No time to waste in war on rats at Castle Island

A rat summit is scheduled to take place Tuesday at Castle Island in South Boston, where the rodent population appears to be exploding. With a bite force of 7,000 pounds per square inch, rats pose a threat to pipes and utility wires at the popular waterfront park. And there’s no time to waste before fighting an enemy that boasts a three-week gestation period and the ability to mate up to 20 times a day.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns Castle Island, has wisely called in exterminator reinforcements from the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Port Authority. The agencies’ years of experience eradicating rats during the Big Dig should go a long way toward taking back the 22-acre property.

State officials aren’t certain of the reasons behind the sharp escalation in rat activity at Castle Island. Construction, flood waters, and increased use of the park by messy humans during the long recession are all under suspicion. Whatever the reason for this infestation, it is time for a swift and deadly counterattack.