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Norway rats and black rats like to live near people. The denser the human population, the more diverse and abundant the rat’s food sources are. Taking into account all rat species endemic to the US, proportionally speaking, more rats live in urban and suburban areas than they live in wild areas.
Your run-of-the-mill street rat thrives among humans, finding perfect shelter in our manmade architecture, and a great variety of food in what we throw away, or what they manage to steal directly from under our noses. They’re timid, fearful little creatures, suspicious of everything and everyone that moves, and excessively self-concerned – it’s like they never stop to smell the roses, always in a state of agitation and urgency. They figured out a pretty good formula: cowardice plus intelligence times frenetic breeding equals survival.
Rat competition in urban settings can and frequently is intensely brutal and fatal, predators are everywhere, people kill them by the thousands every minute, and they still infest our cities and invade our homes like it’s all yesterday’s news. And it kind of is. We’ve been fighting these rats for decades, and it looks like every year that passes only adds to the overall big city rat population. And no, it’s not that we’re tackling the issue in a wrong manner – big cities around the world are rat-plagued, this is not an issue specific to the US. When large populations of rats are exterminated, the remaining rats will automatically increase the reproduction rate, and the population level will soon be restored.
Strategies to combat rat invasion are constantly being developed and deployed as we try to keep up with rats, and we must remain perseverant in approaching home rat invasion with proper procedure and humane lethal trapping. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.