There were the usual laughs about skunks, but Town Manager James McKenna showed how serious he considers the recent surge of wildlife sightings in the town by inviting Health Department Director Eric Moore, Police Chief Terence Delehanty, Fire Chief Paul Flanagan, and Woodside Hardware store owner Paul Leavy to Tuesday’s Town Council meeting to discuss the problem.
According to the Board of Health Advisory issued by Mr. Moore, there has been an increase in the activity of raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and rats, around the town. And there even was a report of a sighting of a fisher cat.
Moore said the rise in wildlife can be attributed to the availability of food and shelter around dwellings, which means that the critters have been able to get into people’s trash bags for a meal of discarded food.
It wasn’t a pretty picture, and even a bit disconcerting, to hear councillors and residents at the meeting talk about three raccoons living inside the roof of a home adjacent to businesses, and in another case, of a resident being “greeted” by three raccoons on her front porch, causing the resident to rush back into her home.
Mr. Leavy demonstrated the effectiveness of a certain trash barrel and the “Cridder Ridder” spray that also can help to alleviate the problem of wildlife rummaging through the trash.
It might be a good idea for residents to visit Mr. Leavy’s store just to get his perspective on the situation and the barrels and repellents available to address the wildlife problem in the town.
We also recommend reading of copy for the wildlife advisory from the Winthrop Board of Health.
By the presence of our public safety leaders at the meeting and Moore making his initial appearance before the Council, it’s clear the town is focused in on the problem and working to make our neighborhoods and streets safe from the wildlife invaders.
But in the end, we all bear some responsibility, because 90 percent of the problems with these critters can be resolved if we remove available food sources and close up potential nesting areas around our homes.