Ratastic News Week “Losing Control” Edition

David Bennett

In this edition of the Ratastic Newsflash, we’ll visit Los Angeles, CA, Number 2 on Orkin’s Rattiest Cities List for 2018, where an uncontrolled rat situation is spiraling quickly out of control.  Another place that is losing control of rats is an egg farm in Ohio, and finally, for the times we lose control of our emotions, particularly anxiety (produced by rats or life), the rat (complete with tiny lab coat), is helping to develop a vaccine from dirt (yes, dirt), to help us maintain control of stress and anxiety.


Last week’s quiz question! What’s a physical trait rats share with humans and two organs we have that they don’t?

Answer: Rats don’t have gallbladders or tonsils but they do have belly buttons.


This week’s quiz question: What do you call a group of rats?


Los Angeles—a city with exploding rat populations and no plan

Los Angeles has been battling a rat infestation that is beyond out of control for the last little while.  Ceres Avenue in particular, has become a major source of embarrassment as piles of trash eight feet high and a block long have invited thousands of rats to dine on the buffet of their dreams.   Some have blamed the homeless population, but the mayor rejected that idea, instead focusing on businesses and telling them that they can’t use Ceres Avenue for their own private dumping ground.  So the next logical step after the news highlighted the issue was to clean up the trash.   Makes sense. Often, the first step that pest control professionals tell clients is to clean up trash to help eliminate possible food and shelter sources for the hardy little blighters.   So they cleaned up the trash, and the next step they are taking are to crack down on businesses.  However, the homeless population has also grown 16 percent, and some politicians and downtown residents say that yes, indeed, the homeless issue needs to be dealt with as well because they say that they are responsible for most of the trash.  So one city councilman’s solution is to hire the homeless to clean up the trash. He introduced a motion to do just that, but the city has yet to fund it.  In fact, NBC I Team found that LA has no formal program to control rats like many otherc cities do.   While it may be time for the city of Los Angeles to put together a team to control rats, in the meantime, even after the trash got

cleaned up, the city’s rat population is continuing to spiral out of control.  The sheer numbers of rats and rat droppings has impressed even rodent experts.  And it’s spreading from  downtown to other parts of the city.  NBC Los Angeles explains“LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has already conceded that the city could “absolutely” be doing a better job to control the growing rat problem. Yet, LA still has no formal program to control rats, eight months after an epidemic of the disease typhus–which is spread by fleas which often live on rats. LAPD Officers have been diagnosed with suspected case of typhus, Salmonella Typhi.  The I-Team asked the Mayor to provide exact dates and locations where rat control efforts have taken place in the last two years. A statement received tonight from the Mayor’s office did not include those specifics, only referring to efforts in the Skid Row and Civic Center areas.  Cities like Washington D.C. have workers out every day plugging burrows where rodents nest and multiply. New York City’s mayor has a Rat Academy to train city workers and has a rat task force that meets weekly When asked why the city doesn’t have a team dedicated to rodent control, LA’s mayor told NBCLA, “We are putting together a team right now…It doesn’t have a name.” Again, the I-Team asked the Mayor’s office for names of people on that team,  but got no specifics.”    According to the news organization, there’s not even a way to report rat sightings through the city’s online 311 system.   Sounds like it’s time for a plan, and we can help with the weapons needed for your arsenal!


Egg Loving Rats Invade Egg Farm in Ohio

This next story isn’t meant to put you off your proper English breakfast (Americans also love a good breakfast fry-up!)  The rats are certainly enjoying free and unlimited access to the eggs, and the situation is fast getting out of control from the sounds of it.  The FDA has put owners of an egg farm in Ohio on notice after they found the farm had inadequate protections against Salmonella including rodent and fly infestations.   Food Safety News reports inspectors “observed and documented numerous violations including many live rodents throughout the facility, including on the egg conveyor belt in the laying house and in the rows of hens. Inspectors saw a bucket of dead rodents as well as multiple holes where rodents could enter the buildings.”    Clearly it’s time for the rats to be booted, holes sealed up, and a good clean up!


Anxious?  Rats can help!

If this entire news day hasn’t made you anxious or experiencing the heebie jeebies yet (as well as re-thinking whether you want to eat eggs anymore), then you are quite the stalwart person!   However, if life makes you anxious, a rat may be just the thing!  Remember way, way back when we told you rat brains are similar to our own?  Researchers from the University of Colorado-Boulder are maximizing that and explain that anxiety and stress cause brain inflammation—and a bacterium found in dirt in Uganda might be the key to directly protect the brain in the form of a vaccine. Tech Times explains: “Specifically, stress could negatively impact the neurotransmitters in the

brain, such as the norepinephrine or dopamine, which are responsible for the people’s mood.  On the other hand, probiotics have already shown its capability to positively affect the cognitive functions of the brain, thereby reducing the risks for anxiety and fear.  With these insights, the scientists set out to try whether there is a way that probiotics could directly protect the brain once it is affected by stress-induced inflammation…The researcher had already tried injecting male rodents with the Mycobacterium Vaccae to determine exactly what the bacterium does to the brain.  “We found that in rodents this particular bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, actually shifts the environment in the brain toward an anti-inflammatory state,” said Matthew Frank, the lead author for the study and a senior research associate in the university. “If you could do that in people, it could have broad implications for a number of neuroinflammatory diseases,” he added. The researchers highlighted that stress-related mental disorders, like anxiety and PSTD, affect one in four people.  Christopher Lowry, the senior author for the study and an associate professor in integrative physiology, has been studying Mycobacterium Vaccae for 17 years. He said he envisions a future where the bacterium or any other good bacteria could be utilized to safeguard the brain from the destructive effects of stress.”

Rats.  They’re a pain and cause pain, but at the same time, they help heal us.  What a delightful conundrum they present to us.   In the meantime, until an anxiety vaccine is available, stay calm, carry on, and contact us for all of your rat infestation needs!   We have traps, tunnels and know-how to help you get rid of them, and because we are a end to end rat control product distributor, we have RODEXIT proofing strips for exclusion  to keep them out of your business facilities! 


RodeXit Proofing strips for rodents, highlighting specifications for mouse  exclusion.



The spacing between the wires is designed, for prevention of rodents including mice.

Cross section illustration

  • Distance between the edges and the first wire is 3 mm.
  • Diameter of the wires is 1 mm.
  • Distance between the wires is 5 mm.



According to Robert Corrigan a small mouse requires a crevice opening of 6 mm (Page 108 in ”Rodent Control – A Practical Guide For Pest Management Professionals”) so 5 mm meets the challenge for a mouse.




Note: The RodeXit proofing strips symmetrical in design with no upside, downside, front or backside when deployed as a doorsweep when worn or damaged it can be repurposed, reused by simple inverting and remounting.

Linear foot Calculator tool for RodeXit proofing strips.

Standard packaging RodeXit proofing strips come in  roll/coil  of 27 Yards (81 Feet) Conveniently packaged to cut any required length on job site and for portability comes in a box.





  • Hardware component cost is essential component for generating estimates.
  • To simplify arithmetic check out our online RodeXit Linear foot cost calculator.
  • Plug in the price paid for the RodeXit box, the calculator will do the rest. (For commercial applications plug in optional  Stainless-Steel Shielding protection strips. Check it out below! 

         RodeXit Cost per Linear foot calculator 




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

Tags: Agriculture, Cityrats, Eco Friendly, Exclusion, Food quality and safety, Integrated Pest Management, IPM, Mk 4 Fenn Trap, MK6 Fenn Trap, National Pest Management Association, Norway rats, NPMA, NWCOA, NYPMA, Orkin, PestWorld2019, Public Health, Quality Assurance, Rat infestation, Rat Traps, Rodent exclusion, Rodent Traps, Rodexit, Salmonella, Urbanrats

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