Ratastic News Week “Defcon 5” Edition

David Bennett

In this week’s edition, we’re going to look at Los Angeles, California, which is at a DEFCON 5 point in its rat infestation. LA  has no city rat control program as other cities do, and they’ve been working for months to control a problem which has gotten so bad that rats are being seen during the day.   We’ll also look at how the little things matter—in NYC, which also has been working hard to control a rat infestation, they’ve removed 110 trash cans.  You wouldn’t think such a little thing would make such a big difference, but it does—because now trash is overflowing, and attracting—you guessed it!—more rats!  Finally, as heat waves grip the continent, one enterprising rat found an unorthodox solution in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada!



Last week’s quiz question! How are rats like teenagers?

Answer: According to a study by Martin Schein, a founder of Animal Behavior Society, the favorite foods of city dwelling brown rats include scrambled eggs, macaroni cheese and cooked corn.   Iinterest to learn more about here is the source.   

This week’s quiz question: Usually using natural predators are a good way to control rats. What colossal mistake in Hawaii caused both predator and rat to invade? 


Rats, Rats, Everywhere-in California and LA!

LA has been snowed under in rats the last few months as we’ve been covering on our blog,and with no city rat control program, it’s reached out of control proportions—explosions of rat populations that have had the city trying to clean up trash in the infamous Skid Row area, where hundreds of homeless people are camping out. LA’s rat problem is so bad that some are questioning whether LA should be renamed “The City of Rats,” instead of the “City of Angels.” The rat infestation has gotten so bad that Yahoo News reports that some experts are asking the governor to declare an emergency.   In a related issue, again with rising homeless populations and other factors, the state of California itself is facing rising rat infestations. CBS Los Angeles reports: “The study surveyed nearly two dozen private pest control companies that operate throughout California and found all of them reported that Rat Service Requests were up as much as 60% in the last 12 months. Not a single company reported that service requests were down or in line with the previous year, according to the report. Pest control professionals and sanitation workers told the survey team they observed an “alarming increase” in Norway rats moving around during the day, behavior that experts described as “highly abnormal”. But despite some studies linking rodent activity to climate change, the report says environmental factors are not to blame for the state’s rat increase. Instead, the issue is “directly related” a spike in the homeless population and the elimination of effective rodent control methods under legislation such as AB 1788, which would ban the use of ban the “second generation” category of anticoagulant rodenticides in California.”  The rodenticide issue is a hot one, with the backers of the bill claiming that rodenticides harm wildlife populations.   However rodent populations are contributing to outbreaks of typhus, and other dangerous diseases.   

It is certainly worth investing time on educating the homeless population how to control rats, and to have education on exclusion practices which involves cleaning up trash and having a sanitary process in place pertaining to food and

hygiene.  LA launched CleanStreetsLA in 2015, an initiative to clean up LA’s streets. According to their website, “Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Clean Streets LA in April, 2015 by executive directive, which calls for the City of LA’s Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) to lead the following efforts to clean our neighborhoods: 5,000 new trash cans distributed citywide over the next 5 years, more boots on the ground in hiring and training more sanitation crews, cracking down on illegal dumping of trash, street by street monitoring to assess need and ensure a fair allocation of services, and working with nonprofit partners including weed,  litter and graffiti abatement.”    This is a very positive step!  According to CurbedLA, LA  in June of this year also launched a program called CARE, (Cleaning and Rapid Engagement), which works with homeless communities to connect the homeless with mobile hygiene centers and are trained to work with homeless populations and connect them with necessary services.  The article also goes on to say, “Still, the mayor also pointed out that the piles of trash and unsanitary conditions commonly found in Downtown LA and beyond are primarily the result of illegal dumping. Citing statistics compiled by the sanitation department, Garcetti said that 80 percent of the waste collected by city workers comes from illegal dumping—something he attributed to property owners who save on costs by not contracting with a city-selected trash collector. He promised that the city would be proactive about finding and citing those who are not in compliance with the city’s trash collection program.”


New York City Gets Rid of 110 Trash Cans: Result is Perhaps Not What They Had in Mind

When the City of New York decided that some people were misusing the trash cans they were distributing, they decided to remove 110 of them.  The result is much what one would expect—overflowing trash which in turn is attracting lots and lots of rats.  USAToday reports: “The New York Post reported that since the New York City Department of Sanitation pulled 110 trash cans out of the neighborhood over the last 12 months, trash has been overflowing. “In the past year, we removed bins in this district because they did not fit the criteria or were being chronically misused,” Dina Montes, press secretary for the New York City Department of Sanitation, told USA TODAY. But the removal of the bins might not be having the proper effect. Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal of Manhattan told the New York Post that her office receives calls about the trash. “I don’t think removing garbage cans does what they think it is supposed to do.” Stein said the mayor’s office has ordered the Department of Sanitation to stop removing bins immediately: “We will not be removing any of the 800-plus bins the district currently has,” said Montes.”   The 32 million dollars that the mayor allocated to rat control has been working—to the tune of a 9 percent drop in rat complaints in the city—but the rats have been fighting back by moving to the posh Upper West Side.   West Side Rag quipped in its “Ratpocalypse” article “In fact, the Upper West Side is the epicenter of the problem, with the most complaints out of any neighborhood. We were also number one for rat complaints last year, so we’re like the Tom Brady of rats. All we do is win.”    We think there’s a better definition of winning! 


Enterprising Canadian Rat Shows Us What Refrigerators are For in This Heat

CTV News reports    (Check out video in new clip) that a rat in a 7/Eleven store viral video showed us  all how to beat the heat—bringing not shock, but hilarity to customers that saw him in a glass fronted store refrigerator cooling it next to the iced tea and soda

water.   The 34 year old man who took the video said that his son, who pointed out the rat to him, wasn’t disgusted or shocked.  “”He honestly thought it was kind of funny and he was more curious as to why (the rat) was in there.”  He also said he himself wasn’t surprised as he has noticed an uptick in rats in the neighborhood the store is in.    7/Eleven, however, was not amused. “[A]n employee at the store told CTV News they called in the entire staff to do a thorough cleaning after Williams reported the incident. The father said he visits the convenience store daily and that it’s generally very clean.”   We probably won’t fit in our refrigerators, so we recommend going swimming or investing in central air, and contacting us so YOU don’t find a rat in YOUR refrigerator with a martini lounging on a hammock!  .” 

Check out our RODEXIT Rodent proofing strips which are ESSENTIAL to keeping rats and mice out when you’ve done all you can to your home or business  property to make sure they don’t get in!


RodeXit Proofing strip application addressing  super market rat problem. 

Location: Fenced off enclosure behind the super market

Purpose: Temporary staging area for delivered goods on pallets.

The problem:  Rat entry access to pallets, resulting in store entry in transfer process.

Technicality situation: 1. Fence made of pressure treated planks. 2.Main building made from bricks. 3.Gap under fence  1 inch (2.5 cm) 4. Side gaps between fence and building foundation half inch (1.25cm)


RodeXit STRAIGHT Proofing strip 27 yard ( 81 feet) option, proofed bottom gap with limited joints, strengthening the deployment, eliminating weak joints.




This application required  screw on every second plank be loosened, creating space to tuck the RodeXit proofing strip. Followed by retightening screws.





Side gaps were secured using single virtually mounted proofing strip utilizing adjacent plank s by means of screws and washers. 





Read article, watch video published related on Super market topic.



Listening to customers, engaging people interested in RodeXit proofing strips,  we have expanded  packaging options for the lengths of  strip coil/roll.

Now available in:

  • 27 yd (81 feet)                            
  • 12 yd (36 feet)
  • 9 yd (27 feet) coming soon!     


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



Tags: Cityrats, Exclusion, Food Processing industry, Food quality and safety, Integrated Pest Management, IPM, Municipal housing, National Pest Management Association, Norway rats, NPMA, NWCOA, NYPMA, Pest Management Canada 2019, Pest Proofing, PestWorld2019, Public Health, Quality Assurance, Rat infestation, Rodent exclusion, Rodexit, Urban development

2 thoughts on “Ratastic News Week “Defcon 5” Edition

  1. Roxana Daniela says:

    Last week’s quiz question! How are rats like teenagers?
    Answer: Almost like humans teenagers – playful, curious, disobedient… 🙂

    1. David Bennett says:

      Good Morning Roxana,
      Thrilled you enjoyed last weeks quiz Q&A, please come back visit again for next weeks quiz answers and more Ratatsic news.Thanks for taking time to comment.

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