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.