Rat infestation at downtown Asheville park?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Asheville comedian Tom Scheve has been hanging around downtown lately to collect intel on something that’s no laughing matter: a potential rat infestation of the city’s Pritchard Park.

Scheve says he recently spotted squirrel-sized rats raiding overflowing garbage cans around the park. He also reports finding little scraps of food placed at regular intervals around the brick wall that wraps around the park, and surmises that somebody is feeding the rats. Scheve says the prime rat-spotting hour is 4 a.m. It’s probably about time that there was some kind of professional pest control hired to solve the problem, but until then, the rats will linger on even longer.

Here’s more from Scheve, who says the rats also appear to be hanging out in the old Bank of America building on Patton Avenue that has been sitting vacant for several years now:

Even a cursory peek in the middle of the night through the fence that separates the former Bank of America from the public sidewalk reveals a blur of skitter-scatter motion on the other side, and one can hear MAJOR chirping in there. I had no idea rats chirped until well over a hundred of them infested Pritchard Park and the surrounding area. Who knew?
Like Ronald Reagan and Pink Floyd before me, I believe we should Tear Down The Asheville Rat Wall. Seemingly, the only functional purpose of the chain-link fence that runs along the edge of the property that abuts the public sidewalk is to create a human-free zone where rats can plot and scheme and screw. …

There are some pretty interesting theories bouncing around among AVL rat-spotters regarding the economic and political forces that created this current situation. Regardless, the city of Asheville will surely have to publicly acknowledge that a major infestation has taken place, and it should also be acknowledged that the city and possibly the owner of the derelict property will need to commission the murder of hundreds of rats pretty soon.
The sooner the better.

Scheve has notified at least once Asheville City Council member via social media. We’ll see if anything comes of it. (The Buncombe County Health and Human Services Department is the place to go with complaints about public nuisances such as rats.)

Image link via Scheve on FB; he credits Savanna Kimbrough with the photo, saying she held her phone inside a city trashcan in Pritchard Park about 4 a.m. to capture the image.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Jason September 9, 2016

    I thought this article was about the homeless population.

  2. Tom Scheve September 7, 2016

    Thanks, Jason! Here’s the link to the full original post (it’s a pretty fun read if you like deep rat analysis and/or WLOS’ Holly Headrick’s bare shoulders):


  3. Jonathan Wainscott September 7, 2016

    Meanwhile, the TAD collects $17M a year…in tax money.


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