as long as you don't experience an allergic reaction.

Even though the bites can be uncomfortable and itchy, McLaughlin says you should try to refrain from scratching them.

"Normally the bites will go down after a few days," McLaughlin says. "The less scratching, the faster they go down, so don't scratch."

With that in mind, here's a few at-home treatment methods for flea bites:

If you experience swelling, an open sore, or discharge at the bite site, you may have an infection, and should see a doctor for further treatment.

While anyone can get flea bites, humans are most likely to come into contact with fleas directly from their pets.

That's because dogs or cats spend more time in the grass and dirt, where fleas live. So, even though the symptoms of flea bites may resolve in a few days, you are likely to continue getting bitten if you do not treat your pet and home.

Research shows that vacuuming is one of the best ways to eliminate fleas, and can even kill 96% of adult fleas. But getting rid of just the adult fleas won't completely solve your problem.

Fleas have a long life cycle of about 20 to 35 days, and there may still be hundreds of eggs in your home that could hatch a week later. According to the National Pest Association, you should contact a pest management professional, like an exterminator, if you suspect a flea infestation in your home. If you see fleas hopping onto your furniture or curtains or you notice multiple, dot-like insects in your carpet, you're likely dealing with an infestation.

To reduce the risk of a flea infestation in your home, the National Pest Association recommends these tips:

In addition, our colleagues at Insider Reviews have put together a list of the best flea treatments for dogs.

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How to get rid of bed bugs fast and 3 signs you have an infestation – Insider – INSIDER

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 29th, 2020

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. Since they're less than a quarter of an inch long, they're almost impossible to spot. But they can be found anywhere, from houses to nursing homes and hotels.

"Normally the first signs of bed bugs are bites," says Rick Young, owner of UK-based Young's Pest Control.

The tell-tale sign is small bites clustered in a group or line on your skin.Although bed bug bites are itchy, they're usually harmless.

"In the vast majority of cases, bed bugs are a nuisance rather than genuinely dangerous to health," says Sreedhar Krishna, a dermatologist at TalkHealth London.

Still, most people who have bed bugs want them gone as soon as possible. Here's how to spot the signs of bed bugs and get rid of them quickly and effectively.

Bed bugs usually live in or around your bed, and they commonly hide in the creases and seams of mattresses or upholstery. However, it's rare to actually spot a bed bug.

"Sometimes it can be very hard to tell if you have bed bugs as they remain in hiding places through the day time and only come out at night to feed when we are in a deep sleep," says Young.

Instead of looking for bugs, you should look for signs of a bed bug infestation. These can include:

Treating bed bugs can be complex and time consuming, especially since infestations are usually severe by the time people notice it.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends certain do-it-yourself remedies.

In addition, our colleagues at Insider Reviews have put together a list of the best products to get rid of bed bugs.

You can try these before hiring an exterminator to save money, but you should note that professional extermination is a more effective (albeit costly) treatment.

Exterminators use the same tools heat or pesticides but they have access to higher-quality equipment that can work more quickly and effectively.

"There are a number of home remedies which one can try, but these are unlikely to eradicate the problem," Krishna says. "This is because bed bugs can hide in very tricky to reach areas and so professional help is often required."

In most cases, exterminators will have to come back multiple times to get rid of the bed bugs. The EPA has additional guidance on selecting a pest control company. After the extermination is complete you should continue to monitor for signs of bedbugs for at least two weeks.

If you suspect you have bed bugs, don't carry bedding or clothing into other areas of your house. This can help keep the bed bugs contained to one site, Young says.

Bed bugs are creepy, but they're mostly harmless and there are effective ways to get rid of them. Remembering that can help you stay calm if you notice the signs of a bed bug infestation in your home.

"You never need to panic if you have bed bugs," Young says. "There are qualified people and correct methods of safely exterminating your problem."

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How to get rid of bed bugs fast and 3 signs you have an infestation - Insider - INSIDER

Cleveland Heights apartment building seeing more rats, some wonder if coronavirus is to blame – WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 27th, 2020

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) People living in a Cleveland Heights apartment building are dealing with unwelcome visitors.

In the parking lots, when you get out of your car, rats everywhere, said resident Camille Horton.

Rats have created a nuisance steps from the Coventry Village commercial district, leading some to wonder if recent business closures due to the coronavirus could be to blame.

At night, when it gets a little cold, the rats will come upon under your car and chew your wires out, Horton said.

Rodents, including rats, rely on food and waste, and with recent community-wide closures, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said some areas have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food.

We havent seen a wave indicating rodents are attacking anything, said John Carter, President and CEO of Cleveland-based Carter Exterminating Company.

Carter said rodents are attracted to food scents, including from dirty dumpsters.

If you havent thoroughly cleaned and prepared to shut down for a while, you probably have a lot of food scent generating from your restaurant, and with no human traffic inside the restaurant for weeks at a time, rodents feel pretty comfortable, Carter said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health reports a decrease in rodent-related calls in Cleveland Heights this year.

Carter said rats typically come from sewer systems and keeping garbage cans clean, covered and away from your home can help to deter them.

If youre not attracting them, youre not going to have them, he said.

If you have a rat problem, Carter recommended calling a qualified exterminator and also alerting your local health department, which can bait sewer systems to get rid of the rats.

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Cleveland Heights apartment building seeing more rats, some wonder if coronavirus is to blame - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Kill It With Fire Full Version Free Download Game – OnFront Media

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 24th, 2020





Kill It With Fire Full Version Free Download Game

Likewise, similarly, in the same vein, I enjoy this game because he always tells an interesting Game.

ABOUT THIS GAMEThe spider mankinds most ancient and deadly nemesis. As a licensed Kill It With Fire exterminator, its time to fight back! Gather your arsenal and pursue the eight-legged menace on a journey across time, space, and suburbia although not necessarily in that order.

Kill It With Fire is a first-person action game about hunting spiders and causing collateral damage. IGNITION is a sampler of what to expect of the full game when it arrives Summer 2020!

To defeat spiders you must exploit their one weakness: FIRE. Or bullets. Or explosions, throwing stars, gettin smushed by stuffpretty much anything, really. But that doesnt mean itll be easy first youve gotta find the spiders. Use state-of-the-art arachnid tracking technology to pinpoint your quarrys location among hundreds of potential hiding spots then, torch everything and smash the spider with a frying pan after it runs out. Its the only way to be sure.


For example, for instance Download and Install the above game for free on your device and you have to follow below-given steps.

How to install the Game in 5 simple steps.

1. Click firstly on the Download Game button for a complete installation.2. Download secondly the Kill It With Fire Installer setup (NOTE: This setup is supported resumable download).3. Open the Game Installer, Click Next, and choose the directory where to Install.4. Let it Download Game in the specified directory of your Device.5. After that Run the Game and Enjoy Playing Full Version Game.

As a result:If you face any problem in Running Kill It With Fire then please feel free to comment down below. In conclusion, to sum up, in short, we will reply as soon as possible.

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Looking More Game For PC, PS, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, VR, PlayStation VR, and Google Stadia Version With Full Game Setup Free Download Latest Game of 2020 Click Here

Kill It With Fire Full Version Free Download Game

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How To Get Rid of Roaches in Your Home – Home Remedy to Kill Cockroaches Fast – Country Living

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 24th, 2020

Household pests are never welcome guests. From ants that pillage your pantry to banana-loving fruit flies or fleas that piggyback on your pets, the battle against bugs is ongoing. Luckily, by keeping your home (and especially your kitchen) clean and organized, it's easy to prevent many pest problems from starting in the first place. If you're looking for how to get rid of fruit flies, how to get rid of fleas, or how to get rid of ants, we've got you covered.

As far as bugs go, cockroaches arguably spark one of the strongest "Ew!" reactions. They're big, fast, and definitely not easy on the eyes. But let's face it: Roaches have survived on earth for millions of yearswhich means they're probably not going anywhere anytime soon. So we would advise brushing up on your roach facts and following the tips below to understand and eliminate your household roach population.


There are several types of common roaches in North America: the American cockroach, the German cockroach, brown-banded, oriental, and smoky brown. (And, of course, the epic Madagascar hissing cockroach, but the likelihood of spotting one of those on this continent is fairly low unless you're at the zoo.)

American and German varieties are the most common species found in homes. American cockroaches are largerthey can grow to be more than 2 inches longand can live up to two years. Another thing to keep in mind: they can fly. (Ever heard of Palmetto bugs? This is the same insect.)

German cockroaches are on the smaller side and only live for a year, but they can lay more eggs than their American counterparts, thus catapulting them to the top of many exterminators' watch lists.


Cockroaches love warm, damp environments that contain plenty of food sources. Because cockroaches are scavengers, they can survive on almost anythingcrumbs, cardboard, food scraps, etc. While stray food and grime can create desirable destinations for unwanted guests, sometimes the occasional roach can't be avoided, due to the structure of your home or hidden cracks or openings that inevitably welcome pests inside.

Roaches gravitate toward dark areas that go undisturbed for longer periods of time (think of those spaces behind the refrigerator, beneath cabinets, all those forgotten corners or pantry shelves, storage closets). These are places that can easily accumulate plenty of "food" for potential roach residents, and the low light appeals to their nocturnal preferences.

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The occasional weekly or monthly roach is nothing to worry about, but if you're experiencing more frequent roach appearances, it may be time to investigate. Check all dark areas, clean all kitchen surfaces, and go through all storage areas to get rid of excess cardboard or other roach-friendly clutter.

Keep an eye out for roach feces, which look similar to ground coffee or coarse black pepper, and egg cases, which can be hidden in dark spaces or even between books in a bookcase. (Yikes!)

If you have a legitimate roach problem, the first thing you should do is call your local exterminator or pest control company. Before the professionals work their magic, you can start by eliminating all potential hiding places, including the aforementioned dark corners and old cardboard. Be sure that all drains are clear and functioning properly, so no standing water is available for roaches on the hunt for an oasis.

Conduct a survey of your home, or the specific room or area where you see them most. If you spot any cracks or possible entry points, seal them up with silicone sealant or another durable material like steel wool. Roaches are actually able to flatten their bodies to fit through small spaces.

The home pest control market is flooded with anti-roach products, but experts suggest staying away from sprays and using bait-style insecticide instead. Try one of these top-rated options:

Combat Max 12 Month Roach Killing Bait

advion 4 Tubes and 4 Plungers Insecticide Bait Gel

Rockwell Labs Invict Gold Cockroach Gel


Harris Roach Tablets


Three words: Call your exterminator. Sometimes it's better to just leave it to the pros!

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Rick’s List – The Unbearable Similarities Between Bugs and Unasked-for Emails Edition –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 20th, 2020

Back in Texas, where insects stroll through dwellings like marching band drum majors regardless of whether you sleep in the backroom of a bait shop or live like a rajah next door to Jerry Jones exterminators stay exceedingly busy. To paraphrase Clarence Darrow, bugs in the south are "forever busy and need feeding." (Darrow was talking about ignorance and not centipedes, but ...)

Anyway, one morning after I threw a shoe at a Paleozoic-style cockroach on our bedroom wall and the creature picked it up and TRIED IT ON I called Mark, our regular bug-destroyer. He said he'd come over as soon as he could "genocide the hell out of some ants at an ice cream parlor in Casa Linda."

Shortly thereafter, reeking pleasantly of chemicals and death, the exterminator liberally sprayed the interior of our rental house with industrial-strength poison, and I took the opportunity to ask if he could quantify the worst bug infestation he'd ever seen hoping, of course, he wouldn't chuckle and say, "I'm STANDING in it!"

Instead, he told me about a convenience store wherethe interior walls of the storage room were nothing but damp sheet rock. He tore through one paneland beheld, through the pipes and electrical wiring, a cement exterior wall. At first, he thought it was painted black but no, it was justcovered with thousands of cockroaches.

I'm thinking of all this not because we have a bug problem. People in New England who think they have a bug problem ticks notwithstanding have no idea what a bug problem IS. (See Rick and Eileen's List of Why We Moved Out of Texas. "Bugs" was #2, right after "Jerry Jones.")

No,the wall-of-roaches visualpopped in my headbecause it reminds me ofthe infestation of unbidden emails crawling through myinbox. Thousands! I'm not talking about spam but rather missives from arts organizations, record labels, publishing houses, art galleries, orchestras, and sundry other entities who've somehow, in that computer-y way of exponential creepiness, managed to obtain my address as a humble arts writer at a small Connecticut daily.

It's spiraled into nonstop madness. My "you have mail" alert a chiming sound that I can't figure out how to silence rings like a meth-stoked Quasimodo yanking the bell rope at Notre Dame as though all the demons of hell are flapping towards him with wings of fire.

And I ... Can't. Unsubscribe.

Oh, the email-sendersmake it SEEM like you can.

1. "Click here to unsubscribe." CLICK.

2. Then, "You're almost unsubscribed. But first, tell us WHY you're unsubscribing." Impatiently CLICK on the first option, which is usually "Never asked for subscription."

3. "That's not good enough. We put the easy answer first because we knew you'd click that. Give us the REAL reason. But trust us, it won't be good enough."

4. Or the friendly approach: "We sure hate to see you go. Sure you don't want to reconsider?" That tactic reminds me of those signs when you're leaving a casino: "It's not too late to U-turn and get a special parking place right next to our handy pawn shop."

5. This reminds me: Would you like to subscribe to the Rick Koster Newsletter?

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Rick's List - The Unbearable Similarities Between Bugs and Unasked-for Emails Edition -

Exploring the long history of rats – Worcester Telegram

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on June 17th, 2020

While we have several native species of mice in Massachusetts, we surprisingly have no native rats. Deer mice, white-footed mice, woodland jumping mice, meadow jumping mice, red-backed voles, meadow voles, woodland voles and bog lemmings scurry across the state. But we have to drive to the rocky cliffs of western Connecticut to find the closest native rat species, the eastern woodrat.

Nevertheless, somewhere within walking distance of our homes are Old World brown rats. Although theyre sometimes called Norwegian rats, they really originated in Asia. They, along with the also-alien house mouse, which invades the interiors of our homes, are now a scourge within every community. The explanation for their proliferation is simple: people throw out enormous quantities of garbage, and rats thrive on our nutritious trash.

Just a few thousand years ago, these harmful rodents had a natural, positive role in their wild, native Asia. They fed many raptors and other predators. But their ability to live and thrive among expanding, habitat-altering human populations a rather amazing species strength, if were honest has come to plague civilization.

Two species, the black and the brown rats, have, in particular, caused more human deaths than all other vertebrates combined. Just touching them can prove infectious as they are regular hosts to fleas, mites, ticks, cestodes, nematodes and trematodes.

Reproductive machines, female rats can mate with multiple males in a single day and produce up to 12 litters a year, averaging about eight babies in each one. One single pair and their mating young, which reach sexual maturity at four or five weeks, could collectively produce over a thousand rats during their first year. Living up to three years of age, that single original pair and all its breeding progeny could, without massive mortality, produce hundreds of thousands of rats.

Fortunately, local hawks, owls, foxes, mink, skunks, weasels and snakes kill huge numbers of them for dinner. And even more rats are killed by diseases like salmonellosis, tularemia, leptospiral jaundice, Haverhill fever and murine typhus fever, whenever their populations get too dense.

Surprisingly, our states first introduced rat from the Old World spread widely and was eventually eradicated but not by us or our natural controls. The black rat, Rattus rattus notorious for spreading the Black Plague came aboard ships to America, infesting Virginia by 1609 and New England by the end of the 17th Century. It would continue to jump ships from Europe and become the uncontested king of human garbage deposits, in all our Atlantic seaports. They would thankfully disappear, but not courtesy of our poisons, cats or dogs.

Around 1775, flourishing with expanding world trade, the bigger, more aggressively intolerant brown or Norway rat arrived here, established itself, and in a rodent war of historical proportions, savaged all the black rat populations throughout New England. This was the rodents version of Shermans march through Georgia.

Retired MassWildlife biologist Jim Cardoza shared that black rats were mostly gone by 1900 and fully extirpated from Massachusetts by the 1930s, though a few show up periodically and for a very short time as business continues to inadvertently reintroduce them, either from abroad or from our southern states, where they remain abundant. Just recently, some were trapped in Chelsea. Tufts infectious disease authority, Dr. Sam Telford, told me that the closest black rat populations are now in Washington, D.C. From there, south, they thrive, especially in warm seaports.

For most people, a rat is a rat, but these two warring, misplaced malefactors are very different. Black rats are smaller, more streamlined, with pointed snouts, and tails longer than their bodies. Their hair is scraggly and glossy black down their spine. Brown rats have tails shorter than their bodies and more monochromatic gray or brown hair.

Natural tree climbers in their native Asia, black rats acrobatically live mostly within the vertical aspects of our homes and buildings. Wherever theyre both encountered, brown rats drive black rats up to the highest parts of buildings. Black rats have consequently been also called roof rats.

The dominating brown rats victoriously settle into lower, flatter habitats, closer to garbage, where typically they burrow in the ground around sewers, stream banks, jetties, walls and riversides. Theres hardly a veteran Canal fisherman that hasnt encountered brown rats scurrying out from the rocks at dawn or sunset or a Blackstone carp fisherman that hasnt observed them, too, lurking along the banks. Southerners who hear a rat in their wall can bet its a black rat. Those of us here who see one come out of a hole in our yard can bet the bank that its a brown rat.

Rattus rattus cohabitation with humans goes back over 4,000 years ago especially in India, where the species has long been considered sacred. Today, the black rat is surprisingly worshipped and daily fed there with much ritual at the Karni Mata Temple of Deshnoke.

Business facilitated its transport. As far back as 3,000 years ago, the black rat began arriving in Europe via trade routes, especially for spices and silk. By the 1300s, the well-established black rat and its fleas would infest the filthy squalor of European settlements and spread the flu-like Black Plague. The bacteria, Yersinia pestis, would kill 50 million people a third of the population.

Like Covid-19, its economic impact was staggering and counter-intuitively positive in a way that no one ever envisioned. The loss and shortage of so many workers unexpectedly resulted in a subsequent increased demand for labor that significantly raised wages and elevated the status and compensation of the European worker from that time on.

The most recent catastrophic rat plague known as the Third Pandemic began in 1855 and troublesomely didnt end entirely until 1959. It originated in Chinas Yunnan province, and spread through India and Mongolia. Of the 12 million people who died, 10 million were in India. But it had intermittent pulses of massive deaths in Hong Kong in 1894, Bombay in 1896, Honolulu in 1899, Sydney in 1900, Cape Town in 1901, Shenyang in 1911, and Los Angeles in 1924. Deaths were recorded in England, where a great outbreak never emerged.

Shenyang, China, though, stood out for what would prove historically lethal. With 60,000 people dying, its fatality rate among those infected was a staggering 100%.

The brown rats, Rattus norvegicus, that infest Massachusetts now came here from China. Growing up in the three-decker neighborhood just above Water Street, I saw many brown rats attracted to the discarded trash from the neighborhoods bakeries, restaurants and produce stores. Their population expanded dramatically up the hill towards Providence Street once the explosives started, breaking through the ledge to build Route 290 during the late 1950s. But today, you can find brown rats in our fashionable West Side neighborhoods, too. Getting rid of them isnt easy.

Theyre hyper-cautious and overly-sensitive to light. Late afternoons, they begin to emerge. Their eyesight is keen but only exceptional out to about three feet. Beyond that, they rely on their amazing ability to detect the slightest motion. They can reflexively react to any sudden movement up to about 30 feet away. To shoot them with a pellet gun, youve got to be quiet and still.

Most homeowners who dont call in an exterminator will try rat poison pellets. But rats are notoriously bait-shy, typically avoiding anything new placed in their path. Successful trappers learn to first cover un-set traps for several days with bait to accustom them to feed comfortably. Once the rats feed at ease, exterminators will set out many baited traps ready to spring, hoping in one or two nights before they get wary to kill the majority of them.

Unexpectedly, these same rats have been bred in captivity for our benefit. Albino mutants of the brown rat and house mouse have both helped save millions of human lives via their role in scientific experiments for medicine. Theyve also been bred as pets, surprisingly demonstrating both their intelligence and capacity for docile affection.

Dr. Tom French and Cardoza are currently co-writing Mammals of Massachusetts. In a recent conversation on the black rats extirpation in our state, all Dr. French had to say was Good riddance!! For most people, a good rat will always be a dead rat.

Contact Mark Blazis at

The rest is here:
Exploring the long history of rats - Worcester Telegram

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