Ratastic News Week “D-Day” Edition

David Bennett David Bennett

This week is D-Day for rats all over the world!  From Superior, Wisconsin to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, rats are experiencing their doom whether by bounties on their heads, or demolition of empty buildings where they make their homes!  One of the issues with rats were brought on by sadly, neglect of dogs, and maybe the rats in their way saved the dogs.  Some other issues were brought on by not having enclosed garbage cans, leaving food litter everywhere but the garbage cans, construction and other common rat attractant issues.  So read on and applaud the destruction of the problems that led to the rats ultimate demise!

Did rats save the dogs? Superior, Wisconsin abandoned home being used as dog kennel attracts lots of rats

Superior, Wisconsin, located on the western tip of Lake Superior, and known for being kind of a sister city to Duluth, Minnesota across the Blatnik Bridge, which connects the two communities and also known for great lake fishing, hunting and well—being scenic, but “colder by the lake,” encountered a rat problem that led to a situation of animal abuse neglect and the consequent charging of the owner with multiple Class A felonies. 


But what brought attention to the dogs, were the rats.  Rats love dog poo.  They love to eat it.   Here was a veritable paradise smorgasbord of dog doo for the rats to feast upon!  It was the dream food supply that never ended—of course, until it did.  The Duluth News Tribune said that a neighbor noticed rats nesting in a car, and tall grass on the property. That brought out the authorities who searched the house, which was made unbearable throughout by the stench of doggy doo—and the poor neglected dogs were saved.  All were adopted out but one who was so far gone it had to be put to sleep.  

The house is under a raze-and/or repair order.  The owner, who was living in North Dakota and basically used the house as a dog kennel, but didn’t live there himself, hasn’t decided whether to tear down the house or repair it to make it safe and livable.   The exterminators have been out multiple times to take care of the rats. 

Bounty on the Heads of Rats In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Results in Big Bucks for the Population

Rats are big business in Malaysia, where bounties have been put on their heads by the city government. For each rat someone—anyone really—kills, they earn 1 ringgit (worth about one US quarter).   So far, since the city government implemented this, over 78,000 rats have met their demise for cold, hard cash.   The Star Online reports:  “There were 64 leptospirosis, or commonly known as rat urine, cases in Kuala Lumpur this year compared to 160 last year, he said. What a brilliant idea!

The campaign was launched in 2012 with a RM1 reward for each rat caught. The amount was increased to RM3 in 2015.”

Community to use red squill to kill legendary giant rats

In Lewiston, Idaho, they have an uneasy relationship at best with squirrels, whose populations are booming and who are busy planting a bumper crop of walnut trees everywhere, and the marmots, who according to this article, busy trying to flood Lewiston by drilling holes in the nearby levee system holding back the Snake River.   

And then there’s the rats.  Rats have become such a problem in this Idaho community that the local paper has declared D-Day for today—Monday, September 24, 2018.    D-Day. 

A sanitarian, a cop, and a Fish and Wildlife guy got together in a bar…

No. Not really. They’re the three guys who are going to be laying a lot of rat bait.

Thousands of baits of rat poison, called red squill are being laid everywhere.  This is no ordinary prey for Fish and Wildlife.  No. These are rats that are a foot long from stem to stern. Giant rats.  The Lewiston Tribune reports:

Hatley expects to harvest a crop of rats measuring one foot from nose to tail tip, he said yesterday. First results will not be known until tomorrow, since it takes approximately 14 hours for red squill to break down a rat’s nervous system.

Oh yeah.  The firemen spread the poison on dry bread.  This is a community endeavor and these people take public service seriously.

Red squill (Urginia maritima) is a natural rodenticide that comes from a plant that looks like a big

onion.  The bulb extracts and dried powder are highly toxic and have been used as a rodenticide since the 13thcentury.   It was used widely in the US up until the 1950s when the advent of anticoagulant poisons began. Now there is a need for poisons other than anticoagulants, so research is being done on red squill. (For more information about red squill, check out this report from a rodent control conference held at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1986!)   Rural areas like the poison because it has been found to be safe for farm animals, thus the collateral damage is low.   However, studies have also found that it works for the Norway rat, but not the brown rat although it is toxic for both but at different levels—the brown rat apparently has more discerning taste buds and the red squill doesn’t taste good to them so along with a superior digestive system, which allows it to escape death to a high extent.  (Rats are wondrous creatures!)  Poor palatability is one major drawback of red squill.  

It takes red squill 48 hours to break down in the rat’s system. According to ScienceDirect, “Scilliroside (the active agent in red squill), has an emetic property; thus, if rodents ingest a product containing scilliroside, because they are incapable of vomiting, they develop glycoside intoxication and pulmonary edema.

Good luck against the giant rats!  Our Mark 6 traps are great for giant rats!  Call us!  Rats don’t eat them, and they’ve never seen these traps before!   Coupled with deadly force, they’re a great addition to your rat control strategy and arsenal!





Visit us at  PestWorld 2018 meeting on October 23rd – 26th  in Orlando, Booth # 733, Chat with us about your challenges, review 5 minute industrialized strength Fenn trap demonstration, be entered into daily drawing to win cash.

Tags: Environmental impact, Fenn Trap, Glycoside intoxication, Mk 4 Fenn Trap, MK6 Fenn Trap, National Pest Management Association, NPMA, Pest Control, Pesticide, PestWorld2018, Public Health, pulmonary edema, Rat infestation, Rat poisen, Rat Traps, Rats, Red squill, Urginia marítima

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