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(CNSNews.com) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he is worried that a new District of Columbia law that governs how pest control operators must handle rats may result in entire rodent “families” being relocated across the Potomac River into Virginia by D.C. pest control personnel.
Lately, there have been reports of growing rat infestations around the Occupy DC protests at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square.
The law does not allow pest control professionals “to kill the dang rats,” Cuccinelli told CNSNews.com. “They have to capture them--then capture them in families. [Not sure] how you’re going to figure that out with rats. And then you have to relocate them. That brings us to Virginia. Now, if you don’t relocate them about 25 miles away, according to experts, rodents will find their way back. Well, an easy way to solve that problem is to cross a river, and what’s on the other side of the river? Virginia.”
Does the exterminator have to take DNA from these rats or is he supposed to tell what species they are just by looking?
While the law exempts “commensal rodents”--varieties of which most people know (or have seen) as common rats or house mice--the rice rat and deer mouse, which are found in the District, are not defined as commensal and apparently are not exempt from the law.
Endangered Status The Rice Rat, a subspecies of the Marsh Rice Rat, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Florida, where it lives in the westerly Keys. This rat historically lived in salt marsh habitat, and its decline came as its habitat was destroyed to make way for residential and commerical development in the Florida Keys. Much of Rice Rat's remaining habitat is within the National Key Deer Refuge, and thus is protected
awwwwww...... for cute. So, while rats and mice are the hated species of the planet, at least we might have a shread of understanding why the Rice Rat is protected -- it's endangered.
Description Small grayish Oryzomys with tail about equal to head and body length. Has a dark mid-dorsal stripe, the belly and feet are whitish, and the tail is bicolored.
Description The most widespread, geographically and ecologically variable mouse in North America. Has large black bulging eyes, relatively large, naked ears, fine, smooth-lying fur, and white feet.
Warning The droppings of the Deer Mouse have been associated with a sometimes fatal illness in humans called hantavirus. Never vacuum or sweep mouse droppings; thoroughly wet the area with a disinfectant, then carefully wipe up the droppings with a wet cloth.