Julie Devereaux

Weekdays 10:00am - 2:00pm

The Pied Piper lures the rats of Hamelin to their deaths in the Weser River, in an illustration for English poet Robert Browning's verse retelling of the folk tale 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin', circa 1890. Illustration by Franz Gehrts (1860 - 1894). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Not so fast.

A rodentologist says they’re big…but not alley cat big. And he’s offered $500 dollars to anyone who will bring him a cat sized rat, a challenge I will not be participating in.

That said, Boston, we have a problem.

'They are as big as cats:' Newton and Cambridge discuss rats on the rise

Local No, they're not a figment of the imagination. There actually are more rats. As unsettling as that is, rodentologist Bobby Corrigan confirmed during a virtual Q&A for Newton residents that the rodent population is estimated to be up between 15 to 36 percent, he said, based on his own records from surveys, as well as talking with other scientists, and scientific investigations.