Rat Sightings Are on the Rise in Boston. Here's Why It Could Be Happening

City Councilor Ed Flynn attributes the problem to rats losing their food sources as restaurants shut down

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The city of Boston is launching an “aggressive campaign” to address the rise in rat activity amid an influx of complaints about the rodents in multiple neighborhoods, The Boston Herald reports.

The Inspectional Services Department says the agency “will begin an aggressive campaign to diminish the rodent population in Boston,” according to the paper.

Some, including City Councilor Ed Flynn, are attributing the problem to rats losing their food sources as restaurants shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.

The report comes as a Boston City Council committee held a hearing on Tuesday to address rodent control and illegal dumping – which could be worsening the problem, as well.

"During the COVID crisis we have heard increased reports of the problems related to rat infestations in our neighborhoods," one official said on Zoom.

An ISD spokesperson told the paper the agency has been distributing information brochures about rodent control in Allston, Brighton, East Boston and Chinatown.

Eric Homan of Ultra Safe Pest Management says the problem extends beyond Boston.

"We’re seeing a lot of increase activity in surrounding communities such as Somerville has had a massive influx, Winchester, Medford, Stoneham, even up on the North Shore," he said. "More people being home means they’re consuming more food at home so inevitably more food is gonna be in the trash barrels."

Homan offered this advice for anyone trying to protect themselves from the pests:

"Just being more conscious when you’re eating food inside the house, to not be eating in the bedroom. Try to confine it to the kitchen, cleaning up afterwards," he shared.

Neighbors seem to need the guidance as they try any trick to rid their homes of rats.

"Look around the home for potential entry points typically around the foundation," Homan said.

Pest management experts also say high vegetation and standing water can attract rats.

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