UKIAH, Calif. - A Ukiah elementary school may not open in time for the new academic year because of an army of Norwegian rats that has invaded its garden.
Since June, local officials have poisoned about 60 of the rats that have taken over the garden at Oak Manor Elementary School, but the rodents have been reproducing faster than they can be killed.
In their latest offensive to overcome the rats, officials on Monday deployed smoke bombs, explosive gas, dogs and a bulldozer.
"It really is a war, no question," said Tony Linegar, Mendocino County's assistant agricultural commissioner.
School officials don't know yet whether the latest effort to get rid of the rats worked, so until they hear otherwise they plan to ship Oak Manor students to other schools when classes start on Aug. 29. Estimates of the number of rats outside the school range from 100 to 1,000.
The brown rats were discovered living in the school's compost pile and garden, which became lush and overgrown after students abandoned them during the heavy spring rains, school officials said.

I think my only question here is how officials decided that the best method to get rid of the rats involved dogs, smoke bombs, explosive gas and a bulldozer. I mean, I use a.44 Magnum to kill spiders in my house, but that's completely different. A woman's home is her castle, after all.