The Allston/Brighton area is affectionately and bitterly known as “Rat City” for a reason.
“I moved here [to Allston] in 2009, and at first I couldn’t tell if my friends were serious about the ‘Rat City’ title,” Peter Hollis, 22, said. “It didn’t take too long for me to see how serious they were. You get used to them running around, and as long as they don’t come inside, they’re gross but not a problem. Even in our basement, they weren’t that much of a nuisance. Once they got into my apartment, then we had a problem.”
A call to the city stemmed the rodent invasion, but by no means was Hollis’ apartment free from the furry four-legged intruders.
“They’re pretty resilient,” Hollis said. “And much smarter than I’d like to admit.”
Since Boston started their 311 program in 2011, Inspectional Services has had a wash of rodent complaints in the Allston/Brighton area, totaling around 1,971, according to city data.
Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood, came in second with 1,788 complaints. After those two densely residential neighborhoods, the numbers in other parts of town dramatically drop off.
The Back Bay saw 648 reports of rodent activity, Beacon Hill had 578 reports. The downtown Boston area had 105. Charlestown saw 129 reports and the Financial had 486. East Boston had 521, Fenway/Kenmore had 234, Greater Mattapan had 222, Hyde Park had 74, Jamaica Plain had 459, Mission Hill had 144, Roslindale had 132, Roxbury 472, Southie and the Waterfront had 514, South End had 360, West Roxbury had 167. There also were 414 reports in unspecified areas.
During the blizzards and bitter cold in February pest control workers told Metro that they were seeing a dramatic uptick in service calls.
“I don’t care if you’re a human or any other creature. When it’s snowing two to three feet or it’s in the single digit temperatures, you’re heading indoors,” John Bozarjian, owner of Johnny B’s Pest Control in South Boston said at the time. “But between last year’s  Polar Vortex and the snow this year, we had more calls for mice than we’ve had in last 15 years.”
So far, this winter has been balmy enough that most rodents aren’t seeking indoor shelter. Yet.
Other uninvited house guests, like cockroaches, termites, bed bugs and any other structural pests came and went as they pleased throughout the bitter cold and record-breaking snow without a decrease in population or an increase in calls for service.
Since 2011, Dorchester saw the most calls for non-rodent pest control issues with 175, followed by Allston/Brighton with 117 Roxbury came in third place 125.
West Roxbury saw the least amount of calls for bugs with 11.