Westport man calls attention to rat problem

Courtesy East Bay Newspapers

A Westport man let his frustration known when rats invaded his property.

"They were running right across my driveway ... At night you could see the beady little eyes glowing in the headlights," Roger Chandanais said Monday.

Chandanais was describing the rat problem on his property. He said it got worse recently after a farm across the street closed.

"The rats had no more place to feed, so they were coming across the street. You could see them. Cars had to slow down to let the rats cross," Chandanais said.

He made a sign that says "Caution: Large Rats Crossing" and out of frustration, tied up dead rats on a stick. He said he complained to the town, but to no avail.

"Nothing they could do about it. So, I hung them by the tail and maybe get a little attention. So I got a little attention," Chandanais said.

Chandanais, who creates his own creatures out of old propane tanks and other scrap metal, said the rat problem has subsided since garbage that had piled up on a nearby property was removed.

"I wouldn't say it's solved, but I would say it's slowed down to almost a stop," he said. "It's pretty good."

Chandanais said his display of dead rats helped.

"Oh, yes. The display helped a lot because a lot of people started complaining. The people came in and said, 'Isn't that disgusting?' Yes, it is disgusting, but how else am I going to get the word across?" Chandanais said.

The town's health agent was not in Monday, but an employee with the town Board of Health said other than Chandanais, the town received no other complaints about rats.

The town said the only complaints it did get were about Chandanais's display of the dead rodents, which has been taken down.