Ratastic News Week “Dead Rats Telling Tails” Edition

David Bennett

Ratastic Newsflash for week of March 25th, 2019 “Dead Rats Telling Tails” Edition

In this edition, we’ll find out that hobbits aren’t just fictional characters in JRR Tolkien’s series, dead rats tell us a lot about how people lived back in the day!  Ceiling rats drop down in a ratpocalypse in Dallas, and a restaurant in San Bernadino, CA teaches us the consequences of not having a pest control program! Finally, New York City, home to dead rats Pizza Rat, and Avocado Rat, has a new dead rat star—Metrorat!   Just like dead rock stars, dead rats can be immortalized!


Last week’s quiz question! Which are bigger? Norway rats or roof rats?

Answer: Norway Rat 

This week’s quiz question:  What has bigger testicles–a rat or a gorilla?




Of Hobbits and Rats—An Archeological Story

It turns out that hobbits aren’t really as fictional as we may think.   National Geographic reports on an ongoing archeological expedition that reveals more about the species of human that was discovered in a limestone cave in Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores.   Homo floresiensis, was named the hobbit because they are

small in stature.   What’s even more interesting is that the cave they were found it is pretty much a rat cave because there are hundreds of rat remains that document over 60,000 years of major shifts in their populations, going all the way back to when hobbits started disappearing. The rat remains make up 80 percent of the identifiable remains at the site.  They weren’t your average rat either—they were giant ones. “Previously, scientists hypothesized that the large fauna on Flores went extinct. “The signal from the rats, however, suggests H. floresiensis’ departure from Liang Bua may simply be because they—and the others—left in search of more open environments,” Veatch says. (On the neighboring island of Sulawesi, scientists also found stone tools that may have belonged to a hobbit relative.) In essence, the hobbits and their giant animal neighbors didn’t necessarily die out at that time, but may have moved on to more hospitable parts of the island, says coauthor Thomas Sutikna of Wollongong University. “There is the possibility that some of them still survive after that time somewhere on Flores,” he says.   We’re not sure that anybody would want to run into any of them-it might be a real-life re-enactment of the movie “Jurassic Park!”   The point is, as much as we might want to eradicate rats, they are extremely useful to tell us how ancient humans lived. And that is a very cool thing.

Rats Drop from Ceilings in Dallas, Announcing a Major Infestation!

The Villa del Lagos Apartments in Dallas, TX became a scene out of a horror movie when rats started dropping out of the ceilings of various apartments (for more on ceiling rats, check out our article all about them!)    NBC-Dallas/Ft Worth reports that residents contacted their sister station Telemudo to report the issue: “Telemundo 39 reached out to the property manager, who initially told us that they are spraying for

pests every Thursday. However, it took several days for us to get a response regarding the specific conditions that Acosta was living in. However, she is not the only one experiencing this situation.”  My mom caught a rat, and I have a picture of another one. There are still many more in the house. We can hear them at night by the stove”, said Endy Ramirez, resident of Villas del Lago.   NBC/DFW has contacted the city of Dallas who is overseeing the eradication operations in the apartment complex.   Perhaps this apartment complex could benefit from a good Integrated Pest Management IPM program designed for apartment complexes that we covered in a recent white paper!

The Consequences of Businesses Not Having a Pest Control Program is Dire

Everyone can agree that cleanliness is paramount in a business that serves the general public.   Restaurants cannot afford to have issues with pests whether they be insects or

rats—and since rats spread so many diseases, restaurants cannot risk being shut down for health violations for rat problems.  One restaurant in San Bernardino, CA is finding out the consequences for not having a regularly implemented Integrated Pest Management program is costing them time and lots of money in lost revenue and fines.   The restaurant was closed for a week according to The Sun: “The inspector “observed rat droppings almost everywhere on the food display shelves and in the storage areas.” The facility had put out glue traps but had no pest-control services. The inspector also noted a leaking roof and water-damaged ceiling panels throughout the facility and told the operators to repair those immediately.”   The company hired a pest control company to come weekly, cleaned, and made the repairs, and opened back up on the 11thof March.  If you run a restaurant, the cost of not having an IPM program is much more than doing things right to begin with.  Talk to us about pointing you in right direction for pest management program that includes everything you need to do rat control right! Read our recent article An Ounce of Exclusion is Worth a Pound of Cure


MetroRat is New York City’s Newest Star!

He may be dead, but sometimes being dead makes for celebrity, especially when it comes

to New York City’s famous rats.  Rats like Pizza Rat, Avocado Rat and Subway Rat are gone, but their legends live on.  They’ve been joined by a newest member, MetroRat!  MetroRat somehow got into a token machine and when somebody put in their money, and went to take out their tokens, they just about got the surprise of their life and nearly put their hand on a rat right inside the token tray!  The Gothamist continues: “The MetroRat was allegedly spotted by a straphanger at the 18th Street subway station in Chelsea around noon about…a year and a half ago; it only went up on Subway Creatures’ Instagram account today though. Nicole Ranucci, who says she took the video, told The Gothamist she could see the rat’s tail dangling down into the change & receipt slot. “The rat dropped into the receipt holder from within the machine,” she said. “I noticed as I was using [the machine], no one else in the station seemed to notice it as it was the middle of the day. I believe the rat did get out on its own but I can’t be sure as I needed to catch the train, but I’m sure it did because it kept lifting the door to try to escape.”  Maybe he isn’t dead—maybe he just needed a Good Samaritan to get him some tokens so he could go see Subway Rat.  Or the ghost of Subway Rat.


NOTE. We are exhibiting at New York Pest Management Associations event April 30th, Russo’s on the Bay, 162-45 Cross Bay Blvd, Howard Beach NY 11414. Please come talk with us about rodent challenges and exclusion projects.     

Tags: Eco Friendly, Environmental impact, Fenn Trap, Integrated Pest Management, IPM, Mk 4 Fenn Trap, MK6 Fenn Trap, Mole traps, Moles, National Pest Management Association, National Wildlife Control Operators Association, New York City, NPMA, NWCOA, NYPMA, Pest Control, PestWorld2019, Public Health, Rat infestation, Rat Traps, Rats, Rodent Traps, Wildlife removal

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