hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACCIOPPI

The days of sticking a piece of cheddar in the basement to bait a rat into a gory, spring-loaded death-by-trap are over. The best way to get rid of rats is slow and agonizing, but the upside is that it’s a community effort that can bring neighbors together.

So say experts from the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, who came into Fair Haven Wednesday afternoon to give a few tips to concerned residents about the borough’s apparent rat problem. Rats have been seen near a pond on Fair Haven Road and behind the Acme supermarket, and the commission came to speak at the request of the borough government.

According to commission health educator Sophia Jozil, taking away all the things rats like — food, water, shelter — will eventually push the rats out or kill them. Or at least get them out of sight.

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