Rodents, the NTIA and BPL.

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Mon Jun 28 20:34:15 CDT 2004


The latest report by the NTIA on the suitability of BPL for the masses 
suggests that, often, the poor signal available at the receiver was not 
due to interference (by BPL and the like) but by the fact that the coax 
down leads were eaten away by ... rodents.
Yes, you read well, not BPL but  *rodents*  are   --apparently--   part 
of the real problem
Of course I laughed. (in fact I also sneered).
But lo and behold, look at what Frank K0BRA just found in the Australian 
press ?
So, humble apologies to the NTIA might eventually be in order.

André N4ICK

Rats ravage bayside cars
By Liam Houlihan
June 28, 2004

MELBOURNE'S problem packs of bayside rats have acquired a dangerous new 
appetite for car cables.

Not content emptying seaside cafes of customers and sending families 
running from beaches, rats in the City of Kingston are now snacking 
under car bonnets and turning residents' vehicles into death traps. 
Braeside woman Megan Michelis was horrified to discover rats had gnawed 
large holes in the wires, accelerator cables, and battery casing in her 
car. She lives in fear that rat-related damage will lead her to have an 
accident while driving her daughters around. "My kids are in the car 
every day. I'm supposed to check under the bonnet daily to make sure 
it's safe to drive. But I don't know what I'm looking for," she said.
Her husband's car, a new $60,000 Prado, has also been chewed into 
disrepair by hungry vermin. She is angry that Kingston council refuses 
to play pied piper to her family's rat problem.
"I pay rates and they're not willing to bait. It comes across that the 
rats have more rights than us," she said.
"I told a lady at the council that there was a plague and she said, 
'It's not a plague, there's just a large number of rats'."

The City of Kingston council recognises a rise in suburban rat sightings 
within its borders, but does not regard Ms Michelis's Waterways home 
near Braeside as a problem area. Ms Michelis said the council told her 
if bait was laid without an environmental report being concluded, 
innocent possums could die.
But the Waterways resident denies there are any possums near her home 
"There's only tiny trees here because it's a new estate. We've never 
seen a possum," she said.  "We've had rabbits, foxes and rats, but no 
possums. And anyway, they're willing to kill people in cars, but not 
kill a possum?"

Ms Michelis said she and her husband first saw a rat scuttling up a pipe 
in their housing estate four months ago. Since then, they have seen rats 
across the road from their house and regularly hear them running across 
their roof. They regard the rat problem in Waterways as caused by the 
large numbers of rats on the foreshore finding their way into the 
estates. But the council is adamant its procedures are necessary and 
baiting on demand is not the answer.

"When you're baiting things you kill things," council spokesman Mike 
Petit said. "Somebody's got to assess what the impact is going to be on 
the area. You have to balance cables in someone's car with the needs of 
the environment." Mr Petit said the result of the council's 
investigation of Ms Michelis's complaint may be council giving her the 
number for a pest controller. The rise in rats in bayside suburbs is 
believed to result from low rainfall. In wetter years, numbers of sewer 
rats would drown in seasonal downpours.

Herald Sun

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