Ratastic News Week “Saskatoon, Salem and Birmingham, Oh My!” Edition

David Bennett David Bennett

This week, we take you into new, gross territories—deep fried rat, Sneaker Rat who found eternal rest (and fame) in the soft bed of a Nike Roshe Run shoe, rats in the Witch City, rats who can’t get into Alberta get into Saskatoon!  Hold on to your hats, click your heels, cause here we go!

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada seeks more money for rat eradication

The Star Phoenix reports that ten years ago, there was a rat problem in one house in Saskatoon. 


(We bet people in New York City are thinking “if only….”).   The man shot one rat and poisoned five more, all funded through a rat control program funded by the provincial and federal governments.   “If you see one rat, you’ve got a problem,” that man, Mr. Tessier, now reeve of the Rural Municipality in southwest Saskatchewan said—and he’s part of a group of politicians who are worried about the potential effects of lower funding for rat control in the province.   They plan to ask the association representing them for more money.   They are one of 11 Rural Municipalities signing a resolution to ask the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities to help restore the program which ended in March of this year.   They are hoping to keep future costs (and infestations) down because an infestation would naturally cost more money to control. They should consider maximizing their Integrated Pest Management program effectiveness  to include eco-friendly Fenn Traps.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say.   Neighboring Alberta is rat free.  Maybe it’s witchcraft.Witchcraft or not felt in necessary to include link to MUST WATCH Epic Video  “Alberta Blocks Rats” video

Salem, MA, The Witch City, experiences rise in rat complaints in city, surrounding areas

The rat has been a familiar for witches throughout folklore.  Even in Harry Potter, Ron Weasley’s familiar is Scabbers, the rat.  But in the Witch City, far from being a familiar, rat complaints are on the rise and even the witches in Salem can’t seem to be rid of them.  The Salem News reports that in the neighboring communities of Danvers and Beverly, the rats keep coming back and have been coming

back after pest control measures were taken, for years.  A resident said “It doesn’t matter how many times you take care of your rat problem.  If they’re all over, they’re just going to

come back.”   The Health Division has created an online notification system (similar to Boston), for residents to report rodent sightings. So far the system has been rather popular, with reports coming in as soon as the link was posted on social media.    Town officials don’t know what they’re going to do about the problem, but say they are in a data collection phase for now.   The town can’t conduct pest control on private property, so they are focusing on education—

removing trash and other food sources, water sources and shelter that rats may use.   They are also contemplating enforcement and order residents to eliminate unsanitary places rodents might be

attracted to.  Peabody is also experiencing issues, and they focus on education, then enforcement measures if residents are resistant to doing what the town recommends. They can lay baits in the sewers, but they have noticed the rats don’t touch the baits suggesting there is another food source they are accessing.  Beverly and Salem also experience rat issues, and like Peabody, they also will educate residents, make recommendations, enforce is necessary and lay baits in sewers. They investigate first to see if there are any places rats may be finding food, water or shelter and Salem has another challenge—rats like water, and Salem is on the sea.   These communities are trying to get residents to work together with the town for successful eradication.

Birmingham, UK takeaway restaurant owners discover rats are really, really expensive

According to the Birmingham Mail, enforcement takes on a whole new meaning when you own a restaurant in the UK.  Two unlucky fast food restaurant owners discovered how expensive finding a dead rat can be when inspectors found a dead rat floating in a waste oil container in the rear yard.   The

owners were fined 11,000 pounds (14,123.93 USD) as well as 140 pounds (179.76 USD) in costs and 100-pound (128.40 USD) victim surcharge.  The owners failed to put into place adequate food safety

management procedures, failure to keep premises and food preparation equipment clean, failing to provide hot water to the sink, and hand wash basin, and failing to comply with a notice to fix the hot water issue; the place was poorly kept, and the business was closed. A fourteen-thousand-dollar rat.   Reminds us of the rat trapped in the ATM who ate about that amount in money before dying, literally flush with cash. Rats are expensive!


In New York City, a rat finds fame after death—its coffin, a sneaker

The Cut reports that on a New York curb lay a shoe box and a single black Nike sneaker.  In the sneaker, in somnolent bliss lay a rat, reclining undisturbedly amidst the loud, busy New York City crowds and honking cars on the busy street, which streamed by it as if it were not there.    Pizza Rat was


cheeky, and Avocado Rat health conscious—but Sneaker Rat raised the bar on what a rat needs to do to become famous.   For Sneaker Rat wasn’t just a rat of taste choosing a Nike shoes to sleep in, and he wasn’t JUST sleeping.  He was doing the Big Sleep we all will come to someday. His comfy bed, the sneaker in an instant, transformed into a coffin, little paw draped over the side of the sneaker while the other paw reclined in rigor mortis on his furry little chest.   Like his brother Sad Rat, entombed for all eternity in a  New York City sidewalk crack, Sneaker Rat has gone to the great Garbage Pile in the Sky.   And the Internet and NYC has taken Sneaker Rat into its embrace—especially now that it is known he was dead the whole time he was enshoed—er—entombed in that very high end shoe.  How did he get there?  Did he seek a death with dignity rather than the usual fated rat death in the impersonal gutters of the city?    Or did somebody carefully place Sneaker Rat’s cold, dead corpse in the sneaker trying to give Sneaker Rat the comfort he never found in the rough, cold streets?

We may never know. But he did get a fitting send off on Twitter, by NYC Informer, who let the world know that Sneaker Rat wasn’t napping. He was dead.

We mourn with you, New York.   RIP Sneaker Rat!

Tags: Environmental impact, Fenn Trap, Integrated Pest Management, Mk 4 Fenn Trap, MK6 Fenn Trap, National Pest Management Association, National Wildlife Control Operators Association, NPMA, NWCOA, Pest Control, Pesticide, Public Health, Rat infestation, Rat poisen, Rat Traps, Rats, Wildlife removal

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