BEVERLY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Water rats have become such a problem in Beverly that they're now top of mind for the city's elected officials. The North Shore city's City Council spent most of a two hour special meeting on Monday discussing how the problem has arisen and ways to solve it.
To make matters worse, residents are complaining about people feeding the wildlife — Ward 1 City Councilor Todd Rotondo said he's seen a neighbor do that himself. Other problems members pointed to were overflowing dumpsters, and improperly stored trash, and the possibility that construction was causing the rat issue.
Joan Matton, a Beverly resident who has lived in the city for her entire life, said she's never seen the rat problem this bad in 58 years. Matton had to call in an exterminator, which cost her just shy of $800. The rat problem started to go away when proper trash storage was introduced, like trash barrels with lids.
"That problem has been solved, because there was pressure put on the owners," she said.
A pest control expert from Waltham also presented at the meeting, and said it isn't as simple as just changing one thing, but that neighborhood compliance with health orders and proper trash management would help.
WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) has more: