A gnawing problem on Beacon Hill

When lawmakers elevated garter snakes to the role of official Massachusetts reptile in 2007, surely they intended that honor to come with certain responsibilities. Now, with the State House reportedly suffering an epic mouse infestation, the snakes finally have a chance to earn their keep.

According to Senate President Therese Murray, legislators have been leaving food in their desks, attracting vermin to the more than 200-year-old building on Beacon Hill. The rampaging rodents recently gnawed through $83,295 in electrical equipment.

True, unleashing snakes in the hallways of the State House might be unpleasant for tourists (and probably the snakes themselves). So maybe it’s time for lawmakers to designate an official state rodent hunter — preferably a housecat. Failing that, maybe lawmakers can just bring in some Tupperware for their leftovers.

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