Boston rat rampage

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 9, 2009

Some experts familiar with this city’s darkest and most polluted tunnels, alleyways, and corners could have predicted this. “In the 1995-to-1997 era, we accomplished one of the most effective rodent-kill programs in the US,” Colvin told Boston Business Journal in 2002. “Now it’s been cut back drastically. There’s a tendency to think that if you’re not seeing rats, the program’s not needed anymore. But the reason you’re not seeing rats is that the program was working.”

“Boston’s age counts against it, and so does the fact that it’s a major port,” says Kaukeinan, who in the past has consulted Boston and Big Dig officials about rodents. “Back in the ’80s, there was healthy federal funding for this sort of thing, but that dried up. If you don’t have a proactive program— like Boston did for a while — then you’re basically putting out fires all the time. . . . Compared to any other city, yours is a perfect playground for rats.”

Chris Faraone can be reached at

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