Citizen complaint of the day: My car has wings

Chicken wings under the hood of a car

A disgusted Fenway citizen files a 311 complaint about what's under his or her car's hood these days:

I pay to park my car behind my apartment building in the alley. There have been rats in the alley. Recently they have been getting under the hood of my car and bringing garbage from the dumpster with them. This is a picture of chicken wings under the hood of my car.

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LoL

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I'm not sure what the 311-poster expects the city to do specifically about rats feasting under his car hood. Heck, I don't think the poster of said complaint and photo knows either. I presume the poster is paying a commercial entity and regardless of whom is getting paid by the poster for parking, I doubt there's a clause written into the parking agreement that covers this scenario.

Here are some inspirational videos for dealing with mostly mice but possibly rats as well

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mousetrap+monday

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Inspect dumpsters, check

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Inspect dumpsters, check buildings for rat infestations, check sewers for infestations, send in the Rat extermination unit to bait and trap.

Typical things the city does.

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Two possibilities

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1. The Fenway resident thinks that the rats are city employees, and that 311 is the place to complain about them.

2. The Fenway residents has decided, very sensibly, that calling 311 is the moral equivalent of prayer; in frustration at your unjust fate, you appeal to an anonymous Authority, which listens politely and does nothing.

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A third (obvious) possibility

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Pigeons (not rats) got under the hood when they were playing hide and seek--a game which pigeons are quite fond of. Pheasants too. They were then baked into crispy-fried pigeon wings when the engine overheated. The Fenway resident blames rats based on his or her own unconscious bias, stemming back to when he or she was a child, and a rat snuck into his or her crib, threw out the stuffed teddy, and the baby Fenway resident unwittingly snuggled with a rat all night before the nanny or manny discovered the rat in the morning, shrieked, and beat it to pieces with the Fenway resident's grandfather's mandolin. Meanwhile, the people who staff 311 (presumably former members of the band 311) wonder what they are doing with their lives and what the coming year will bring.

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How does the complete lack of

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How does the complete lack of feathers and other non-wing anatomical features factor into this (obvious) fantastic explanation?

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Good to know.

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Good to know.
I quit reading after the "baked" line.

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I'm pretty baked right now

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I'm pretty baked right now too. Fried chicken sounds damn good!

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I almost spewed hot coffee

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I almost spewed hot coffee out my nose at work. Hilarious!

Reminds me of my friend's '75 Dodge Dart back when we were in high school. A local squirrel decided to store nuts in the heater/defroster fan housing of her car. She wasn't too pleased either. Yep. I laughed then too.

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Blame people.

People not finishing their chicken wings.
Also...do rats really drag chicken wings onto the top of an engine block to eat them?

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Yes

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And a whole lot worse.

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Yes

Under the hood of my car I used to find chicken wings as well as "treasures" -- soda bottle caps, bits of aluminum foil, a couple of keys, other shiny objects that the rats had brought in with them.

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yes

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rats don't have microwaves. soooo, duhhhh - they use the engine to reheat them before eating them. seems pretty obvious to me.

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For some reason many people

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For some reason many people don't seem to think that bones are garbage. My vet told me to be on the lookout because for some reason, people throw chicken wings on the ground instead of the trash and dogs can get at them. Lo and behold the next day, I look down and my dog has one in his mouth. Now I notice them everywhere. Disgusting.

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Dog

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I also never noticed until I had a dog. People are disgusting slobs.

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In my neighborhood, people

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In my neighborhood, people feel that way about both chicken wings and dog waste. True, they both will eventually biodegrade, but they still cause a lot of problems until that day comes.

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You are so right

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I live in the Fenway area. Many people (yes - I'll say it - students) leave half eaten pizzas, wings and all sorts of food on the road, alleys, and along sidewalks. It is disgusting and a rat haven. I've even seen an entire chocolate cake squashed on a sidewalk. I guess someone dropped it but couldn't be bothered to pick it back up and carry it over to the garbage can nearby.

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How do you know the student

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How do you know the student status of whoever made a particular mess? Unless there's a receipt with a student discount listed, or a wallet with a student ID inside the pizza box, you're guessing.

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Chelsea

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Yeah same here in Chelsea.. its a cultural thing I think.

So gross. So so gross.

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Yep

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This seems to be very common where I walk my dog off of South Street in Jamaica Plain. But usually I only see this in one certain area (Jamaica street and the Church parking lot next to the Housing Authority building). Chicken wings, fast food bags, half full take out containers. It would be nice if those people took more pride and didn't litter all over the neighborhood in which they live.

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Or it's the same issue as for the 311 poster

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Or, people *are* throwing those things in the trash cans and vermin are dragging them back out again. How about getting on the city or the management company to install more covered trash cans and to empty them often.

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Well

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Up in my area of JP, I've watched people just drop their food waste (sometimes still in the bag) just outside of their car on the ground. The trash barrels are mere steps away. And yes, I've called them on it and they just glare at me.

To be sure, there are rats, too. But the majority of the offenders are of the bipedal kind.

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Sometimes what people think

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Sometimes what people think is discarded chicken wings is actually the wings of wild birds killed by hawks and other birds of prey. They tend to eat the head and bodies but discard the wings and if it's a popular nesting or roosting place the bones can really pile up.

The wings in this photo do look like chicken wings though.

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Do they cook them?

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That's the important part - for dogs as well as the sources of the trash.

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Sure, you see pigeon wings

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Sure, you see pigeon wings all over the place where there are hawks in the city, but... those are 1) covered in feathers, 2) much smaller, 3) not cooked.

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311 specifically asks you to report rodent activity

the city specifically asks people to report rodent activity. No, they're not going to do anything specifically about your cars engine compartment being used as a picnic area, but the pattern of 311 reports gives the rat control people a picture of where the hot spots are; where extra intervention is required.

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And they will take action

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A neighboring building had a persistent problem and ISD made them take appropriate action to mitigate the problem.

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They do OK

I know it's not an apples-to-apples comparison because Washington DC doesn't have the same hard freezes that we do, but there are an order of magnitude fewer rats visible here than in DC. In DC the sqeaking and scurrying of rats is a constant soundtrack in any alley

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Bienvenue

To ze Chateau Culasse. Tonight our chef, Remy, weel be prepaireeng Poulet a la Huile du Moteur.

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Be glad

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The car owner should be glad they're chewing on chicken wings and not his engine.

My buddy had his car fixed multiple times because his parking spot was next to the dumpsters behind his building in the Fenway/Brookline area. The rats didn't bring food over, but they did chew the tubing and wires making bedding within his engine compartment.

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YES

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I was scrolling thru the comments and I was about to say this very thing..

The car owner should be glad its chicken bones and not his wiring. Neighbor of mine in Chelsea, his wife's car had her cabling eaten twice. $$$$$$ to have it repaired.

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might as well sell your car

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You're never getting the rats out, and never getting rid of the smell of rat shit any time you turn the heat on.

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Reminds me of that style of cooking

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Where people put various types of meat to cook on their engine while driving. Although they put in in foil first.

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Raccoons

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In the suburbs you have to worry about coyotes, raccoons, deer, skunks etc. Most cities will not even address these animals. A raccoon chases me all over the place so I grab a shovel and swing it at the raccoon. My brother and niece thought it was so funny, I call the police right after and the dispatcher is telling me don’t come for this. At the same time 5 people are talking at the same time. This wild animal is chasing me and it’s a funny joke.

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Suburbs?

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Try Roslindale. Or even Southie (just with fewer deer).

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Animal control

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Animal control is who you should have called, but it's serious. That's the kind of behavior that can indicate rabies.

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And?

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What does the car owner expect?

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Wings over

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America(n car's engine)

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Your VOLVO has wings

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Volvo engine. 5 cylinder, turbo. V70, perhaps? That car needs wings.

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