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— Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

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Rats are turning up in people’s homes in alarming and unprecedented numbers in the Depot area, down below the Franklin County courthouse.
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(Generic photo, not from Malone)

(Generic photo, not from Malone)

“I had one on my damn porch,” writes one incensed neighbor.  “It about gave me a heart attack. The little fucker chewed a hole in my big plastic trash can at the top. I put a trap out there with poison and it hasn’t been back! I have lived here for almost 5 years and never have I seen something of the sort. It was disgusting!”

Another wrote: “Been here since 1999 and never seen, heard or had any evidence of their presence until last year, when the neighbors caught 2 in traps. And then my dog barking and barking at the garage.  We finally decided to let her go, to find out what her problem was — ” whereupon they discovered this:
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Rattus rattus
.  Also known as the black rat, as distinct from Rattus norvegicus, the brown rat.  Turns out the family pooch was barking at Rattus on a car wheel in the garage.

It gets worse.  This one was photographed by a woman in her kitchen!
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And “worser.”  This was photographed — yup, you guessed it!
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(What if you were in a hurry and didn’t think to inspect the toilet before — oh no!  Let me just say, if you live in the Depot, be sure to check the toilet seat.)

While I was typing the above paragraph, this gem arrived in my Inbox.  Trapped by a gentleman living on Fort Covington Street, in (what I’m going to call) Rat Depot.
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Rats are worth worrying about.  Consider the Black Death, which killed roughly half the population of Europe in the mid-14th century (1300’s).
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