Trash is the biggest factor in rat infestations, researchers say

Around the world, more than 35 diseases are known to be easily spread by rats and the ticks and fleas that live on them. The Black Plague, the most famous pandemic to strike mankind, was spread in part by rats stowing away on European merchant ships.

Naturally, we humans have a vested interest in keeping […]

First case of rat hepatitis in a human documented in Hong Kong

Perhaps the only positive thing that can be said about rat hepatitis E is that it belongs to rats, and we humans don’t have to deal with it.

At least, that’s what we thought. The scientific and medical perspective of the disease has now been shattered after a man in Hong Kong was found […]

Oh, rats! Chicago considered ‘rat capital’ of U.S.

On the farm or in the big city, rats are obnoxious wherever they go. Now, a recent study has pinpointed where in the U.S. they seem to be most prominent: Chicago, with the highest number of rat-related public health complaints at 50,963 in 2017.

Not only that, but Chicago’s rat problem seems to be growing. […]

How 50 rats turned into 100,000 after avoiding poison dump

A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds recently conducted a case study on the failed rat eradication project on an island in the South Pacific.

The island’s rat problem began approximately 800 years ago when Polynesian sailors introduced Pacific rats to Henderson Island, […]

Study finds rats can make people feel depressed

A not-so-surprising new study finds that people don’t like rats. But what may be truly surprising is that rats — more than crime or other signs of urban decay — may make people depressed.

According to an article, people living in Baltimore’s low-income neighborhoods who see rats as a big problem, are significantly more likely […]

Protecting your pets from rodenticides

Rodenticides are necessary tools for the control of rodent infestations. Although commonly used in agricultural settings to keep mice and rats from infesting feed and produce storage, they are also often needed in and around homes. Unfortunately, the products used for pest control can harm unintended animals who consume the bait, or those who eat […]

Plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats

Oriental rat fleas, the same vermin that were responsible for transmitting the Bubonic Plague throughout Europe in the 14th century, have been found in New York City’s rat population, according to new research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

“If these rats carry fleas that could transmit the plague to people, then the pathogen […]

Monday links

Catch up on the latest news and information in the food safety, animal science and agriculture industries with Monday links!

Food Safety

Will Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling Be Pushed Back to 2018? – Food Safety News Long-planned efforts to place a label on mechanically tenderized beef may be delayed another two years — until […]

Confirmed: NYC rats carry nasty pathogens

Referred to as a “recipe for a public health nightmare,” researchers from Columbia University recently discovered that some rats studied in New York City contain a variety of viruses and other pathogens— including those that cause foodborne illness in humans, others never seen before in New York, and some that are new toscience altogether.

According […]

Rats: If we can’t beat them, eat them?

Over the millennia that we have been fighting rats, researchers have provided nearly endless solid scientific rationale for us wanting to hit any we see with a baseball bat about 17 times.

They spread disease, eat our food, contaminate our food and homes, bite us, and are generally unlikable.

The BBC reports that there are […]