Skip to comments.Nantucket takes bite out of rat control efforts
Posted on 01/11/2009 1:59:03 PM PST by Radix
Nantucket will curtail its 30-year rodent program, saving dollars and, alas, a few rats, too.
Health director Richard Ray said more than money was at issue. The town is worried about liability now that the rats have grown so immune to the poison that the amounts needed to kill them are fatal to pets and other animals.
Were not getting into the field any longer so we dont have control to deal with the placement of this stuff, he said. We dont want to see an incident where a family pet gets into this stuff.
High demand for rat eradication has led property owners and caretakers to apply the poison themselves, and over time island rodents have become resistant to the pesticides. Those rodents produce pesticide-resistant offspring, and whenever the dosage is increased or altered, a new breed of poison-resistant rats emerges.
The stuff we were using wasnt working, Ray said. Our problem was the stronger the bait, the longer it lasted in the rodents system. If a raptor or a pet got a hold of a rat carcass, theyd be in trouble.
The pesticide is so strong in its current form the town carries no antidote, thus dooming a poisoned pet, endangered species or other innocent wildlife. If someone cant apply the poison like, say, an old woman in a wheelchair, I might go into a crawl space and apply the stuff, said Ray, Otherwise, its up to the homeowner.
In addition to being reviled pests, the stubborn island rats are known carriers of tick-borne Lyme disease, a painful, potentially disabling affliction that has sent many islanders to the hospital. Lyme disease cases increased 30 percent in 2008, although in fairness to rats, deer ticks have been considered the major cause for the upsurge.
Um, what’s wrong with rat traps? They work every time. Cheap. Anyone can set them, you don’t need Vector Control Specialists.
There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
Same problem on the Vineyard ... reduce the deer populations and the ticks find another host, according to stats. Tick problem. Deer problem.
Folks who cater to renters are fearful that when the word gets out, they’ll suffer.
PETA-types stopped the hunt ... as usual insanity prevails.
Heck, according to Heinlein killing rats is easy:
"Stuff it into a sack. Beat the sack with an ax. Then shoot it. Then drown it. Burn the sack with the dead rat in it. Meanwhile its mate has raised another litter of pups and you now have a dozen rats to replace it."
I used to know a good one about Nantucket but even if I could remember all of it, I don’t think it would be proper for me to post it here.
As far as the rats are concerned, Nantucket just needs more Jack Russel Terriers! My youngest JRT just over a year old and weighing about 12 pounds caught a rat in our back yard 2 days ago that was almost as big as he was (well not quite) but this rat was about 13” from nose to tail. Hoot got a gold star on his chart for that one!
I know the limerick you’re referring to ... and no ... it’ll get us into trouble...
That occurred to me too, there are several rat terriers that could do a great job, but if it was my pet, I’d be afraid of it catching some dreadful disease or even bringing it into the house.
It’s not news that Nantucket has a ‘Rat problem......
The DemocRATS have overrun the place, and all of Mass., for many years.
Someone finally appreciates just why I posted that article. My sense of sarcasm seems to elude many.
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