The View From Prospect Hill – August 1

On August 1, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

We take pride in the special qualities that make our city such a great place to live and work in. Quaint residential neighborhoods co-exist with our urban centers in a seamless patchwork that blends comfort with efficiency in so many ways. Why then are we saddled with the seemingly never-ending problem of rodent infestation?

Recent studies conducted by officials and the agencies charged with tackling the problem have primarily pointed to the difficult to deal with issue of apathy on the part of landowners and their tenants when it comes to joining in the battle.

Improperly stored and disposed-of refuse is repeatedly cited as being a major contributor to the problem. Officials are proposing serious crackdowns on those who need to get with the program. It is difficult to argue against such action in light of the fact that rodent populations have reportedly risen by 50 percent in the first half of 2012. That is a startling statistic, once taken in completely. What will Somerville’s streets be like in the future if this trend continues? One shudders at the prospect.

We ask all Somerville property owners and their tenants to do everything they can to make this rodent eradication program a success. Your neighbors will thank you – and your property values won’t be harmed one little bit either.

We have much to celebrate about our fabulous city. Let us not allow this particular problem to drag us down. We deserve much better than that.


2 Responses to “The View From Prospect Hill – August 1”

  1. A Moore says:

    Unless people work together(unlikely) it probably will just get worse as this city becomes more congested. I never understood the need to throw stuff and litter and not keep your place clean.

  2. A. Ostrowski says:

    The city of Somerville has a high transient (student) as well as low-income, international population. It also has a high proportion of absentee landlords, including some of the buildings managed by the Somerville Housing Authority. A rodent eradication program needs to be built into the budget of Somerville and Mayor Curatone needs to make it happen. What is in place is inadequate. What would it look like? Rodent-resistant receptacles for all residents based on a tier system of payment making them free for low-income households. An adequate number of trash receptacles also. Even the best intentioned residents should flip their trash cans over and check for holes there on a regular basis. Twice weekly trash removal in summer months. Bilingual door to door trash and recycling educators in low-income areas. Rodent baiting AND trapping — a necessary approach as baiting alone is not adequate with a rodent infestation. The baiting and trapping should not rely on phone calls to 311 but be on a regular schedule. Many residents do not use 311 due to language barriers, different comfort levels with rodents from their own country of origin, as well as frustration from little or nothing happening when 311 was called. The cleaning and upkeep of clogged/trash filled sewers at their street entry ways is a must as well as emptying of the city’s own sidewalk trashcans. For starters. And the news media in Somerville must do a better job in representing the residents own experiences with rodents via getting hard facts from residents, taking pictures, and spending time at night in neighborhoods to see what is actually taking place in rodent infested areas. The city cannot get by on “cracking down” anymore.

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