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SF Rat Infestation Provides a Lesson for Fresno Residents

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Rats love birdseed so be careful about where you put it out and store it. (Shutterstock)
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A rat infestation in a San Francisco neighborhood offers a vital tip to Fresno residents battling the disgusting, destructive, disease-spreading villains.

Don’t store or spread birdseed where rats can feed.

ABC7 reports that a woman putting out hundreds of pounds of birdseed in San Francisco’s Glen Park area is responsible for the rat infestation there.

In fact, pest control contractors are setting out traps in sewers to assess the severity of the problem.

$100,000 in Losses for One Business

One Glen Park store owner,  Janet Tarlov, says that her business had to close temporarily because of rats and has suffered extensive damage.

“It’s getting close to $100,000. It’s rough. We’re trying to recover from the pandemic,” Tarlov told ABC7.

Tarlov also said that she confronted the so-called “Birdseed Lady” about throwing birdseed on sidewalks.

“When I told her no you can’t do that, that’s going to attract rodents, she spit on me,” Tarlov said.

Besides spreading disease, rats chew through wiring and are a common cause of electrical shorts and house fires, experts say.

They invade houses for warmth, food, water, and to nest.

Tips for Rat-Proofing Your Home

Homeowners should check their houses for potential entry points and seal them up, as well as fix leaky pipes and dripping sprinklers.

It’s also important to pick up dog poop and any fruit that has fallen to the ground. Don’t leave stacks of wood around, as rats like to nest there.

Finally, store dog food in a secure container that rats can’t chew through.

Watch: ‘Birdseed Lady’ Causes SF Rat Infestation

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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