Rats! They eat our food, chew through our property and spread all sorts of nasty diseases. And they are gross (right?), with those naked tails and quick, unpredictable movements. Rats invade our homes — our castles! — the one place where we should be safe and in control.
Over the millennia that we have lived with them, rats have proven themselves virtually impossible to expunge. They are so adaptable that they can exploit and infest virtually every corner of our cities. They avoid traps and poisons and reproduce at such a staggering rate that extermination attempts usually end up being a game of whack-a-mole… or, rather, whack-a-rat.
Is it any wonder that many cities seem to be plagued by rats? Or do the cities themselves bear some responsibility for their rat problems? This is what I have been exploring over the past 10 years as a wildlife and public health researcher with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and the University of British Columbia. MORE