by: Richard Thompson Updated:
Centralia, Wash. - Jean Lankow hasn't seen many rats in the decades she's lived in her Centralia home, until recently. In the past two months Lankow has trapped 22 rats on her property and her terrier Reba ended up battered and bloodied after a tussle with a foot-and-a-half long behemoth rat.
Lankow told KIRO-7 she got up one morning and found her terrier bleeding. "It was awful, just awful. Poor little thing," she said. Lankow took Reba to the vet who discovered she had been bitten in 18 different places by a rat during a fight. "Blood was dripping from her paw, she had a few bloody marks on her stomach," said Lankow.
Monday Lankow showed a KIRO-7 news crew where she had been setting her rat traps inside a workshop and as the door swung open it was obviously yet another rat had been caught and killed in the trap overnight. Lankow wonders if an ongoing Interstate 5 widening project happening near here home might have displaced a lot of the rodents.
A supervisor from Lewis County Public Works discussed the issue with KIRO-7 Monday and said at this point it is impossible to say where the surge of rats are coming from or why they seem to have focused in on Lankow's property.
Lankow said she can't afford to hire an exterminator so she's going to keep setting traps and will be keeping a close eye on her dogs. "I'm just afraid the dogs are going to get bit again and I just don't like the dirty rats. They are nasty," she said.