Rats Jam XM Radio

The warm weather on the East Coast has kept rodents outdoors, but now that colder temperatures have arrived, they’re in where it’s warmer. Maybe in your house. This author recently trapped 3 mice within 24 hours of deploying a few Victors

Well, rodents don’t discriminate between commercial and residential properties. Today’s Washington Post has the full story:

Rats! XM Radio Scurries to Address Rodent Infestation

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts

If you hear some scratching noises on XM radio, it’s probably not static — but it might be rats. The satellite radio’s District headquarters is so infested with the furry little critters that the company has gone to the rat-eradication equivalent of DefCon 1.

"Those of you familiar with DC rodents know that we’re looking at the size of small house cats," writes XM senior veep Dan Turner in an internal memo sent to employees on Friday.

Turner goes on to describe the gnawing dread: "Currently we have lost the functionality of Production Room 8 as the rodents have discovered that the cover on our fiber optics cables makes good nesting material. A couple of weeks ago it was one of the multi-function studios that was taken out of commission. Tomorrow it could be a cable to a satellite uplink. It is that serious."

The Beltway, rat-wise, appears to be on the second floor of the XM building, a beautifully restored former printing factory on New York Avenue NE, reports our colleague Paul Farhi. The crawl space under the raised floors "represents an eight-lane superhighway to anywhere the rats want to go," writes Turner.

The broadcaster has summoned Orkin, according to spokesman Chance Patterson, and has enlisted the building’s 600 employees in "immediate and very aggressive eradication measures" — that means no food and drink in the studios (not even coffee? Eeeekk!) and all those magazines, posters and other junk must be tossed because rats like to use them to build nests.

No shock and awe here — Turner’s ready for a long siege. "Eventually, they’ll get the building back," he concludes his memo, "but we ain’t done with it yet."


If you can’t afford a house call from The Orkin Man, you can consult the National Park Service’s "Integrated Pest Management Manual."