‘Super rats’ wreak havoc in Southie – Boston Herald

After an 8-year-old boy was bitten by a rat last week at the Mary Ellen McCormack housing project, the Boston Housing Authority has declared war on the vermin, but some residents yesterday complained that the South Boston development is still so infested with the brazen critters they fear going out at night — and daytime isn’t much better.

“It’s horrible. I see them every day … they’re big rats, like super rats. It’s very disgusting. I put my trash out during the day, because I don’t like going out at night,” said Thomasine Graham, 30, a mother of two young girls. “They are doing extermination, but nothing is happening. It’s like the rats run the project.”

“We’re inundated with rats and we have been complaining for a year,” said Jane DuWors, 75. “They play tag at night and they’re even out during the daytime. You go to put your garbage in the barrel and they jump out of the barrel in your face. I don’t mean one or two. I counted nine.”

Lydia Agro, spokeswoman for the Housing Authority, said after an 8-year-old boy was bitten by a rat on his foot while playing during the day in the project’s Sterling Square on Aug. 18, a new exterminator was brought in to bait traps and seal burrow holes seven days a week.

“The recent construction at Old Colony (housing project) has exacerbated the problem and we are working diligently with our pest control company to resolve it,” Agro said, noting trash bins are being replaced with “heavier duty” containers. “It’s something we manage on an ongoing basis.”

Stephen Laverty of the Mary Ellen McCormack Tenant Task Force said he believes the exterminators are doing everything they can but “there are just so many of them … there are ratholes in front of almost every building.”

In a visit to the development yesterday afternoon, a Herald reporter saw two rats scamper across the grounds, climbing into burrowed holes along the foundations of buildings — near older openings that were sealed with plastic foam or rocks.

“There are rats in my hallway. Before we go upstairs, we have to make a noise,” said Laniece Campbell, 26. “The rats had me and my kids and my sister running out the hallway one time.”

Angela Mitchell, 24, is afraid her three kids will get bitten. “The rats are all over the place. … I fear for them every day. That’s why I come in the house at 7 o’clock.”

Wendy Brailsford, 40, said she has even had rats in her apartment.

“The rat population is bad here. Something needs to be done about it,” she said.

‘Super rats’ wreak havoc in Southie – Boston Herald
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