As you probably know, mid-Cambridge has become infested by rats over the past few months. My neighbors and I are trying to figure out best practices and environmentally safe strategies to reduce the number of rats that are running across our patios, setting up homes in our yards, eating holes through our trash bins, etc.
For example, two doors down from me, there is an old tree stump in my neighbor's yard with at least six large holes (4-5 inches in diameter) dug in the dirt next to the stump. I have seen multiple rats go in and out of these holes and through my yard, eating all the plants. My neighbors acknowledge that rats are indeed living on their property, but they have declined to address the issue.
I have called an exterminator to consult about the problem, but I don't even know if it is legal for me to do anything to the rats, and I certainly don't want to harm any pets or other animals in the neighborhood. However, because rats reproduce every three weeks, I don't think the right answer is to do absolutely nothing. Eventually, the rats will make their way indoors.
Can you please let know the city's recommendations for handling this sort of situation? I would really appreciate it.