Sunday, June 21, 2015
One of the features of the new modern walkable urban city is unintended.
A large and rapidly growing rat population.
Urban density means more people per square mile. Density has the same effect on rat populations. More people, more rats.
Downtown Seattle is overrun with rats. Seeing these rodents is nothing new for city dwellers. But the numbers and sizes of today's rats is stunning, some as large as small dogs. I am not exaggerating. Check out the size of this rat.
Here is a news report on how bad the problem is in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood where Pike Place Market and the Space Needle can be found. By the way, tenants pay an average $2,700 a month for a two bedroom apartment here.
The best evidence of the growing rat population is not seeing the actual creatures who are mostly nocturnal and great at hiding from predators---like you and me.
Instead, it is the proliferation of rat traps placed EVERYWHERE. I took these photographs in a single day on a single walk in downtown Seattle. Believe me when I say I could have taken many, many more.
Trying to control rat populations with traps like this is the equivalent of emptying Lake Erie with a teaspoon.
Politicians do not like to talk about rats. Rat extermination programs are always underfunded. Can you imagine a mayor running on a platform of more money for rat control? But the subject of rats is not discussed because it is the "green" decisions of city managers to emphasize composting of food waste and recycling programs over quick and effecting trash pickups which are causing this explosion in rat populations. Here is an article directly attributing Seattle's rat problems to the city's own recycling program. If the mainstream media finally gets it, you know the problem is much larger than they claim.
To those advocates of high urban density, just remember where lots of people go, rats follow. And people also do not want to spend $1 million for a 1,200 square foot condo when rats are part of their daily life.