By Killian Maree-North Star Reporter Intern
The rat problem that the town has faced for quite some time has continued, as seven rat sightings have been reported in the month of November.
Locations where rats have been reported include Mt. Hope Street, High Street, Allen Avenue, and Mendon Road. Over the summer, a colony of 100-200 rats was found in a dumpster at a condo on Park Street.
The rats are Norway Rats, and are most likely coming from surrounding towns that are trying to drive them out. They have been found in places such as in pet’s food. There are many ways to prevent these rodent sightings.
“We advise hiring a professional pest control person,” said Sheri Miller-Bedau, North Attleborough’s Health Agent. “Dumpsters may need to be switched out if they have holes, covers to be tight on trash bins. Best to put trash out the day of pick up.”
The main concern for the health professionals in the town has been secondary poisoning, an event that occurs when an organism eats another organism with poison in its system. If people put out their own rat bait, secondary poisoning is likely to occur.
“Sanitation is key,” said Miller-Bedau.
Rats can carry numerous diseases, including rabies, Bubonic Plague, hemorrhagic fever, and Salmonellosis. These diseases can be passed to other animals, and is another big concern for health professionals.
There are poisons that are effective, however Animal Control Officer Felicia Camera previously said that when trash is present, it is difficult to get the rats to go for the poison.
The most effective way to get rid of these rodents is to place a plate of instant mashed potatoes next to a bowl of water in the area that you have seen the rats. The rodents will eat the potatoes and then drink the water, expanding the potatoes in their stomachs and causing them to burst.
“If you see a group of rodents leave that area and report the situation to the Health Department and Animal Control,” said Miller-Bedau. “That would be a rare occurrence, usually people will only see a few at a time. They are very good at hiding and mainly come out at night.”