Village News 8/29/19

Dear West Springfield Village Neighbor / Friend,

Every now and then we have a topic that isn’t all Mayberry RFD in substance, but we still need to discuss it. We have had incidents that illustrate the need to mention mice and rats that live amongst us.   

CAWSV FY20 Membership Drive – We’d are anxious for you to join or renew your membership in our civic association. How ‘bout it? The form is attached for your convenience. It can also be found on our West Springfield Village FaceBook Group and on our Website (

FY20 dues are $10.00 per household for the year. We need about 350, dues-paying members to cover expected expenses next year. You can mail your dues and directory listing instructions to CAWSV, P.O. Box 2204, Springfield, VA 22152. Make check payable to “CAWSV”.  Or, you can pay $11.00 using PayPal by clicking “Here”. The extra $1.00 covers the charge PayPal exacts on our transactions.

Please provide: First and Last Name of 1st Resident, First and Last Name of 2nd Resident, Address, Phone Number and Email Address. Indicate on the form if we may list your names and address in the directory (Yes or No), list your phone number (Y or N) and lastly may we list your email address (Y or N)? If you answer no to 1st question – the other two answers are also no.

Now and then we need to employ all of our communications capabilities to get the word out to as many as we can as quickly as we can. We have and will use each medium:  email, FaceBook and our Website. You can and should be in each even if you do not join or renew in the CAWSV. I think you’ll see the need for us to have your information. We use it only for CAWSV business and honor your directives about posting or not in the next directory.  If you have decided to not join, please let me know to save us time, effort and money.

Rats, Rat Poisons and Our Pets – Do you have rats? If you have dogs – then probably yes. Do you compost in your yard? Then you probably do have rats. Do your neighbors within 150 feet or 50 yards who have dogs or compost or dispose of food waste on the ground? Then yes – you probably also have rats. Yes – I have signs of rats living here at my Edmonton Court home. Norway rats (the most common in northern Virginia) breed all year round. A female can deliver 5 – 7 litters each year with anywhere from 7 – 14 in the litter. The gestation period lasts about 3 weeks. Norway rats attain maturity at 35 days age. The average lifespan is 1 year but they may live up to 3 years. A single pair of Norway rats and their offspring can become nearly 300 in one year given plenty of food, mating partners, shelter and minimal predation. They typically nest in colonies in burrows up to 150 feet from a food source. Their range can become quite large if they find another food source and nesting site at the edge of their existing range. Rats enjoy what your dog may drop in your fenced back yard. Here’s a few steps to control rodents:

  1. Seal up holes or gaps into your home or building to prevent rodents from returning. Also seal their entry way into their boroughs. A rat hole is typically very tidy and small. Most will be tennis ball size down to a quarter coin in diameter.
  2. Trap rodents by placing traps or bait stations where rodents frequent or travel.  
  3. Clean up their food supply, like garbage in open containers; bird and wildlife feed on the ground; pet waste in the yard.

Most snap traps are potentially dangerous to children and your pets; place them carefully. Bait stations are also a risk for children and pets who may come in contact with the bait Scavengers (fox, coyote, feral cats, hawks, etc) that may catch, play or eat a poisoned rat are also in danger. We’ve had a couple dogs become ill after either getting into a bait station or catching a rat that had apparently been poisoned. Danger! Use approved bait only.

We could easily lump chipmunks into the mice/rat group since they also can do serious damage to homes and gardens.

Household Trash – Household trash is to be picked up on Mondays and Thursday if, and only if it is in your trash toter. The trash truck often has only one man who drives and operates the mechanical arms that lift the toter to dump into the truck. Trash left beside the toter will certainly help feed rats when not collected.

Hawk – Michelle Hamilton sent this picture of a hawk. She says that a couple have been flying around her backyard for the past two months screeching up a storm. It would be helpful if they flew at night to dine on some of the village rats, but hawks do harvest squirrels (AKA “tree rats”) from the oak tree in my front yard.

Nanny Wanted - Kati and Jeremy Barber are looking for a after school nanny for just a few hours a week to help get their girls to practices. Interested or know of someone? Contact or 703/451-4069.

Drugs and Overdosing – We have a Village family mourning the loss of a loved one from a drug overdose. I am sure you have followed the recent news, but it becomes personal when it affects one of us. They asked me to mention the need for all of us to intervene when a family member is tempted or becomes hooked on whatever substance whether prescribed or not. It is never too early in children’s lives to have this family discussion and certainly better than wishing afterwards for more talk and intervention. I am not good with this topic, but hope this family’s pain generates action by some, many or most of us.


August 1 – 11/01/19   Civic Association Membership Drive (yes it takes that long)

Early October             Audit team meets to review financial records and procedures (want to help?)

October 10                  Village Meeting at 7:30 PM at RVES Library

October 19                  Halloween Party and the Great Chili Cookoff (note the change)

October 27                  Taste of Greater Springfield, 3 – 6:00 PM at Waterford Reception

Stay safe good people / friends!

John Cooley, CAWSV



The Village Hawk