Rats need many of the same things we do: food to eat, water to drink, a safe place to live, and the company of their families. Unfortunately, they sometimes find those resources in our neighborhoods. Commensal rodents, such as roof rats, Norway rats, and house mice, have been associated with people for hundreds of years. They live on our food and waste products and inhabit our buildings.
Having rats doesn’t mean a neighborhood is dirty or poorly-kept. Most neighborhoods have at least some rats, and any neighborhood can find itself with a large infestation. Rodents can cause serious damage to structures, equipment, furniture and utilities, and may spread a wide variety of diseases, including leptospirosis, trichinosis, hantavirus, rickettsial diseases, and bacterial food poisoning.