Rat Control - Bethesda school dealing with rats
By: Bill Myers
Examiner Staff Writer
March 9, 2010
Students in a Bethesda elementary school are getting a hands-on lesson in pest control as their teachers and principals find themselves fighting off a rat infestation.
In an e-mail to parents and staff, Burning Tree Elementary School officials announced that they had found a rat's nest on campus and "two or Three [sic] dead rats."
Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig blamed February's blizzard for the school's new tenants.
"The snow, just like with a house, makes schools attractive places to hide," he said. "It doesn't appear to be widespread."
School officials have laid 42 traps and caught at least two rats, principal Nancy Erdrich said in a statement, which was reported by The Washington Post.
"Your children have not been in any danger," Erdrich was quoted as saying. "Our building services staff has been working hard to keep the building clean and they are sanitizing affected areas."
Efforts to reach the school's parents association on Monday were unsuccessful. Rats are common, though unwelcome, visitors to schools - where there's lots of places to hide and plenty of crumbs to munch.
An elementary school in Saugus, Mass., was shut down twice in late January and early February because of rats in the cafeteria and in a kindergarten vent.
The problem is international in scope: A school in County Carlow, Ireland, was shuttered in February because of a rat infestation; a school in Wales was closed last summer after rats took over the school's cafeteria.
In late February, a school district in Edinburgh, Scotland, reported that school officials had summoned exterminators 625 times in a year to deal with infestations of ants, mice, rats and even squirrels.
Rats steal food, gnaw on electric cables and wires, tear up the inside of walls and carry more than 70 diseases, from leptospirosis, a kidney and liver disease, to the bubonic plague.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Bethesda-school-dealing-with-rats-86998372.html#ixzz0hoYu6vII
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