Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rats in the toilet? Say it ain’t so!

This is another one of those “Yes, it can happen here!” stories, one which is more or less (mostly less) in line with our recent posting on (gasp!) outdoor drug activity in the neighborhood. Now comes further evidence that we Madison Parkers are actually living in a big city. I’m sorry to report that not only are rats in the toilet not an urban myth, but they actually have been known to make occasional appearances right here in Madison Park loos.

You might not think this if you didn’t follow the subject (and who does?), but the City actually tracks reports of rats in toilets and charts these incidents on a big pink rats-in-toilets map (that’s a tinier version below).

I am indebted to neighboring blog, Capitol Hill News, for this little bit of knowledge. They covered the story last month, noting that their neighborhood had the least reported toilet-rat incidents of any Seattle neighborhood. I think they must have meant per capita, because to be fair it appears that Madison Park has had two such reports while Capitol Hill has had, well, three. We’re talking rat reports in 2008 and 2009. One per year reported. But how many of us would know to report such a thing? And to whom would you make the report?

Well, should this happen to you (a rat-in-toilet incident, I mean), here’s what you should do, as instructed by the Seattle & King County Public Health Department: 1) “Stay Calm!” 2) shut the lid, 3) squirt some liquid dish soap into the toilet, and 4) flush (“you may need to flush multiple times”).

Then you report it (by phone or by using a handy on-line form). The County maintains a very useful rats-in-the-toilet website which provides lots of fascinating information on how rats get into sewers, what you can do to stop toilet rats, and where to report those soggy rodents when you find them.

And don’t say we never gave you any useful information on this blog.

[Photo: Yes, that is a rat on the toilet rather than a rat in the toilet picture that I culled from the internet--but believe me, you don't want to see the rat-in-the-toilet photo. Not on this blog. The map above shows incidents reported in 2008 as green blobs and incidents reported in 2009 at purple blobs.]


  1. That is a sick picture. Actually, a lady on my block reported to me that swhe has had rats in her toilet two times. She lives in a 40s one story two bedroom house, of which there are dozens in Madison Park. How they get in there is a mystery, and they don't even have scuba gear. This reported incident was on 41st Avenue East, between Lynn Street and McGilvra Street ( a highly esteemed block). Luckily for me, having a modern house, nary has a rat been seen in either toilet of my home, and hopefully that will continue to be the case. Rats in the toilet are all we need. The person who reported the rats in the toilet incidents is named "Norma." Anon, MP

  2. I blame Key Bank.


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