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Rats Close to Home

July 17, 2002

I laughed at your July 10 article, "Westsiders Could Use the Pied Piper," because it wrongly blamed "urban sprawl ... [driving] animals from their dens" and the drought drying up food sources as reasons people have roof rats on their properties. Roof rats (Rattus rattus) don't come from our wild lands. They are human-introduced pests that are from the Old World. Roof rats and our household cockroaches, as well as European pigeons, are rarely found far from human habitation. Don't blame nature for the doings of people.

Fred Beerstein

Thousand Oaks

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