National Geographic : 1917 Jul
Photograph from U. S. Public Health Service RAT-PROOFING BARNS AND STABLES BY ELEVATION OF CONTENTS The baled hay in this case has been raised so as to give rats no place to hide ever conducted against rats has been that of the United States Public Health Serv ice for the purpose of eradicating bu bonic plague from San Francisco and New Orleans and to prevent its gaining a foothold in other American ports, but the results were much less than they might have been with more extended cooperation. Zuschlag and others who have given the rat question serious study have agreed that it will be extremely difficult to secure the far-reaching results so de sirable in the control of this public men ace except by international action. The fact that when rats are destroyed in one area they tend to reinfest it from sur rounding regions greatly lessens the ef fectiveness of local campaigns. For this reason, while local campaigns are useful and extremely desirable in relieving local conditions, the final great public relief will come when the campaign is broad ened to international proportions. At this time, when all civilized nations are care-ridden with the fear that gaunt Hunger may stalk through the world, it is essential that foodstuffs be safe guarded as never before. To accomplish this the main sources of preventable waste should be located and controlled. The foregoing pages have shown that among these elements of waste the house rat stands preeminent and deserves the most serious attention. RATS SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED AT A TIME WHEN THE ENTIRE WORLD FEARS A WORLD FAMINE The remedies against this pest are com paratively simple and may be put in ef fect to advantage by every householder, as well as by mercantile establishments and organizations. For modern commu nities to continue to harbor these loath some parasites is merely to prolong the survival of careless methods of individ ual and community housekeeping inci dent to barbarous times. Every health officer and every well-informed person knows the extending menace these pests present to himself and neighbors. Why, then, should we not cease feeding and sheltering them?