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Some Perspective On SF’s Impending Ratpocalypse From An Urban Rodentologist

November 22, 2013

By Rose Garrett : sfist – excerpt

Last week came word that construction of the far-off Central Subway project may be displacing an urban rat army. But before freaking out completely (and just slightly after reading the Wikipedia entry on rat kings), we decided to follow up with someone beyond the Chron’s one-man civilian witness. We reached out to Dr. Robert M. Corrigan, an Urban Rodentologist from RMC Pest Management Consulting, for answers to our burning rat-related questions. Here’s what we learned.

On SF’s rats in general: “There are two species of urban rats that live in San Francisco; 1) the Norway rat (or brown rat); and 2) The roof rat (or black rat). If construction impacts the rats below ground, it is usually the ground dwelling Norway rat (weight about 10-16 ounces; length about 16 inches including the tail). The roof rat weighs about 8-12 ounces and is about the same length as the larger Norway rat because its tail is long. This rat, if present in a building, is usually in the upper stories. If the building is taken down, they will disperse. They also live in tall palm trees, thick bushes along the fences, etc. If major construction tears down bushy vacant lots, etc., this rat can be displaced).”

The good news: “There are no ‘super rats’ from deep deep below the city; nor any super rats emerging as a result of climate change (at least not in this early stage in the game).”

The bad news: There are rats that live in palm trees (!), and someone (perhaps a rat insider?) just spent $450,000 to put thirty-odd palms along the new Bay Bridge span. Hello rat condos with a view…

So far, no word on whether a “rat king” has emerged to rule the rat army, but as construction proceeds into Chinatown, a tidal wave of agitated rats could be just around the corner… (more)

Central Subway Construction Stirs Subterranean Rat Army

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2013 5:23 pm

    Ettiquetti, Please! You spoke of a rat and you spoke of rodent in the same paragraph.
    For shame! But a rodentologist? I suggest that you keep the verbiage clear and use the US Navy term: Deratization. That gets you deratization Planners, Area wide deratization projects. Deratization Companies will grow. Something like ghost busters (Ratbusters?) may become economically viable.
    Hell, we can even give that rat (on the yellow truck’s graphics) back his mallet!


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