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Goffstown latest NH town dealing with a rat infestation this summer

Union Leader Correspondent

August 30. 2018 2:03PM
A rat caught in the area of Laurier Street in Goffstown sits in a cage. (HENRY PAGE)

GOFFSTOWN — In response to an apparent rat infestation in and around the area of Laurier and Davignon streets, the Goffstown Building and Health Department is in the process of putting together an informational mailer for residents on how to avoid further attraction of the unwanted visitors.

Speaking on behalf of Building Inspector and Health Officer Marc Tessier, Town Administrator Adam Jacobs confirmed that the town had received some complaints about rats in the area of Laurier Street, and that they planned to send information to affected residents about how best to keep the rodents away.

“It’s an informational outreach,” Jacobs said. “It deals with a lot of common sense things like keeping trash covered, avoiding loose bags and keeping things they might get into off your porch.”

While Jacobs added that the town believes the issue is contained enough that it doesn’t warrant intervention, he confirmed that officials were reaching out to the Manchester Health Department for pest control contractor recommendations.

“If it doesn’t abate and it seems to be a problem, Marc Tessier is also getting recommendations from Manchester about contractors they’ve used to abate and trap in the past,” Jacobs said. “But at this point, he doesn’t feel the situation warrants it.”

But to hear it from Henry Page, a contractor who lives on Davingnon and claims to have trapped at least five rats this summer, the situation is serious enough right now.

“It’s bad,” said Page of conditions around his building. “I came out one morning to have my coffee and cigarette like I do every morning and there was a 10-12 inch rat -not even including the tail- three feet from me. When I freaked out and moved, he barely budged. It didn’t scare him at all.”

Page, a contractor, says he sees at least three or four rats in his backyard on days when he isn’t working. Although he isn’t sure where they’re coming from, he mentioned that it seemed to start around the time a building across the fence from his own on neighboring Davignon Street was torn down.

“I’ve lived here for five and a half years, and the most wildlife I’ve seen was squirrels, chipmunks, that kind of thing. During the wintertime we’ve had little baby mice maybe an inch or two inches long. But I don’t think I’ve seen a rat in all my life other than a pet.”

Lucille Sumez, who lives a few houses up from Page, also said she’s caught a rat, adding that it’s the first time in the 73 years she’s lived in the neighborhood that she’s seen one.

“”Let’s hope it’s done,” said Sumez of the apparent infestation. “We never had rats around here before.”

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