Ratastic News Week “It’s a Mad, Mad World” Edition

David Bennett

We’ve got a mad trove of stories for you this week, so odd and so varied, it reminds us that rats are little characters in our lives.  We are horrified by them, we laugh at them, we even love them as pets, and some cultures eat them (that’ll put you off your dinner for weeks which may help with any summer slimming plans!)  This week, US Customs seized 32 pounds of rat meat carried on a plane after an international flight at Chicago O’Hare!   A New York subway passenger decided to show he wasn’t afraid of any of New York’s rats and held one in his teeth by the scruff of its neck!   And finally, in an irony that will not be hard to miss, CalEPA has decided that environmentally friendly measures were not helping its rat infestation (told you it’s ironic), and has decided to go full metal jacket on poisons to get rid of the little invaders!

Last week’s quiz question! Where do Norway Rats Originate?

Answer: Norway rats originated on the plains of Asia, probably in what is now China and Mongolia.

This week’s quiz question: What is one of the most common specific phobias?


Would you like a side of rat with your potatoes?  US Customs agents seize rat meat on flight

As we know, Chicago is not in lack of rats. Or rat meat should an enterprising gourmet get any ideas. While we in the States would recoil at the sight of rat meat for dinner, a traveler from the Ivory Coast was completely up front and honest with US customs officials (We’ve often thought of the stories customs agents could tell!) when he felt the need to import 32 pounds of rat meat.   In an ironic twist, we found the story on “Chicago Eater(!) who provides some fun facts about rat dining we certainly didn’t know:  “Once the rat meat was seized and destroyed, the passenger reportedly went on his merry way and was not fined, the spokesperson added. The Transportation Security Administration’s policy allows travelers to transport frozen meat, seafood, vegetables, and other “non-liquid” food in both carry-on and checked bags. In this case, however, officials commandeered the meat to prevent the spread of African swine fever, according to the spokesperson. The highly contagious disease may be deadly to domestic and wild pigs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but is not dangerous to humans. Western diners may not be accustomed to seeing rat on the menu, but rodent meat doesn’t carry the same stigma in other parts of the world. The Adi tribe of northeast India hold an annual celebration featuring dishes made with rat, the BBC reported, and rat is also eaten in many countries including Cameroon, Cambodia, Laos, Ghana, China, Vietnam, and parts of the Philippines and Indonesia.”  US customs agents were perhaps unflappable—on any given day they seize and destroy up to 4,500 pounds of prohibited animals, plants and plants!  


New York subway passenger demonstrates his inner Ozzy by holding a live rat between his teeth

As far as we know, one New York City subway passenger isn’t a rock star!   Anyway, it demonstrates the sometimes quirky relationship New Yorkers have with their rats—the heroes—Pizza Rat and Avocado Rat, the rat that demonstrates refusal of rats to give up on life—Subway Flood Rat, which also makes us look at the determination to hold on in ourselves.    Nobody knows why this particular man decided to go mouth-to scruff with the rat, only that he held him in his lips by the scruff of the rat’s neck for 15 seconds, and the video went viral on Subway Creature’s Instagram and Twitter account with 100,000 views in the

first 40 minutes!   The person sitting next to him looks as if they will retch at any moment—and Subway Creatures briefly channeled Jenny of “Forrest Gump” when they said, “Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far away from here!”  Patch.com goes on:“Some New Yorkers run away from rats, but this guy puts them in his mouth. A rodent-loving subway rider horrified his fellow straphangers when he grabbed a rat by its scruff with his teeth, a new video shows.For unexplained reasons, the man confidently held his furry friend between his lips for nearly 15 seconds while sitting on a subway train. Another rider seemed excited to take a photo of his talent. But others were less than pleased — a straphanger seated next to the man grimaced in the background while a woman sitting across the train held her hands over her mouth in apparent shock.” Indeed—horrified delight is the phrase of the day!   One Twitter user suggested that the man would “provide no insight as to how he got the plague,” in a tongue in cheek quip.  


CalEPA decides to go full out on its war against rats when environmentally friendly methods fail

Rats are wily creatures, and sometimes they defeat us utterly in our quest to destroy them.  For weeks, the California EPA agency tried environmentally friendly measures to get rid of their rat infestation, to no avail.  In an ironic twist, the very agency that regulates rat poison is housed in the same building!   CBS Sacramento explains:  “A rat problem at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters is so bad, the building’s management says “going green” to solve the problem isn’t working. So now they’re using poison. Outdoors are off-limits at the CalEPA headquarters’ childcare center in downtown Sacramento. The play structure sits empty, surrounded by rat traps along the perimeter of the playground. CBS13 has learned building management has been battling the rat problem for five weeks and so far, the rats have been winning. “It’s become, maybe somewhat a little bit more than a nuisance,” one employee who works in the building said.”   The decision to use rat poison was arrived at after a lot of thought.  After weeks of trying environmentally friendly measures in order to set a good example to the public, and after sending weekly memo updates to its employees, the agency decided for the health of the children in the child care center on the premises, rat poison has been deployed. “The California Department of Pesticide Regulation enforces a ban passed in 2014 on super-toxic rodenticide-use beyond 50 feet of man-made structures. Now those California regulations are extending to their own building headquarters. CalEPA, learning how to solve a rat problem, while still staying within the state law.”  


RodeXit Proofing strips for Exclusion. 

Challenged Brush strips images, and threshold gaps under doors pose little to no match for rodents. 



RodeXit proofing strips will resolve these issues in addition to rodent proofing up those irregular gaps often between stationary building parts in addition to fences and walls.


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Sergey Nemykin, owner operator, Industrial Pest Elimination.

                                               Read full case study below.


Downloadable Brochure                 Mounting Options for RodeXit video 


Visit us at PestWorld2019 San Diego, California, October 15th– 18th. booths 140 & 142

Tags: Cityrats, Exclusion, Food quality and safety, Integrated Pest Management, IPM, National Pest Management Association, Norway rats, NPMA, NWCOA, NYPMA, Pest management, PestWorld2019, Public Health, Quality, Rodent exclusion, Rodexit, Urban Rats

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