Ok, listen, I don't know how relevant or interesting this is, but we here on 22nd Ave are experiencing what I believe is an invasion of biblical proportions of, ahem, RATS.
There have been numerous collaborative sightings. My back yard (One, about 10 days ago), the neighbors back yard, and as of last night, the laurel hedges in between the #131 and those townhouses. I actually saw a rat running on the overhead electrical wires. DEATH FROM ABOVE.
A neighbor speculates the rats are coming in from the demolition of the Deano's block. I know this is a "Rat City". It's an old "Wharf Town" and there's always been rats. But, we are not in Pioneer Square and we do not have huge open garbage/food sources so I'm at wits end.
I'm contemplating everything from repopulating the neighborhood with Barn Cats I "Find" out in Buckley (or wherever there's barns), to adopting a round dozen of Rat Terriers and/or both and setting them all loose in the streets. Or, moving to the Moon. The common consensus on 22nd is we lay traps, which is all fine and well for people that can deal with that sort of thing. It's not about being squeamish, it's about not being able to look at rodents, unless they're in a cage and even at that...
So. That's my report. Crack Heads didn't make me move. Encroaching development and the fresh hell that is parking on 22nd won't make me move. Ever increasing property taxes won't make me move. Even terrifying tiny field mice haven't made me move. But RATS? Rats will displace me. I will flee.
And from another correspondent:
Part of the demolition of the Deano's property has lead to an unwelcome group of 'guests'. That's right, Rats!
I live about a block away and I have seen big rats scouring around for new homes. Just today, there was a really big rat on my neighbor's front porch. Just sitting there. Not afraid of the humans around.
One of my neighbors saw three rats just kind of hanging around.
That is just the removal of the two houses and I'm wondering what will happen when the larger buildings go down. How many rats are going to come out of that?!
What should we do? What should we prepare for?
I certainly don't want the rats in my house and I suppose that other don't want them as well.
Sent the first messge to Jim Mueller and he noted:
We had an exterminator in the buildings for several weeks before demolition so hopefully we are not causing the problem.
Anyway, I doubt that you will see much from the demolition because of the precautions we took, and the rats are probably neighborhood denizens.
Nonetheless, keep us posted if it seems there is a continuing problem.
Jim notes further:
We had an exterminator in there for weeks to make sure no rats were left before we started demolition.
I am checking to see what is going on. It is possible these were woodpile rats or rats from outside the buildings in the tall grass area that were disturbed by the onsite activity.
Maybe we can put some benign traps out for a period of time on the site, behind the fence, to see if we can catch the critters.
My cat was taken by one of the infamous neighborhood coyotes last year, or I’d be able to bring her over.
We’ll need to ask the exterminator for advice in the AM.
So, please submit comments (or E-mails) about any rat sightings.
Update (6/6/08): The exterminator says this described behavior is indicative of the "poisoned" rat. There has been a small amount of consumption of the poisoned bait in the last period.
Update #2 (6/06/08 PM): Jim and the affected neighbors are all in contact and are working together on the rat issue. Looks like the start of a long happy relationship with our new neighbor (Jim, not the rats!).