Here is an important message from our Health Director, Ruth Clay, MPH.
Spring has arrived, and along with the good weather we are seeing an increase in a variety of wildlife sightings. Specifically, a number of residents have noted seeing rats in different neighborhoods. We understand how distressing this can be and are actively working with residents to deal with the issue head on. Rodent control is under my authority, and in my 20 years here in Melrose I have dealt with several cases. My staff and I take this issue very seriously, and we have considerable experience in dealing with this issue over the years.
Here are some measures that the Health Department has implemented:
- Call the Health Department if you see rodents on your property or public property (781-979-4130 or email@example.com). A Health Inspector will come out personally and walk the property with you, looking for burrows and anything that may be attractive to rats, and will help you solve the problem.
- The Health Department is mapping the locations of sightings to identify any common areas and to implement a plan to eradicate them.
- The Health Department has contracted a licensed Pest Control Operator to perform targeted application of pesticides in storm drains. The contractor we use is trained to work in residential areas and in fact is the contractor many residents are using for their own property.
- We have asked the MBTA to bait the areas along the railroad tracks.
- The Department of Public Works has increased its regular schedule of emptying trash barrels in parks. You can report an overflowing trash can on City property by calling the City Yard at 781-665-0142.
- Some have expressed concerns that the problem is being caused by construction. This can be true. There is private home construction and other construction going on right now in Melrose as well as Saugus and surrounding communities, which is common every spring. However, the City has policies to limit this. The City of Melrose requires that rodent control be done within 30 days of any building demolition in order to prevent that from occurring. Rodents are usually not disturbed by routine roadwork and sidewalk work, but by extensive demolition or excavation. Furthermore, they usually stay close to home and typically go just far enough to find food and shelter.
What should I know about rodents?
- Norway rats live throughout the City and beyond.
- They eat everything we eat—and more!
- They can gnaw through plastic, wood, soft metals, wire (causing house fires), even cinderblock and bricks.
- They can squeeze through spaces the size of a dime.
- They are extraordinary climbers, jumpers, and swimmers.
How do I know if there are rodents on my property?
- Even if you haven’t seen a rat, you may be able to see the signs they leave behind: burrows, droppings, gnaw marks and rub marks, tracks, trails, nests, and hidden food stashes.
How do I eliminate them?
Limit their food and water
- Use rodent-proof containers with tight-fitting lids for garbage, and store all trash in these containers up to your trash pickup day.
- Do not put your trash cans or recycling bins out before 5 p.m. on the day before your trash pickup day.
- Replace missing lids and containers that have holes.
- Wash garbage cans, recycling bins, and the areas around them regularly.
- Use rodent-proof containers to store food and pet food—even indoors.
- Keep an eye out for rats in your garden—they love fresh fruits and vegetables just as much as we do!
- Avoid large compost bins.
- Deprive rats of water by repairing leaks in pipes and hoses.
Limit their access and shelter
- Plug holes in floors and walls with wire mesh (copper, stainless steel, or aluminum). Cover the mesh with spackle, plaster, or hardening sealant.
- Block the space between doors and the floor with kick plates.
- Keep stairwells, airshafts, basements, and storage areas clean and clutter-free. Don’t give them anywhere to hide!
- Discard newspapers, old insulation, and cardboard boxes.
- Repair broken windows and doors; fix holes in screens and roofs.
- Cut down grass and weeds that are 12 inches or taller and trim overgrown shrubbery.
The best way is to hire a licensed pest management professional (ask to see his or her Massachusetts State license). If you do it yourself:
- Read the label first on snap traps and glue traps and follow directions carefully.
- Place traps no more than 20 feet apart in areas where you have seen signs of rats—gnaw marks, droppings, etc.
- Never put traps or poison where children or pets can reach them.
- When emptying or throwing away a trap, pick it up with a broom and dustpan—not your hands.
ALL THREE MEASURES ARE USUALLY NECESSARY TO BE SUCCESSFUL!
Although we are concerned about the current rodent problem, and we are taking aggressive measures, this is not an uncommon phenomenon. It happens from time to time, especially at this time of year, and my staff and I know how to deal with it. We have put together a plan, and we have the experience, the resources, and the manpower we need to implement it. Please feel free to call the Health Department at 781-979-4130 with any concerns or questions. We are available to help you.
Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department will host its May community meeting on senior and summer safety at the Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster St., on Wednesday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. District Attorney Marian Ryan and representatives from Eastern Bank and the Boston office of the FBI will be there.
Topics will include popular scams that often affect seniors, such as the IRS scam, the grandparent scam, lottery scam, computer phishing scam and utility scam.
Additionally, police will provide summer safety tips to those in attendance. Residents will be reminded to always lock their vehicles, while securing valuables in the trunk or taking them with them. The community will also be advised to alert neighbors and the police department when they’re going on vacation.
“Our community is not immune to the various scams out there today and we certainly want our residents to be aware so they can avoid becoming a victim,” Chief Lyle said. “At the same time, as families head off on their vacations, we encourage them to let the police department know and we will periodically check your home if it’s going to be vacant.”
This event is part of the department’s monthly community meetings initiative, where police and other city and state officials gather to discuss a prevalent topic with residents.
May’s community meeting will be the last for the spring and summer. The initiative will resume in September.
The Untold Stories of Melrose is a series of interviews by two senior interns from Melrose High School, Freddie Kelley and Connor Locke, who have been working in my office for the past few weeks.
Michael Noone is a social studies teacher at Melrose High School.
My father was killed in a car accident when I was two and a half years old. He was hit by a drunk driver coming home at night. While I wasn’t old enough to know what happened at the time, that event has certainly had an effect on me in certain ways.
I think about my relationship with my mother, who I’m very close to. When that event happened she was there for me, in spite of the tragedy that she went through. We’ve always maintained a tight bond between us, and I think a lot of it goes back to that event. She remarried when I was five years old and my stepfather, to me, is just my dad.
I feel almost as if I’m fortunate because I have two fathers. I have my father whose name I carry. I’m a junior, Michael James Noone Jr., and I’m extremely proud to carry that name, and carrying on his legacy and the life he didn’t get to live. But I also have my father now, who has been an amazing influence on my life. I have two younger sisters, one from each of my fathers, who I am extremely close with. I feel blessed and fortunate to have both of my sisters. When I think about what’s had the most impact on my life, it’s family. Of all the events that you have no control over in your life, this is the one I think about most. I feel really fortunate more than anything when I think back on how my family came together under difficult circumstances, and how close we’ve all been as a result. When I think of the person I am today, I owe all of that to my family, and especially my parents. My parents are my two heroes, my mom and my dad, and I have another person looking out for me too.
Mayor Robert J. Dolan, the Melrose Veterans Service Office, Veterans Advisory Board, and the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School group Operation Respect have placed 1,500 American flags on the City Hall lawn, surrounding the Women Veterans Monument, to honor the 1.5 million women who served in the military starting in the Civil War.
The installation of the flags marks the beginning of the Melrose Memorial Day events. The traditional decoration of the graves in Wyoming Cemetery will take place on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. The traditional tour of Veterans Memorials will take place on Sunday, May 29, beginning at the Women’s Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m.
The Memorial Day Parade will also take place on Sunday, May 29, starting at 1:30 p.m., and will travel from Memorial Hall down Main Street to Sylvan Street, concluding with a closing ceremony at Wyoming Cemetery. This Grand Marshals of this year’s parade are women veterans, and all women veterans are invited to march in the Grand Marshal section of the parade.
“This is the third year that we have used flags as a visual reminder of the sacrifices made by members of our military,” said Mayor Dolan. “The flags will remain on the City Hall lawn throughout the week as a powerful reminder of those who have served so that we can be free. I hope that all Melrosians will participate in the many special events that are scheduled this weekend.”
Melrose joins with communities and police departments throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in mourning the death of Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino, Jr., who was killed in the line of duty yesterday morning. This comes just days after the Melrose Board of Aldermen honored the memory of Melrose High School graduate Garrett Swasey, who was killed in an attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last November, and whose name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. last week as part of the National Police Week observances.
In accordance with Governor Baker’s order, we will fly the City Hall flag at half staff in his memory until his interment.
The Melrose Police and Fire Departments will be using the building at 10 Corey St. for training, including active-shooter training, from Monday through Thursday this week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The building will soon be renovated, so the police and fire departments are taking the opportunity to use it for training during this time. You may notice increased activity or see police and fire vehicles around the building during this week.
Barre and Soul’s Summer Sale goes from now until June 1st and is as follows:
- Our 15 class card is back (for a limited time) for $209
- Student Special: $199 for unlimited classes from June 1 through August 31 (student must bring ID to the studio to receive the deal)
- Monthly Autopay Membership is $109/month & comes with a free gift (with 3 month minimum commitment)
This Friday morning (May 20) the Melrose Ped/Bike committee will be leading a bicycle commuter convoy from Melrose to Boston, open to everybody, with options to join either at the start or at points along the way in Malden and Everett.
We will finish in City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston with a mini-festival sponsored by Boston Bikes. This Friday is the *only* date this summer with the Boston Bikes festival at the end, unlike previous years in which there was another one each month for several months.
The route can be seen here.
Join at any of the following three locations:
7:00 a.m.: We’ll depart promptly at 7 a.m. from the corner of Main St and E. Foster St in Melrose.
7:15 a.m.: The intersection of the Northern Strand Trail and Main Street in Malden
7:30 a.m.: McDonald’s parking lot at Beech St and Route 99 in Everett.
Questions? Contact ride leader Andy Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org